Wednesday, December 12, 2018

In Perpetual Memory

In the upper spaces of the Memorial Chamber, stained glass windows of commemoration give colour to the space inside.

Here we have another of the books of remembrance. Newfoundland and Labrador only came into the Canadian Confederation in 1949, and so for the two World Wars, most Newfoundlanders fought directly under British command, while some were seconded to Canadian units. Hence their names are inscribed in a book of their own. 

A close look at the pages says a lot. Common names as seen in the first two, John Joseph Carew, are accompanied by numbers designating them as separate soldiers (this would be typical of other common names, for instance John Smith). Both men were from the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, both died on the same day- July 1st, 1916. That date can be seen on other names on these two pages. They fought and died at Beaumont-Hamel as part of the larger Battle of The Somme- a date in which the Newfoundlanders suffered horrendous losses in battle, nearly wiped out entirely in the space of a morning.

This is an inscribed passage in the wall nearby by Alfred Earle Birney titled On Going To The Wars.

More inscriptions can be found, including a passage from Psalm 139 that is very appropriate for such a place of military remembrance.

The chest beneath it contains the book for dead of the Second World War.

Nearby another case contains a book of remembrance for the Merchant Navy, sailors who risked life and limb bringing much needed equipment and supplies across the ocean to the battlefields of Europe, particularly in the Second World War. Many of them died at the hands of enemy submarines and surface ships.

The floor is inscribed with the names of a number of World War One battles where Canadians fought, bled, and died. Passchendaele, a particularly vicious and costly victory, is one of them.

Another case contains the names of those who have died in service over time from after the Korean War, either in combat, in peacekeeping duties, or by accident. The pages when I visited were open to names from 1991. 


  1. The glass is beautiful. The deaths, oh, my. I can get as old as ... I don´t know, I´ll never understand.
    My husband was a soldier back then, one of my cousins the first to decline going for it (one of the first conscientious objectors). My brother took after my cousin and I have a blast trauma due to a weapon - isn´t it a crazy life.

  2. I wonder if there will ever be a world without war?

  3. Beautiful memorial but war is just horrendous

  4. If every name were to be listed in the memorial books, the books will be countless.

  5. All those names William, so unbearable to think about the young men and women who never came home ✨

  6. ...some things should never be forgotten.

  7. Hello, I just love the stained glass windows. Enjoy your day!

  8. nice. happy Wednesday!! have super fun day! ( ;

  9. So moving. Glad you took the time to go in and photograph the book for us. Perpetual can be a sad word.


  10. My husband’s ggg uncle’s name is in that book with the other Newfoundlanders. He was killed in the fall of 1917.

  11. I was at Beaumont Hamel in France with my sons in 2006, paying tribute to the men who never came home. A sad and unnecessary loss of life on that day.
    Regarding the book of remembrance you showed yesterday, I found my mother's cousin and have requested a copy of the page with his name on.

  12. I too wonder if we will ever have a world without war. Thank you for sharing the perpetual memorial.

  13. @Iris: it is, yes.

    @Denise: not anytime soon.

    @MB: that's true.

    @Joan: unfortunately.

    @Billy: that it is.

    @Nancy: in this case, it's over 118 000 names.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Grace: I agree.

    @Tom: that is true.

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @Beth: thank you.

    @Janis: it can be.

    @Marie: looking at that page, it really brings it home, thinking of those men who died in the space of a few minutes.

    @Shammickite: good! It took a bit of looking around, but I looked for one particular name and found it myself, so I knew the site was navigable.

    @DJan: you're welcome.

  14. Hello William.
    Like the stained glass windows! So beautiful indeed!
    Thank you for sharing the perpetual memorial with us!
    Enjoy your day!

  15. It is imaginable that the world might someday have peace on earth...but I find it just a goal and not particularly attainable. Thanks for the great sharing of very thoughtful memorials.

  16. That stained glass really is beautiful.

  17. You are giving us a very in depth tour. We need to see as much as we can.

  18. The stained glass is beautiful again. The rest is impressive and sad.

  19. @Dimi: you're welcome.

    @Barbara: I have to agree.

    @Sharon: it certainly is.

    @Red: I figured I'd take my time with this tour in terms of posts. I've got the last of them set to go.

    @Jan: I agree.

    @Marleen: they are.

  20. Thank you for sharing a piece of your country history.
    Coffee is on

  21. Beautiful memorial. I just hope there will be a day when the book will have no new name written on it.

  22. The stained glass windows sure are pretty.

  23. The stained glass windows are gorgeous!
    Thank you, William.

  24. @Dora: you're welcome.

    @Tamago: one can hope.

    @RedPat: it is sobering.

    @Happyone: that they are.

    @Bill: you're welcome.

  25. The stained glass windows are wonderful.

    All the best Jan

  26. Stained glass adds a touch of grandeur to anything it seems. I suppose at one point they were reserved for important secular and religious buildings only, at least in part due to the cost.

  27. The stained glass windows of this Memorial Chapel are indeed beautiful especially when the light strikes them just so.

  28. Beautiful stain glass
    2nd generation Newfoundlander here. I wish to visit there someday, see the places Grammy told me about.

  29. I wonder if stained glass windows like this will die out?

  30. Stained glass windows are sooo beautiful and lovely photos and post ~ ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  31. I just love stained glass windows. I love how you can see their reflections in some of the photos.

  32. Beautiful stained glass windows.

  33. I don't know that I've ever seen a book of the dead like these. It's certainly fitting.

  34. The glass is so very beautiful. And those inscriptions, I know, but be terribly poignant.

  35. @Jan: I agree.

    @David: that's true.

    @Beatrice: absolutely.

    @Maywyn: the Rock is one part of my country I have not been to.

    @Jennifer: they're still used- including some new glasswork in Centre Block.

    @Carol: thank you.

    @Cloudia: indeed.

    @Susie: I like that too.

    @Klara: that they are.

    @Kay: it really brings it home.

    @Jeanie: I agree.