Nova Scotia

Halifax war memorial needs repairs

A war monument at Halifax's Old Burying Ground is in need of repair.
The Crimean War memorial in Halifax's Old Burying Ground needs repairs. (CBC)

A war monument at Halifax’s Old Burying Ground is in need of repair.

The 150-year-old Welsford-Parker arch is dedicated to two Nova Scotians who died in battle during the Crimean War. 

The sandstone monument had to be completely taken apart 25 years ago and even the lions on top were removed.

But the mortar on the "Sebastopol" monument needs fixing again as cracks undermined its stability.

Larry Camp is the chairman of the Old Burying Ground Foundation. He said the Welsford-Parker Monument, a large arch in the at the corner of Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road, is dedicated to two Nova Scotians:

  • Major Augustus Welsford of the 97th Regiment
  • Captain William Parker of the 77th Regiment

Both died on Sept. 8, 1855, at the storming of the Redan fortification at Sebastopol.

"They were killed in the battle of Redan and Sebastopol — which is now the Ukraine. They're buried there, but their regiments were kind enough to donate money for this wonderful monument," Camp said.

George Rogers is an architect and a board member of the Old Burying Ground Foundation. He said lots of work needs to be done.

"Primarily it's joint work — it's sandstone on the upper part and that does deteriorate very quickly," he said.

The city has given the foundation a grant of $16,500 to help continue the restoration work. 

Burning the White House

The Old Burying Ground wants to look its best next year for a special anniversary of another famous person buried in the cemetery. 

"Major General Robert Ross, who's responsible for burning the White House in the War of 1812. This will be the 200th anniversary of his assassination outside of Baltimore," Rogers said.

A commemoration service is planned for September 2014. 

The Old Burying Ground was established on what was then the outskirts of Halifax in 1749. It was closed in 1844 and went into a long decline. The foundation was formed in the 1980s to maintain the historic cemetery.

More than 12,000 people have been buried in it and it holds 1,300 headstones.