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Object ID # 1974.019.014abc
Object Name Medal, Commemorative
Title Canadian Memorial Cross in Memory of Pte. R. O. Henry
Lexicon category 8: Communication Artifact
Date 1935 (late issue)
Made Unknown
Place of Origin Unknown
Description A Canadian Memorial Cross (Silver Cross), still in its box, that is from the 1935 time period. This one was issued somewhat later than most, in memory of Private R. O. Henry of Grey County. Robert Ormiston Henry had survived the Great War, not dying until April of 1935, of war-related wounds (he had been badly gassed and his lungs never recovered). His name and number are engraved on the back of the medal.
A book about Canadian decorations describes Silver Crosses thus: "The cross is a cross patonce in silver surmounted on a wreath of laurel. In the upper arm is an Imperial Crown, and on the two side arms and the lower arm, a Maple Leaf. A smaller St. George Cross is superimposed on the larger with the Royal Cypher in the centre in raised letters." [Blatherwick, F. J., CANADIAN ORDERS, DECORATIONS, AND MEDALS, pp. 117-188]. Blatherwick mentions that the sterling silver cross was .925 fine, and that rayon ribbon was used. There is still an original purple neck ribbon still extant with this one. The storage / presentation case is steel, with a spring-hinged lid. It is covered with black paper, with a linear grain, and has a gilt-coloured crown decoration on the lid. The lid is lined with white silk and there is a velvet rest for the medal and ribbon. The "GVI" on the item refers the King at that time, George VI, and is a royal cipher. When Private R. O. Henry served in the war, the King was George V.

Medal Canadian Memorial Cross (Silver Cross)
Issued to Wife of Private Robert Ormiston Henry of Holland Township, Ont.
Company Enlisted with the 147th Grey Overseas Battalion initially
Type Bereavement medal
Conflict World War I
Died April, 1935, in England
Date issued ---c. 1935
This medal was apparently issued much later than most, as R. O. Henry survived the war. He had been gassed at Cyprus, which affected his lungs badly, and he lived in the U.K. after the war, where he was a pianist, scholar and linguist.



Provenance Issued in 1935 to commemorate Private Robert Ormiston Henry 838466. Robert Henry married in England, so perhaps it was sent to his wife, but it may have been sent to his mother if she was still alive in 1935.

Last owned by his sister, A. May (Mae) Henry who lived in the Chatsworth area of Grey County prior to the Second World War.
Collection Military, 20th-c Collection
Material Silver/Rayon/Steel/Velvet/Cardboard/Silk/Ribbon
Dimensions W-3.8 L-4 cm
Found Holland Township (formerly), Township of Chatsworth, Grey County
People Henry, May
Henry, Robert
Search Terms 147th Grey Battalion
Function The Canadian Memorial Cross was a commemorative bereavement medal that was created in 1919, commonly known by people as a "Silver Cross", but officially called the Canadian Memorial Cross. It was issued to mothers / wives of soldiers who had died in the First World War. It was a smaller version of the Military Cross.