James H. Orr, in the Binscarth local history, Binscarth Memories, from 1984, describes activities associated with the construction, unveiling and ongoing commemoration of this fine figural memorial: The Binscarth Cenotaph was erected in 1919 and was Unveiled and dedicated June 2, 1920. June 2nd was chosen because five Binscarth soldiers were killed in action about that time. They were George Bradshaw, W. Johnson, John Durant, R. Hallam and Chub Sherritt. General Byer of Minnedosa cut the ribbon at the unveiling.
The monument is fine red granite and the soldier on top is White Italian marble. The cost of the monument was $1,625.00 and $1,900.00 was raised by public donations to pay for it. The metal ornamental fence and spruce trees were added later. Donald Mann, a local veteran and blacksmith, made the fence. The spruce trees were donated by Tom Clements who wanted to thin out the trees he had planted on his farm. The pilot was donated by Frank McPherson and the location was decided by the fact that it was near both churches.
A memorial service is held each year at the Cenotaph on the first Sunday in June, where the names of those who died during the 1914-18 and 1939-45 wars are read out and wreaths are laid. The Binscarth Branch No. 74 is the only rural branch in Manitoba who has held to this tradition each year. On the 11th of November each year a short service is held to also lay wreaths. On the monument and plaque are the names of those who died in the two wars. On the monument are listed the actions in which the first World War veterans took part: Neuve Chappelle, Ypres, Festubert Givenchy St. Eloi, Sanctuary Wood, Somme, Vimy Hill 70, Passchendaele, Amiens, Arras Canal de Nord, Cambrai, Valenciennes, and Mons.
Ever since the end of the 1914-18 war, when the Cenotaph was set up, Decoration Day has been an annual event on the first Sunday in June. In the early years all the school children marched with the Legion members to the Cenotaph and sat on benches there for the service that followed. The names of those who made the Supreme Sacrifice were read and chosen pupils placed a floral tribute in their memory.
Decoration Day has changed in the years following and now the Legion members march from the school and gather around the monument for the service. The many names are still read and floral tributes still placed by anyone
who wishes, and the audience and Legion go to the Community Hall for the speeches and lunch served by the Legion Auxiliary. Decoration Day has changed but we still REMEMBER.