Holy Roller - Second World War Tank Monument - Historic Places Days

Holy Roller – Second World War Tank Monument

London, Ontario
Monument / Landmark
Victoria Park, 580 Clarence St, London, ON, Canada
Get directions

Holy Roller is a Sherman tank that was operated by the 1st Hussars Regiment based out of London, Ontario during the Second World War. It landed at Juno Beach with the Regimental Headquarters at 8:20 AM on 6 June 1944. It survived a brutal campaign from Normandy and along the North-Eastern Regions of France to Belgium, then the Netherlands, and finally into Germany. Being an Allied tank crewman in the Northwestern Europe campaign was notoriously dangerous: tanks were often heavily damaged and abandoned by their surviving crews (if any survived). Only one other tank in the world survived the journey from the Normandy landings to victory: Bomb of the 27th Armoured Regiment (Sherbrooke Fusiliers) from Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Holy Roller came back to London in 1946, it remained in storage until being placed in Queen’s Park (London) near the Western Fair in 1949, then it was moved to Victoria Park in June 1956 and has called the park home ever since. In June 2021, Holy Roller was removed to a workshop at Fanshawe College for a restoration project, it was placed back in Victoria Park on 31 May 2022.


  • Family-Friendly
  • National Historic Site
  • Parkland

Fun Facts

The tank’s original name was Hairless Joe, which was a character from the comic strip “Li’l Abner” that ran from 1934 to 1977. The tank’s name was changed to Holy Roller prior to its return to Canada as the Commanding Officer found Hairless Joe to be an inappropriate name for such an important monument.

Despite the Crimean War cannons, Boer War monument, and Cenotaph being in Victoria Park, the City of London initially did not want Holy Roller in Victoria Park believing that too much park space was taken up by the existing monuments and the bandshell already. A debate raged between the 1st Hussars (who wanted it in the park), the City (who wanted to find a place elsewhere in London), and the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (who wanted it in Camp Borden). As a result, it took until 1949 for it to be dedicated as a monument, it was first placed in Queen’s Park near the Western Fair, and then moved to Victoria Park in 1956.


Victoria Park, 580 Clarence St, London, ON, Canada
Get directions


Nearby Places

Eldon House Heritage Site

London, Ontario
Eldon House was lived in for 125 years and remains as a time capsule in London, ON.
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1st Hussars Museum

London, Ontario
The museum dedicated to London’s decorated cavalry regiment founded in 1856!
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Blackfriars Bridge

London, Ontario
The Blackfriars Street Bridge was first placed across the North Thames River in 1875.
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Banting House National Historic Site of Canada

London, Ontario
The Birthplace of Insulin
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