Listen | War artist Mary Riter Hamilton honoured with a proper headstone
Major (Ret'd) Fred Johnson was devastated when he found out the accomplished Canadian war artist Mary Riter Hamilton had an unmarked grave site.
"I knew all the work that she had done for the World War One vets. And here she was unappreciated," Johnson told IDEAS contributor Alisa Siegel in her documentary, Artist, Witness Woman: Mary Riter Hamilton.
In the fall of 2008, a small group gathered to honour Mary Riter Hamilton's contributions — both artistic and historical — with a proper headstone. Johnson felt closure knowing that her grave site had a marker at last, and a stone that was identical to those of other First World War veterans.
"She was a veteran as much as any other person who had gone overseas. She was there after the war, not during the war, but the things that she painted after the war were needed in order [that] the history not be lost."
Listen to Fred Johnson share the full story by clicking the play button above — an excerpt from Artist, Witness, Woman: Mary Riter Hamilton.