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Homage to fallen soldiers

Grenfell Campus newest home of Book of Remembrance replica

Campus and Community

By Melanie Callahan

A Book of Remembrance was installed on Grenfell Campus during its ceremony of remembrance on Nov. 8.

Grenfell is proud to be the newest home of a replica of the Newfoundland Book of Remembrance, the only displayed copy in Corner Brook and one of three copies owned by Memorial University.

Grenfell student Pte. Katie Thistle of the RNR performing during the installation ceremony.
Photo: Lori Lee Pike

A project of Veterans Affairs Canada, there are seven Books of Remembrance that commemorate the lives of more than 118,000 Canadians who, since Confederation, made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Newfoundland Book of Remembrance commemorates the men and women of Newfoundland who served and gave their lives during both the First and Second World Wars before Newfoundland became a province of Canada in 1949.

The 2,300 names listed are from all three branches of the military: the navy, air force and army. The book includes memorials to First World War campaigns, including Gallipoli and Beaumont-Hamel, and Second World War campaigns, including North Africa and Italy, and Northwest Europe.

Three locations

Memorial University’s three copies of the Book of Remembrance are installed in different locations at the university.

The first was donated by the late Dr. G. Campbell Eaton, and is located in the Founders Gallery lobby of the Arts and Administration building on the St. John’s campus. A second Book of Remembrance was donated to the university by Senator C.W. Carter and resides with the J.R. Smallwood Collection at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies in the Queen Elizabeth II Library.

Grenfell Campus student and Second Lt. Spencer Wright with the RCACC 2590 Gallipoli turned the first page of the Book of Remembrance.
Photo: Lori Lee Pike

The third Book of Remembrance was donated to Grenfell Campus by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Government of Canada. The replica will be displayed along with the retired Colours of the Second Battalion, Royal Newfoundland Regiment, in the atrium of the Forest Centre.

All three replicas are copies of the book displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

‘Honoured and privileged’

“Obtaining and displaying a Book of Remembrance at our campus was an important initiative of the Grenfell Campus World War 100 Commemoration Committee,” said Dr. Olaf Janzen, professor emeritus and committee member.

“Originally, the committee had arranged to borrow one on a long-term basis from the QEII Library, but the Department of Veterans Affairs very generously donated this one to us following the retirement of the Colours of the Second Battalion, so it is even more special.”

Dr. Janzen also says that the Book of Remembrance is a fitting complement to the Danger Tree — a commemorative marker donated by the Forget-Me-Not Committee and unveiled by Princess Anne in June 2016 to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel — outside Grenfell’s Forest Centre and that the Grenfell community is “honoured and privileged to display it.”

Grenfell’s Book of Remembrance’s pages will be turned daily as per the ceremonial process and official calendar, so that all names inscribed in the book can be read during the year.  The Forest Centre atrium is open daily and the public is welcome to visit at any time.

Memorial University was founded as a living memorial to those who served in the First World War. It was later re-dedicated to also honour Newfoundland’s war dead of the Second World War. The inscription on a plaque erected by the Newfoundland Command of the Royal Canadian Legion in the Arts and Administration building on Memorial’s St. John’s campus and unveiled by HRH the Princess Royal on Sept. 21, 1964 reads: “This university was raised by the people of Newfoundland as a Memorial to the fallen in the great wars. That in freedom of learning their cause and sacrifice might not be forgotten.”

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