Harold Borden

Smiths Cove war memorial -6

Harold Borden

Killed on 16 July 1900 at Witpoort, South Africa

Photographs of Monument

Canning Kings County Nova Scotia

This is believed to be the second oldest military monument in Nova Scotia.
Officially unveiled 23 September 1903.

The oldest known military monument is the
Welsford-Parker Crimean War monument in Halifax.

Located in the intersection of Main Street (Highway 221) and NorthAvenue(Highway358)

GPS location: 45°09’27″N 64°25’14″W

Google map

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, Canning
Planting flowers for the summer season

Photographed on 15 July 2005

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, Canning
Harold Lothrop Borden monument Canning, Kings County, Nova Scotia

Photographed on 13 September 2002

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, west face
West face

Photographed on 13 September 2002

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, west face
West face

Photographed on 13 September 2002

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, west plaque detail, lower right corner
West plaque detail, lower right corner

Photographed on 13 September 2002

The Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co. Founders N.Y. — 1903
The Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company was a prominent New York City art foundry.
It operated under the name E.Henry & Bonnard from 1872 to 1881,
and as The Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company from 1882 to 1926.

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, west face
West face

Photographed on 25 April 2008

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, west plaque detail, lower left corner
West plaque detail, lower left corner

Hamilton MacCarthy – Sculptor
Photographed on 26 April 2008

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, west plaque detail, upper left
West plaque detail, upper left

Royal Canadian Dragoons
Diamond Hill Johannesburg Orange Free State Cape Colony
Photographed on 26 April 2008

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, east face
East face

Photographed on 9 October 2002

Harold Borden monument: east plaque
East plaque, Witpoort

Photographed on 19 May 2003

Harold Borden monument: east plaque, upper left corner
East plaque detail, upper left corner

The Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co. Founders N.Y. 1903
Photographed 19 May 2003

Harold Borden monument: east plaque, upper right corner
East plaque detail, upper right corner

Hamilton MacCarthy, Sculptor Photographed 19 May 2003

Harold Borden monument: north plaque
North plaque, Vet River

Photographed on 19 May 2003

Harold Borden monument: north plaque, upper left corner
North plaque detail, upper left corner

The Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co. Founders N.Y. 1903
Photographed 19 May 2003

Harold Borden monument: north plaque, upper right corner
North plaque detail, upper right corner

Hamilton MacCarthy, Sculptor Photographed 19 May 2003

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, unveiling ceremony
Unveiling ceremony, 23 September 1903: close view (above), wide view (below)

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, unveiling ceremony

For this rare photograph, thanks to Mr. Ian T. Curry of Granville Beach,
Annapolis County, whose grandfather, Archabald William Gillis, attended this
unveiling ceremony as a Captain with the 69th Annapolis Regiment, Infantry.

Mr. Gillis lived in Paradise, Annapolis County. Mr. Curry found this photograph
in his mother’s house, after she died in December 2004 at age 91.

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, Canning

Photographed on 13 June 2008, 8:11pm (best light)

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, winter 2004

Photographed on 20 February 2004

Nova Scotia: Harold Borden monument, winter 2005

Photographed on 25 January 2005

Harold Borden monument: installing new concrete curb
Busy location – installing new concrete curb along Main Street

Photographed on 27 June 2003

Map showing location of the Harold Borden monument at Canning
Map showing the location of the Harold Borden monument
Canning, Kings County, Nova Scotia

Roads are shown as they were in 1956.
Except for the Greenwich Connector to Highway 101,
the layout of the roads in 2009 has not changed
much from that shown here.

Planter 2010 Celebration in Nova Scotia

“Canada’s first war a fading memory” by David MacGillivray
Capital News Online, 26 March 1999

A century ago (October 1899):
Canadians Mustered Tiny Army for South Africa as Boers Advanced
by Christy McCormick
SAWVL: South African War Virtual Library (Australia)

A century ago (January 1900):
Canadians joined hands with Australians
in their first battle of the Boer War
by Christy McCormick
SAWVL: South African War Virtual Library (Australia)

A century ago (February 1899):
Winning the first British victory:
How Canada changed the course of the Boer War 100 years ago
by Christy McCormick
SAWVL: South African War Virtual Library (Australia)

A century ago (March 1900):
Canadian Forces Reinforced in South Africa, but Sent to Different Areas.
by Christy McCormick
SAWVL: South African War Virtual Library (Australia)

