This is the history of London's cenotaph

Six years after Canada's devastating losses in the First World War, the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) suggested the London, Ont., should have a cenotaph similar to one in London, England.

The cenotaph was first proposed in 1925 by the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire

The cenotaph in London, Ont. (Katrina Pasierbek/Submitted)

Six years after Canada's devastating losses in the First World War, the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE) suggested that London, Ont., should have a cenotaph similar to one in London, England. 

It would take almost a decade more before London's cenotaph, built to be a smaller replica of the one in London, England, would be unveiled on Nov. 10, 1934. 

"I think the communities who lived and fought during the First World War knew these would stand longer than they would live," said Katrina Pasierbek, a PhD candidate at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. 

In the 1920s, commemoration centred around local services, veterans parades and smaller community-based commemorations in churches, she said. Eventually, though, sentiment changed. 

"It was important for Londoners in Canada to have a cenotaph that replicated the one in London, England, while reflecting Canada's individual identity." 

The London, England cenotaph was unveiled on Nov. 11, 1920, and stands at 10.5 metres tall. 

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II lays a wreath during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in London, England, 13 November 2016. (Will Oliver/EPA-EFE)

"Until the 1950s it was important that we keep the same design, but after that modifications were done," Pasierbek said. 

"The one we have is no longer an exact replica because we've added tributes to the peacekeepers, to veterans of the Korean War, the War in Afghanistan."

These days, the cenotaph serves as a meeting place during Remembrance Day. 

"Those communities that came before us wanted to honour and remember those who did not survive. They wanted to designate a public space and a public place so that those who walk by it would remember," she said. 

"I think today, it's a larger discussion, not just about remembering those who died but also thanking those who are serving."

London's cenotaph needed an almost $500,000 upgrade because it was crumbling from the inside. Last year's Remembrance Day ceremony was the first with the restored memorial.