Canada's oldest cenotaph?

The tiny Similkameen community of Hedley might be home to one of the oldest war memorials in the entire country.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board will discuss this week adding the Hedley war memorial cenotaph to its heritage register.

The eight-foot tall granite memorial at the intersection of Scott and Webster Avenue was constructed in 1919, at the original location from where 17 volunteers — The Hedley Boys — departed to enlist in WWI.

“The names of the eleven heroes are carved on the granite, and the monument in all is an imposing structure,” the Princeton Star described the monument in an article Dec. 19, 1919.

Four more names would be added to the memorial after the second World War.

The RDOS says the monument is believed to be one of the first war memorials in Canada.

The cenotaph has been restored by community members multiple times over the years.

“Research on cenotaph names brings local history and families to life and reconnects with soldiers’ descendants,” a RDOS report states. “The heritage site holds spiritual value for past and present generations, as it provides a focal point for reflection on personal histories and all others lost in wars, and generated church membership over the years.”

The last site added to the RDOS historic registry was the barn at See Ya Later Ranch in Okanagan Falls.

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