Major General William Griesbach (1878-1945)
Janet Lauder Griesbach (1877-1950)
The figure of Major General Griesbach stands watch over the community named in his honour from atop his steed, perched along the main community entrance.
William Antrobus Griesbach was a lawyer, Edmonton’s youngest mayor, a decorated soldier who fought in the Boer War and rose to the rank of Brigadier-General in The Great War, an MP and a Senator. He was also a very accomplished amateur athlete who excelled at boxing, cycling, hockey and soccer.
In the final years of the war, his unit served in many key campaigns, including the Battles of Vimy Ridge, the Battle of Arras, the Third Battle of Ypres, and the liberation of Mons. For his service he received the Distinguished Service Order (twice) and the Victorian Decoration for long service.
In 1906 he married Janet Scott McDonald Lauder. Janet was Edmonton’s first telephone operator. Fearless and fiercely attached to her husband, she joined his unit oversees, serving as a nurse, and had a long record of distinguished public service after the war.
A statue of Janet Griesbach is situated at the traffic circle at the north end of Griesbach School. The statue honours the support and importance of military spouses. It was lovingly placed in this spot with a direct site line to her husband’s monument. At the feet of her statue is a fox cub. The fox was the mascot of the 19th Alberta Dragoons, and accompanied the unit to Europe.
We are honoured to live in a community named for such an accomplished figure.
We look forward to adding more about the various monuments and namesakes around our community in the near future.