Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Newfoundland and Merchant Navy Books of Remembrance, Peace Tower, Ottawa

But now, though the War has almost passed from living memory, these men and women are still remembered: For their lives meant more than the War in which they died, and their deaths more than can be known. (Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance, English dedication page)

The First World War Book of Remembrance takes centre stage in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. But it is not the only book in the room in which one can find names of those who fell in WW1. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – War Widow and Recording Angel, Peace Tower, Ottawa

Enter the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower in Ottawa, turn around and look up to see two sculptures by Frances Loring. In the gable tympanum is the Recording Angel, inscribing the names of the fallen in the Book of Remembrance. On the finial above is the War Widow and Children, also called Motherhood. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Alan Brookman Beddoe, Ottawa, ON

Each soldier tells a story.

LCdr Alan Beddoe served with the Canadian Expeditonary Force during WW1. He was captured in 1915 and spent two and a half years as a prisoner of war. After the war, he studied art in Paris and New York and became a commercial and heraldic artist. One of his post-war achievements honours Canadians killed in the war: he was instrumental in creating the first Books of Remembrance housed in the Peace Tower Memorial Chamber.

Beddoe is buried in Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa. You can read more about him in the cemetery’s Historical Portraits (click through from here).



Monday Monuments and Memorials – The Tunnellers’ Friends, Memorial Chamber, Ottawa

Over the doorway leading to the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower, this tympanum pays tribute to animals that served during the war – reindeer, pack mules, carrier pigeons, horses, dogs, canaries and mice. The inscription reads:

The tunnellers’ friends, the humble beasts that served and died.

Les amis des sapeurs ces humbles bêtes de somme qui moururent pour la cause.

The tympanum was designed by John A. Pearson and carved in 1927 by Cléophas Soucy in Indiana limestone.

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Altar of Remembrance, Ottawa

Memorial Chamber, Peace Tower, Ottawa Canada         Memorial Chamber, Peace Tower, OTtawa Canada

The Centre Block of the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa burned to the ground on February 3, 1916. Rebuilding started when Canada was still at war. The Peace Tower fronting the new Centre Block opened in 1927, named to mark Canada’s commitment to peace. The Altar of Remembrance in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower holds the Book of Remembrance naming the more than 66,000 Canadians who lost their lives in the First World War.