The Silver Cross Pub

Te Silver Cross pub sign.

The Silver Cross pub sign, Whitehall, London, England. Removed earlier in the week  but later returned to its position. (P. Ferguson image March 22, 2017).

Whitehall, London, England

A recent walk along Whitehall, London, England took us past The Silver Cross pub, where much to my surprise I noted that the ornate pub sign was removed. The sign is patterned after the Canadian Memorial Cross, also known as the Mother’s Cross and the Silver Cross, I was concerned that the lack of the sign might indicate a change to the pub’s status. Was it going to change names as so many pub names have done – what was afoot? Upon entering the establishment I saw that the decor remained the same including the framed Silver Cross on the wall explaining to all who might explore the decor within – the significance of their name.

Canada’s Memorial Cross was created due to the Great War for presentation to mothers and widows (sometimes to both) of fallen Canadian sailors, soldiers, flying personnel and nursing sisters. The cross honoured the fallen, with their service number, rank and name of the person engraved on the reverse. Instituted in December 1919, Canada’s Memorial Cross has also inspired other nations with New Zealand implementing a similar design in 1947 to commemorate their fallen of the Second World War. Great Britain, in 2009, created the Elizabeth Cross which was made retrospective to deaths since the end of the Second World War. All three nations continue to present these silver crosses to commemorate the sacrifice of their nation’s sons and daughters and to honour those whose families might wear these symbols in loving remembrance.

And so it was with great happiness that a second walk past The Silver Cross on March 22, 2017, the sign had returned. Having just walked from Parliament Square, and in light of the recent events in London…I hope that the Silver Cross and its sign will continue to remind us all that remembrance is not just one day a year.

The Canadian Memorial Cross also known as the Silver Cross.

The Canadian Memorial Cross, instituted 1919, also known as the Silver Cross. (Veterans Affairs Canada)

Veterans Affairs (Canada)

Memorial Cross NZ

The New Zealand Memorial Cross, instituted 1947. (Museum of New Zealand)

New Zealand Defence Force

Elizabeth Cross

Great Britain’s Elizabeth Cross, instituted 2009.  Image by Sergeant Andy Malthouse, Ministry of Defence, via Wikipedia

Great Britain

The Silver Cross pub is located at 33 Whitehall, London, England. Just watch for the sign on the right hand side of the road as you walk towards Trafalgar Square.

Silver Cross pub

The Silver Cross pub, owned by Greene King, Whitehall, London. (P. Ferguson image, March 22, 2017)

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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