National Trust of Guyana

Cenotaph (Georgetown)

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Location: South Cummingsburg, Georgetown
Classification: Commemorative Monument
Period/ Year Built: 1923

Historical Background / Description:
Located within the vicinity of Church and Main Streets, Georgetown, opposite the Bank of Guyana building is the Cenotaph, one of several war memorials in Guyana. This monument serves as a tangible reminder to those Guyanese soldiers who died while in service during World War I (1914 – 1918) and World War II (1939 – 1945).

On August 14, 1923, Governor Graeme Thompson unveiled the war memorial marking the 9th anniversary of England declaring war against Germany. Hundreds witnessed the unveiling ceremony that comprised a Guard of Honours of approximately 100 persons consisting of returned soldiers and members of the artillery and Police Force. Wreaths were laid in memory of those who lost their lives in combat in France, Egypt, Belgium, East Africa and elsewhere.

The monument was later handed over to the City Council and it was expressed that the Cenotaph be regarded as the most honoured of the memorials in the city, one which can be held by its posterity, with reverence and respect. And which will keep green the memories of those valuable lives the then British colony sacrificed for the cause, the British believed was just and righteous. The structure is built of marble and stands 4.57 metres (15 feet) high. Inscribed on the four faces of the monument are the words: Devotion, Humanity, Fortitude and Sacrifice. The construction of the monument was funded by government subscription.