Today I attended the ceremony in the Memorial Chapel. The Book of Remembrance lists all those who died in service during the all the wars Canada participated in, and every day a page is turned so that they are honoured at least one day a year. On December 22nd, the page turns to show the name of my grandfather’s first cousin, 2nd Lt Victor R Pauline. This year I requested permission to attend the ceremony. With this permission, I was able to stand in the chapel when the pages were turned, otherwise I would have had to stand outside the chapel and wait for the turning to finish before seeing Victor’s name.
I had come in 1996 or 7 to see the ceremony from outside, and it was interesting. But to be in the room as the pages are turned is a much more immediate experience. I was unsure how I would feel in the moment. I did not know Victor, who died in 1918, but Grandad did, and I knew his niece very well. Since my last visit to the chapel in the 1990s, I also have read some of the letters that he wrote home, so he was more real to me.
I must admit to being actually a bit emotional during the ceremony, and seeing his name among so many others who died in the First World War, brought home the waste and tragedy of war. I thought I would share some of the images I took, and the video of the service which I have posted on Youtube.