From the Jameson Raid to Bloemfontein: Debating the Origins of the Boer War
by Garrett Moritz
SAWVL: South African War Virtual Library (Australia)

Salute Planned for Boer War Hero
by Ed Coleman, Kentville Advertiser, 23 June 2000

Essays and Articles on the South African War
(archived in the Wayback Machine)

Chapter 28, The Halt at Pretoria
The Great Boer War, by Arthur Conan Doyle
…The British loss was about sixty, and included two gallant young Canadian officers,
Borden and Birch(sic) [Burch], the former being the only son of the minister of militia…

Chapter 28, The Halt at Pretoria
The Great Boer War, by Arthur Conan Doyle

Photographs of the departure from Halifax of the Canadian Contingent to the Boer War

from the London Illustrated News, April1900

Four articles by Christy McCormick:

(Part 1) September 1899:
Canadians Fight Reluctant Liberal Government to Fight in the Boer War


(Part 2) October 1899:
Canadians Mustered Tiny Army for South Africa as Boers Advanced


(Part 3) November 1899:
Canadian Soldiers at Sea in November as PM Approves New Contingent


(Part 4) December 1899:
Canadian Foot Soldiers Sallied Forth as Canada’s Cavalry Mustered


Boer War
Heritage Resources, Saint John

Introduction to Boer War 1899 – 1902


Canadian Deaths in the Boer War
(archived in the Wayback Machine)

Letters Home from the Front, Boer War
Berwick Register, 1900

Harold Lothrop Borden
by Keith Berry, Edmonton, Alberta
extensive collection of contemporary material

In Memoriam: Harold Lothrop Borden
I would have missed the plaque entirely
if I had not dropped my last quarter… As I stooped to retrieve the errant coin,
I glanced between the machine and a protruding wall and spied the obscured wall plaque.
Barely visible due to long forgotten renovations, this monument to another time and
to other places seemed strangely majestic in its isolation…
— by Jon Bradley, Canadian Social Studies, volume 37, number 2, Winter 2003

How Did Canada Get Into the Boer War?

…For decades before 1899, the Dutch settlers of South Africa (known as Boers or Afrikaners) had fought for an independent homeland. The British colonial officials in the Cape Colony and the Natal struggled mightily to subdue the Boers, but had to settle for a policy of mutual forbearance.
All this changed when gold (the oil of the 19th century) was discovered in South Africa in 1886 … The British put increasing pressure on the Afrikaners until war broke out in October 1899.
As fighting started in South Africa, the British turned to their colonies for aid … Sir Wilfred Laurier, the popular Liberal prime minister of Canada, faced a dilemma … His anti-war sentiments echoed those of his French Canadian compatriots, many of whom regarded the war as an unnecessary imperialist adventure and sympathized with the nationalist aspirations of the Afrikaners. In 1900, students in Montreal clashed with police in a violent anti-British riot.
In English Canada, sympathies ran strongly the other way. Such Canadian militarists as MontrealStar publisher Hugh Graham argued that Britain was our largest trading partner and closest ally, therefore deserving of our support. Abandoning Britain in its moment of need would be an act of gross disloyalty, according to the pro-Empire press.
Torn between English and French Canada, surrounded by the din of loud voices for and against the war, Laurier hit upon a master stroke. On October18, 1899, Laurier announced that “in view of the well-known desire of a great many Canadians who are ready to take service” on behalf of the Empire, he would support the creation of a volunteer force. The Canadian government would equip and transport any volunteers eager to fight the Boers, but once in South Africa, they would be the responsibility of the British government.
Laurier also encouraged private individuals to help defer the costs of the Canadian unit. This request was taken up by Lord Strathcona, the High Commissioner in London, who paid out of his own pocket for a unit of mounted rifles.
In all, more than 7,000 Canadians signed up as volunteers to fight in the Boer War. Fighting under British commanders, they served with great distinction and won praise from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes and a chronicler of the war. “Smith-Dorrien’s Nineteenth Brigade, comprising the Shropshires, the Cornwalls, the Gordons and the Canadians, [was] probably the very finest brigade in the whole army,” Doyle wrote…
Jeet Heer in the National Post, 5 April 2003, pageA17

The Great Boer War, by Arthur Conan Doyle, was published in 1902 by Smith, Elder &Company, London, England, and went through at least sixteen editions. The complete text is available online at numerous sites, some of which are linked below. In the Preface to the First Edition, Doyle wrote: “This book was begun in England and continued on board a steamer [steamship], but the greater part was written in a hospital tent in the intervals during the epidemic at Bloemfontein…”

