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A monument dedicated to Yarmouth's Number 2. Construction Battalion from the First World War (Acadia News Photo)

Monument unveiled for all-black Battalion from Yarmouth

By Kevin Northup Sep 22, 2023 | 2:32 PM

Long-awaited recognition for an all-black Battalion from World War I.

A monument and plaque were unveiled for the Number 2. Construction Battalion of Yarmouth.

They served in the War but were not allowed to fight in the trenches because of the racism they faced.

Douglas Ruck, former Ombudsman of Nova Scotia was a guest speaker, his father wrote a book about the battalion.

He says it’s more than just a monument.

“It’s also a beacon. For the Town of Yarmouth, it shows the past, and shows you what has been. But it’s also a beacon to the future, and what must not be,” said Ruck.

The monument and plaque is next to the Yarmouth Cenotaph downtown.

Dawolu Saul, Director General of Communications for Veterans Affairs Canada was among the guest speakers at the ceremony.

He says the Battalion was not given a fair chance.

“Their abilities were overlooked, and their skills were ignored. The treatment that they endured was wrong, and one that we as a country regret, and consider reprehensible,” said Saul.

Descendants of the soldiers wore uniforms and helped reveal the display.