Memorial Cross 

The Memorial Cross (more often referred to as the Silver Cross) was first instituted by Order-in-Council 2374, dated December 1, 1919. It was awarded to mothers and widows (next of kin) of Canadian soldiers who died on active duty or whose death was consequently attributed to such duty.

The crosses were sent automatically to mothers and wives who qualified, and could be worn by the recipients anytime, even though they were not themselves veterans. The cross was engraved with the name, rank and service number of the son or husband.

Recent changes now allow Canadian Forces members to designate up to three Memorial Cross recipients. This is specific to the Memorial Cross EIIR. For more information about the Memorial Cross please visit these web pages.

Royal Canadian Legion

Canadian War Museum 

Veterans Affairs Canada 

Silver Cross Mother – 2023


Mrs. Gloria Hooper

Gloria Hooper lives in the small French town of St. Claude, Manitoba but was born and grew up on the family farm in Shell Valley, MB where her brother still lives.

Gloria recalls a busy early life, especially as the oldest of four children. She often stepped in when her mom was helping her dad in the field and, “I was to look after the kids,” she recalls.

After her early years of school in nearby towns such as Inglis and Russell, Gloria went to work as a telephone operator in Dauphin, MB with what was Manitoba Telecom Services at the time. She later took an interest in nursing and got her training in The Pas, MB at Keewatin Community College. After graduating, she worked locally at St. Anthony’s General Hospital.

Married to her husband Clinton Hooper – who held a variety of roles over the years, from working with Manitoba highways to working on a pipeline – they moved to Holland, MB and bought a restaurant and hotel. The place kept them busy, and Gloria took a break from her medical career. They later sold the business, and she went back to nursing. Retiring after a back injury, she later helped in a group home for adults with disabilities and also did some cooking for seniors. In her spare time, she enjoyed crafts.

She raised two children, Christopher (Chris) and his younger sister Ashley.

Gloria speaks about her late son Christopher Holopina with fondness in her voice and says that as a child, “it was a lot of fun with him, he was into anything, mischievous and everything.” He made toy swords, played with army toys, and as the oldest grandchild, he spent a lot of time on the family farm. Later, he became interested in art and would draw for hours. His sister Ashley remembers him as a great artist. “He would just take a piece of paper and draw,” she says, from knights and dragons to medieval images.

Described as a “big kid” himself, Chris was also known as a prankster, a trait Gloria was only too happy to foster. She recalls sending him some glow-in-the-dark clothing at Christmas time, and all the humour that followed among his comrades abroad. “Anything we could do for fun, we did it!” she laughs.

Gloria is looking forward to representing mothers across Canada who have lost a child to military service. Though she recognizes that “everybody has their own feelings,” and respects that the journey is different for each Silver Cross Mother, she would like to represent “just the feeling of having a child gone,” in a way that will help support others.

As a Silver Cross Mother, Gloria traditionally lays a wreath in Portage la Prairie during Remembrance activities and has done so for over 20 years. She also represents Silver Cross Mothers at the school in St. Claude and at other events, including laying a wreath at the cenotaph in the town each year on Bastille Day. Her son Chris’ name is engraved on that monument.

(Image Source and Content) – Royal Canadian Legion

Biographical Information and Images of Sapper Chris Holopina 


The Canadian Military Engineers Association

Sapper Christopher Holopina grew up in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. After having served in the 26th Field Artillery Regiment in Portage and graduating from high school, he joined the Canadian Army and served as a combat engineer in 2 Combat Engineer Regiment in Petawawa, Ontario.

For further biographical information please visit The Canadian Military Engineers Association website.

Sapper Christopher Holopina

Silver Cross Mothers – History and Research

In 1936, Mrs. Charlotte Susan Wood from Winnipeg, Manitoba, became known as the first National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother when she placed a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey in London, England, on behalf of all Canadian mothers who have lost a child in military service to their country.

On August 24, 1914, her son, Private Frederick Francis Wood, was killed at Mons, Belgium while serving with the Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment).

On May 5, 1917, a second son, Private Peter Percy Wood, was killed at Vimy Ridge while serving with the Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment).

Mrs. Wood immigrated with part of her family from Britain to take up a 160 acre Dominion Land Grant northwest of Edmonton in September 8, 1911. Seven of Mrs. Wood’s sons/stepsons signed up to serve with either the Canadian or British army during the First World War, two did not return.

She was active with the Canadian Legion, Imperial Veterans of Canada, Comrades of the World, Association of War Widows and the Old Contemptibles Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

She was awarded the George V Jubilee Medal in 1935. While on a pilgrimage to attend the unveiling of the Vimy Ridge Memorial in July 1936, Mrs. Wood was presented to King Edward VIII. Seizing the opportunity she said to him, “I have just been looking at the trenches and I just can’t figure out why our boys had to go through that.”

He replied, “Please God, Mrs. Wood. It shall never happen again.”

Canada’s famous war mother died three years later, just weeks after the start of another world war. She was buried in an unmarked grave in Winnipeg’s Brookside Cemetery. A new gravestone was erected over 60 years later.

(Photo: Library and Archives Canada/PA-148875)

List of National Memorial Silver Cross Mothers – Research / Education  

There are over 80 National Memorial Silver Cross Mothers. Chosen by the Royal Canadian Legion before Remembrance Day on November 11th of a given year they represent all mother and family recipients of the Memorial Cross today.

Their primary duty is the laying of a wreath on Remembrance Day – November 11th at the base of the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario on behalf of all mothers who have lost children in the military service to their nation.

During their 1 year tenure which begins on November 1st they will perform other official duties as required.

For more historical information, research and education on the National Memorial Silver Cross Mothers please visit.

Government of Canada – Veterans – National Memorial Silver Cross Mothers 

Silver Cross Mothers Banner 

In 2023 a decision was made by The Rolling Barrage to honour Silver Cross Mothers with a banner. The banner also honours the family and the loss of a loved one while performing their duty in the service of Canada.

The banner is rolled into a protective carrier and transported by a designated rider during The Rolling Barrage ride. The designated rider is responsible for the presentation, safety, and security of the banner.

The Silver Cross Mothers Banner in 2023 was transported and displayed at stops from Newfoundland across to British Columbia.

For The Rolling Barrage VIII – 2024, the banner will be transported and presented for display in the same manner.