The Great Boer War, by Arthur Conan Doyle


The Great Boer War, by Arthur Conan Doyle


The Great Boer War, by Arthur Conan Doyle
Project Gutenberg

Comment by J. Walker McSpadden, Project Gutenberg’s e-text editor:
It may come as a surprise that the creator of Sherlock Holmes wrote a history of the BoerWar. The then 40-year-old novelist wanted to see the war first hand as a soldier, but the Victorian army balked at having the popular author wielding a pen in its ranks. The army did accept him as a doctor and Doyle was knighted in 1902 for his work with a field hospital in Bloemfontein. Doyle’s vivid description of the battles are probably thanks to the eye-witness accounts he got from his patients. This, the best book on the BoerWar I’ve encountered, is a long out of print lost classic that Istumbled across in a Cape Town second-hand bookstore.

The Great Boer War, by Arthur Conan Doyle


Hamilton T.C. MacCarthy 1846-1939

Hamilton MacCarthy

Hamilton MacCarthy (1846-1939)


The Brock memorial

Brockville and District Historical Society, Ontario
Daughters of the Empire have ordered a handsome bust of
General Brock From Mr. Hamilton McCarthy, a famous sculptor.
After seven years of unceasing efforts upon the part of all the
members, General Brock Chapter, Daughters of the Empire, has
at last found itself in the gratifying position of being able to give the
order for the erection of a handsome memorial fountain in Brockville
of Sir Isaac Brock, after whom the town is named. The order has
been given to Mr. Hamilton McCarthy, R.C.A., of Ottawa, the eminent
Canadian sculptor, and the memorial will consist of a fountain made
of marble and granite surmounted by a bronze bust of General
Brock. It is expected that the monument will be placed on Court
House Square at the head of Court House Avenue, and that the
unveiling of the statue will take place next October upon the 100th
anniversary of the heroic death of General Brock at Queenston
— Brockville Times, 22 August 1911

…In Ottawa, visible from Major’s Hill Park – and from many
parts of both Gatineau and Ottawa because of his hilltop location
overlooking the Ottawa River – is Samuel de Champlain,
portrayed by Hamilton MacCarthy in 1915…
The Washington Times, 9 February 2008

Sir John Macdonald in Bronze
Excellent Likeness of Canada’s Old Premier
Cast in a New York Foundry

A bronze statue of heroic size, to be placed in a public
square of Toronto, Canada, was exhibited yesterday by
the Henri-Bonnard Bronze Company, at the foundry in
West Sixteenth Street… It is a likeness of the late
Premier of Canada, Sir John Macdonald K.C.B…
He was known to many in Washington, New York, and
Boston, and such of his friends who called yesterday
expressed themselves satisfied with the likeness.
The sculptor is a young artist of Toronto,
Hamilton MacCarthy, who passed several years
in Paris studying sculpture… The statue as a whole is
very creditable to Mr. MacCarthy, and will be sure
to win him other orders in Canada…
— The New York Times, 1 September 1894

Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company New York

So well can Senator W.A. Clark of Montana keep a secret that it was
not until yesterday that the news got out that for nearly four years
he has been the principal stockholder and practical owner of the
Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company of this city, which is the foremost
concern of its kind in this country and one of the foremost in the world…
The foundry has become one of his pet hobbies, and at present his
ambition is to make the undertaking the finest and biggest in the world.
The Henry-Bonnard Company is the only concern anywhere capable of
molding a life-size statue in a single piece, and, within a very short time,
another step will be taken that will place the company still further ahead
of its European rivals. Preparations are now going on in the foundry for
the molding of a equestrian statue in a single piece – the first venture of
its kind ever attempted…

The Henry-Bonnard Company was formed in 1872 by two Frenchmen,
P.A. Bonnard and E. Henry, who began very modestly in a small house
in Wooster Street. Its first chance came when William H. Vanderbilt
planned his Fifth Avenue residence with a view to making it the finest
in the country at that time. Christian Herter of Herter Brothers started
Henry and Bonnard in a new place in Mercer Street, and furnished
capital, which enabled them not only to do the work for the Vanderbilt
mansion, but also to undertake the molding of the first statues ever
made in this country. Until then the sculptors had to send their
models to Europe to have them molded. The first American-made
statue was that of Gen. Bolivar, raised by the Venezuelan Government
at Caracas. It was finished in 1881.

