MP-1977.76.31 | Church parade of 5th Battalion, Victoria Square, Montreal, QC, 1897

 
Photograph
Church parade of 5th Battalion, Victoria Square, Montreal, QC, 1897
Alfred Walter Roper
1897, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
10 x 12 cm
Gift of Mr. Vennor Roper
MP-1977.76.31
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Military (334) , Photograph (77678)
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Description

This military parade took place in Victoria Square in Montreal on June 20, 1897. On this day, a few blocks away in Notre Dame Church, a sumptuous religious service was celebrated to honour Queen Victoria's (1837-1901) diamond jubilee (60 years on the throne). This parade was probably part of the festivities marking the jubilee.
The soldiers on parade here were among the first generation of Canadian professional soldiers. In 1897, the Canadian army was still very young; British soldiers had left the country for good only in 1871. Most of the army volunteers seen here lived in cities and were either businessmen or students.
Victoria Square was dedicated to Queen Victoria on October 10, 1860. (Just a few months before, a bridge also named after the monarch, the Victoria Bridge, had opened in Montreal during a ceremony attended by the Prince of Wales.) The statue of Queen Victoria has stood at the heart of this square since 1872.