In November 1942, the Toronto Star ran a front page headline that read “Arthur Village Gives Sons and Money to Aid the War”, and recognized Arthur as the Most Patriotic Village in Canada, as one out of every seven Arthur residents fought in the Second World War. At that time 126 residents had enlisted from the population of 890. It was the highest ratio in comparison to villages of comparable sizes in Canada. By the end of the war, 338 Arthur residents had enlisted, and 25 were killed in action.
During the first war bond campaign of WWII, the village of Arthur was the first community in Ontario to reach its quota within a few minutes. Arthur also led the communities in Wellington for every other war and victory bond campaign and surpassed all objectives that had been set. By the end of the fourth campaign, Arthur had raised a total of $250,000 which was an amount equal to 64% of the assessed value of the village’s taxable property.
In 2002, David Tilson, MPP for Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey stated in the Ontario legislature, that because of the village of Arthur’s extraordinary World War II record, the community was now being recognized as “Canada’s Most Patriotic Village”.
The sacrifice of these soldiers is honoured by the Cenotaph of Arthur, located in the heart of the village. The monument was unveiled on August 6, 1923 by Mrs. David Brocklebank, whose son was killed at the end of World War I, before the largest crowd ever assembled in Arthur village. After the unveiling the Toronto Star described the cenotaph as “a war memorial whose design and beauty cannot be equaled as yet in the Province.” On the cenotaph are engraved the names of the 193 men who enlisted in WWI (including the 40 who were KIA), as well as the 363 men and women who enlisted in WWII, among whom 25 made the ultimate sacrifice. One unique feature of the cenotaph was that when it was being designed a decision was made to build the monument with stones gathered from local farms. It was later discovered that the memorial was the first fieldstone Cenotaph Memorial built in the province.