A couple of years later the company undertook to mold the statue of
George Washington now standing in front of the Sub-Treasury in this
city, and to do it in three pieces, an undertaking which at the time was
regarded as revolutionary in its kind. Success followed the experiment,
and when the doors for the Trinity Church were to be cast in bronze
the foundry was able to turn out each door whole.

Then came the final achievement when, in the middle nineties, the
statue of Henry Ward Beecher, now facing the Brooklyn Court House,
was cast in a single mold. The first attempt was a failure, but when
tried again the venture proved successful. Up to this time no European
foundry has been able to follow the example set by the American foundry.

In 1881 the company was reorganized, among the principal stockholders
being such men as ex-Gov. R.C. McCormick of Arizona, the late
Secretary of the Treasury William Windom of Minnesota, ex-Treasurer
of the United States James Gilfillan, and Henry Newton of this city…
The history of the company since that time is remarkable. In this city
alone are to be found statues by the score that have come out of its
foundry. Others, by the hundreds, have been spread all over the country,
while a not insignificant number have passed over to Europe…
The company has long had a widespread reputation on account of the
excellency of the patina or finish which it is able to give to its work…

Plans for a new, modern foundry are now about to be materialized,
and will involve a removal of the company to Mount Vernon.
The work on the new building will be under way inside of a month,
and will be ready before the end of the year…

— The New York Times, 14 May 1905

Harold Borden monument: east plaque, upper left corner
“the excellent patina or finish” (after a hundred years outdoors)
East plaque detail, upper left corner

The Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co. Founders N.Y. — 1903
Photographed 19 May 2003

…Many celebrated pieces of bronze have been turned out by the
Bonnard Company, which was the first to undertake the casting
of statuary. It turned out the Farragut Statue, which stands in
Madison Square; the statue of Gen. Sherman, in Central Park;
the Nathan Hale Statue, and many others equally important.

— The New York Times, 18 March 1906

…The Henry & Bonnard Bronze Manufacturing Company, which
has just completed the Washington statue for Wall Street, was
established in New York City in February last, with a capital of
$200,000 divided into 100,000 shares.

— The New York Times, 25 November 1883

Casting the Lee Statue

Knots of workmen in checked jean blouses, who talked in French,
hovered around a roaring furnace in which a mass of metal seethed,
in the works of the Henry & Bonnard Bronze Manufacturing Comapny,
at Nos. 237 and 239 Mercer Street, yesterday. In the middle of the hot
and smoky room was a huge flask containing a mold of the chest of the
statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee. It was one of the seven main parts of the
statue that was to be cast. There were other molds for other sections of
the statue in different parts of the room, but they were not ready for the
bronze to be poured into them…

A charcoal fire was built in an iron box on the top of the mold of sand,
and a stout Frenchman, with an odd cap on his head, the foreman of
the shop, urged the flames with a bellows in order to heat the passages
which the metal was to follow. He looked into the dazzling mass in the
furnace once in a while to see how near ready it was to be run into the
mold. The other workmen wound clothes about their hands and arms
to keep the burning bronze from coming in contact with the flesh.
At last the plate was taken off the furnace, and at the word of the stout
Frenchman an iron chain, to which a pair of tongs was attached, was
lowered into the roaring flames. They gripped a crucible and drew it
up with its load of bubbling bronze, which threw off heat, smoke, and
sparks. The metal had reached a temperature of 1,800°, and was
almost white. The accumulation on the top was blown off and the
metal poured into a huge iron pot, heated almost red hot, which hung
on a heavy chain at the end of a ponderous derrick. Four other
crucibles were drawn out in the same way and their contents poured
into the pot. The derrick creaked and groaned as the metal, weighing
over a ton, was hauled up to the top of the flask, about eight feet
from the ground. The stalwart Frenchman gave the signal and the pot
was tipped up. A stream of dazzling metal ran out into a wide orifice
in the mold and went hissing and crackling through the interstices.
Smoke and bright sheets of flame shot out through the vent holes.
There was a sharp report and some of the metal spurted out through
a hole in the bottom and squirmed, sputtering like a golden serpent
through the sand on the floor. Mr. E. Henry, the manager, said the
casting was uninjured and would come out all right…

The monument will be paid for by the Lee Monument Association
of New Orleans, and is to be given to the city…

— The New York Times, 20 September 1883

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