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A Place of Honour: War Casualties Commemorated in NWT Place Names

Canadian rifleman, December 1943. Ortona, Italy. (National Archives of Canada) Ortona Lake in the NWT was named after the Battle of Ortona.

Did you know that 316 place names in the Northwest Territories commemorate Second World War casualties?

Did you know that four Victoria Cross winners have NWT geographic features named in their honour?

Did you know that the lakes Chedabucto, Fraser, Raccoon and Weyburn commemorate Royal Canadian Navy ships sunk during the Second World War?  In fact, there are 56 lakes and two rivers named in honour of Commonwealth ships sunk or badly damaged in naval actions during World War II.

During the two world wars, more than 116,000 Canadians gave their lives while serving valiantly for their country.  It has long been a practice in many Canadian jurisdictions to name geographical features in honour of men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces who died in service of their country.  These lists of geographical features commemorating Canadian war casualties, Victoria Cross winners, military leaders, and naval actions were made official during or shortly following the Second World War. While the majority of the names commemorate Second World War casualties, a few of the VC winners and military leaders served in the First World War.

Captain Billy Bishop, V.C., of the Royal Flying Corps, in the cockpit of his Nieuport 17 fighter. At the time this photograph was taken in France in August, 1917, he had already shot down 37 German aircraft. (Library and Archives Canada) Bishop Lake in the NWT was named after Billy Bishop.

We will remember them.

View the complete listings of War Casualties Commemorated in NWT Place Names:

Download and view the master list of commemorative place names as a PDF.

View a map showing War Casualties commemorated in NWT Place Names.

View a list of Canadian Armed Services personnel killed during peacetime and commemorated in NWT place names.

Visit the Atlas of Canada to search for place names and view them in an online mapping program.