Skip to main content

Canada – First World War Book of Remembrance

Private Vincent Colley, who lived for a year in Badsey and for seven years in Wickhamford, is remembered in the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance.  He had emigrated to Canada in 1911 as a young man of 17, but his parents remained living in Wickhamford.

Above:  The altar upon which sits the First World War Book of Remembrance.

Private Colley’s name is recorded on page 69 of the Book of Remembrance.  The book is an illuminated manuscript volume recording the names of members of the Canadian Forces who lost their lives.  There are also six other books pertaining to other conflicts.  All the books have some illumination with those for the two world wars having the most:  each page has a wide border at the top decorated with plant motifs, usually leaves, and a unit badge.  The Book of the First World War is the largest of the books, containing 66,655 names. It took 11 years to gather the necessary materials to begin work on the book and was not completed until 1942.

The Book of Remembrance is housed in a display case in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower of the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.  The idea of the Book of Remembrance was conceived by Prime Minister Robert Borden in 1917 who said that it would be a “memorial to the debt of our forefathers and to the valour of those Canadians who, in the Great War, fought for the liberties of Canada, of the Empire, and of humanity”.