Located at the corner of Ellice Avenue and Valour Road, the work by artist Charlie Johnston commemorates the bravery of Leo Clarke, Frederick William Hall and Robert Shankland who were awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military award in the Commonwealth. Incredibly, all three men lived on Pine Street in the West End, which was later renamed Valour Road in their honour.
“Nowhere in the world can it be said that three men on the same city block have all been awarded the Victoria Cross,” said Johnston in a press release on the Murals of Winnipeg web site.
“The Mural depicts their path from the front doors of their modest houses on Pine Street, through their journey through the trenches in World War I, leading to receiving the Victoria Cross for their acts of heroism,” explained Johnson.
Initially aimed at curbing graffiti, murals throughout the Winnipeg have become a welcome addition to the character of the city. Aside from adding beauty to the environment, the murals provide a link to the city’s heritage and history for both long-term residents and newcomers alike.
With Manitoba’s population jumping by a record of more than 14,000 last year, the murals not only serve as a pleasant introduction to the city but in some cases, they also share the experiences of the immigrant communities that have settled here.
Just one block south of this year’s award-winning mural is the familiar sight of a Philippine Eagle, the Banaue Rice Terraces, a beautiful beach scene, and a portrait of Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. The mural, painted in 2004 by Mandy Van Leeuwen, adorns the St. Matthews Avenue side of Valour Road Convenience Store, owned by Jerry and Laling Medina.