The Women’s Patriotic Association War Memorial is located in Sunnyside, NL. Constructed in the mid-1940s, it is situated along Main Road, offering a panoramic view of the waters off the community. The designation is confined to the footprint of the memorial.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
The Women’s Patriotic Association War Memorial has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Sunnyside due to its historic, cultural and aesthetic values. The historical value of the Women’s Patriotic Association War Memorial lies in its association with World War II. The young men noted on the main memorial stone were members of the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the Newfoundland Militia. All lost their lives during World War II. Donald Luther R.N. was lost during the Battle of the North Atlantic in 1943, Wallace Luther R.A.F. was killed in action over Germany in 1943 and Robert B. Snook, of the Newfoundland Militia, lost his life in the Knights of Columbus Hostel Fire in St. John’s in 1942. The hostel catered to servicemen and while its cause was never determined, rumours of enemy sabotage surfaced following the fire. The War Memorial has further historical value due to its association with Women’s Patriotic Association (WPA) in Newfoundland. In 1914, Lady Margaret Davidson, wife of the then governor of Newfoundland, established the WPA to help those fighting overseas and their families left behind. The WPA organized women’s groups across the Dominion of Newfoundland to handcraft socks, mittens, scarves, clothing and bandages along with preparing medical supplies and other comforts for troops. The WPA “Visiting Committee” offered support to family members at home. A Naval and Military Convalescent Hospital was also established by the WPA in St. John’s. Shortly after it was founded, over 200 WPA branches were active, with a total membership of 15 000 women. At the end of World War I, the WPA shifted its focus to child welfare, establishing milk distribution centres and a children’s hospital. The WPA was dissolved in 1921 but was reestablished in 1939, at the onset of World War II, with over 400 branches. In 1948, the WPA was disbanded once again and its funds were turned over to the Red Cross. The cultural value of the site is tied to its importance as a memorial that evokes a sense of a particular time and place. When war was declared in Europe in 1939, Newfoundland was governed under a British Commission of Government. While Newfoundland did not raise its own forces, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians volunteered for service in Allied navies, artilleries and air forces while others were members of the merchant navy, forestry unit and militia. In all, 22 000 men and women served in World War II. Many of those who served came from small communities like Sunnyside, communities in which the sense of duty to the Commonwealth was strong. Many young people lost their lives in the line of duty and the loss of three young men from a small community like Sunnyside would have been mourned by all residents. The site has aesthetic value due to its environmental setting. From the War Memorial there is an unobstructed view of the waters off Sunnyside. The monument stone itself includes imagery associated with the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the Newfoundland Regiment. Source: Town of Sunnyside Regular Council Meeting Motion #06-09-27-07 September 27, 2006.
Character Defining Elements
All those elements which represent the historical, cultural and aesthetic value of the site, including: -original memorial stone bearing the names of men who died during World War II and associated imagery; -original stone material of the memorial; -present size, style, location and orientation of concrete base; -unobstructed view and open space in front of the War Memorial, and; -unobstructed view to and from the War Memorial along approaches from Main Road.
Inscriptions on monument: The emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment is on the front side facing the road and the words DEDICATED TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF OUR HONOURED DEAD IN WORLD WAR II 1939-1945. GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT HE MAY LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS. ERECTED BY WOMAN’S PATRIOTIC ASSOCIATION, SUNNYSIDE, TB. The emblem of the Royal Navy is on the right side and the words DONALD LUTHER R.N. LOST IN THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC FEB. 26TH, 1942 AGED 27 1/2 YEARS ALSO ROBERT B. SNOOK NO. 816 NFLD. MILITIA WHO LOST HIS LIFE IN K. OF C. FIRE DEC. 12TH, 1942 AGED 18 YEARS. The emblem of the Royal Air Force is on the left side and the words WALLACE LUTHER R.A.F. KILLED IN ACTION OVER GERMANY MAY 29TH, 1943 AGED 24 1/2 YEARS. The back of the monument is blank.
Location and History
Sunnyside, Trinity Bay
Town of Sunnyside
1944 - 1948