In Flanders Field, is an iconic poem that has become a part of Canada’s identity. For Guelph however not only is the poem iconic but so is the author himself. John McCrae was born in Guelph on November 30, 1872. John McCrae was various things, a teacher, a doctor, a scholar, an artist, a soldier, but what he is most recognized for is for being a poet. “In Flanders Field”, is the most recognized poem about the First World War. This poem depicts the horrible tragedies that he, and all soldiers had to go through during World War One. The words of John McCrae hit the hearts of not only Canadians but people worldwide. This is why Guelph thought that it was only right to recognize this remarkable man by commissioning a statue here, in the birth place of John McCrae.
The statue is of John McCrae himself during World War One looking off into the battlefield, after just signing his name off on the poem that will recognize him globally for years to come. Created by Ruth Abernathy, the statue is made of bronze featuring a medic’s kit, his officer’s cap and 23 bronze red poppies for each of Canada’s Regiments. The vision of the sculptor was for it “to be a celebration of McCrae’s life and not a sombre site.” It was unveiled on June 25, 2015, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of Guelph’s native’s famous war poem. The statue itself is hard to miss as it is located in the most visible landmark in Guelph, in front of the Guelph Civic Museum. Guelph takes great pride in sharing this wonderful person with the rest of the world, and this is just one of the ways this pride is reflected.