His name was George Price…
Every confrontation, every battle, every war has its casualties. Many of them are forgotten, others remain nameless. Some of them are still remembered nearly a century after their disappearance: this is the case with George Lawrence Price.
11 November 1918, 1058 hrs. After the Armistice was signed, just two minutes before a ceasefire implementation, Private George Lawrence Price of the 28th Canadian Infantry Battalion, who was responsible for securing all the bridges on the canal, was killed by a sniper at Ville-sur-Haine. A Nova Scotia native from Canada’s Atlantic coast, George Price was 26 years old. He was the last soldier of the Commonwealth to be killed during the First World War.
If his life ends like millions of other fighters, the absurdity of the circumstances of his death occurring 2 minutes before the end of the war makes this hero a unique symbol standing between sadness and relief, disillusionment and hope. George Price’s sacrifice puts him at the end of a list, but the list of those sacrificed is endless. At the same time he is also the beginning of a new story, where the world, aware of its past errors, is now in a position to ensure a better future for its people.
As an unforgettable mark of the mistakes of our past, he is a symbol of hope and represents the universal values of international solidarity, courage and defense of fundamental rights, on which future must be built.
Since May 2014, Canadian, local authorities and historians have been working together to give George Price this monument.
Built at the spot where George Price died in 1918, this memorial must remind us our duty of remembrance and should send a strong signal for international cooperation, guarantee of peace.