Grenfell Campus 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. 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, have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country in uniform.
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 on April 1, 1949. There are 2,300 names listed. Those 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.
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. This most recent third Book of Remembrance was donated to Grenfell Campus by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Government of Canada. This replica will be displayed along with the retired Colours of the 2nd 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.
"Obtaining and displaying a Book of Remembrance at our campus was an important initiative of the Grenfell Campus World War 100 commemoration committee. Originally, the committee had arranged to borrow one on a long-term basis from the QEII Library on St. John's campus, but the Department of Veterans Affairs very generously donated this one to us following the retirement of the Colours of the 2Nd Battalion, so it is even more special." said Dr. Olaf Janzen, professor emeritus, retired professor of historical studies and member of the Grenfell Campus World War 100 committee. "As well, the Book of Remembrance is a fitting complement to the Danger Tree outside the Forest Centre (a commemorative marker donated by the Forget-Me-Not Committee and unveiled by HRH Princess Royal in June 2016 to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel), and we are honoured and privileged to display it."
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 at Memorial's St. John's campus and unveiled by HRH the Princess Royal on September 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."
The Book of Remembrance is now being displayed at Grenfell Campus in the Forest Centre with the retired colours. Its 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.
Grenfell Campus student and Second Lieutenant Spencer Wright with the RCACC 2590 Gallipoli to turned the first page of the Book of Remembrance at the Remembrance Day ceremony. Lori Lee Pike photo