As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I was in Vanier on the Easter weekend's Good Friday to visit two large cemeteries. This is the first of them, which we'll be taking a look at over the next two posts. Notre Dame Cemetery is the most prominent Catholic cemetery in the city, dating back to 1872. Its twenty hectares of graves include military graves, the final resting place of a prime minister, a nun's order, athletes, prominent Canadians, and the grave of famed portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh. I looked, but didn't find him, though I suspect from looking at a photograph of his tombstone online afterwards that I was quite close. I've visited the grave of his equally famous brother, the landscape photographer Malak Karsh, over in Quebec, near a small village along the Gatineau River, several times.
This plaque on a family crypt near the front entrance caught my eye. It's in French, which is the dominant language in this cemetery, but is in memory of Lt. Commander Paul Major, who died in action aboard the destroyer H.M.C.S. Ste. Croix in the North Atlantic. The crypt is impressive.
There are a number of military graves here, most of them contained in two areas of the cemetery. This one is near the front entrance. These would be those who died during recuperation at home or years after their service; the common trend of the First and Second World Wars would be to bury soldiers near where they fell. The design of the stones is typical, however, of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which has overseen military graves for the Commonwealth countries around the world since the First World War.
I mentioned a prime minister being buried here. Sir Wilfred Laurier and his wife Zoe are buried beneath this impressive tombstone near the main entrance. Other tombstones caught my eye for the way they looked.