Richmond Hill Public Library is joining libraries, schools, museums and other organizations around the world to present this unique commemoration of the Centennial of World War I. In 2017 the names of 661,818 military personnel from 14 nations who lost their lives in 1917 will be displayed. This includes the names of 21,294 Canadian soldiers, including those who died at Vimy and Passchendaele.
Starting on September 25 and ending on Remembrance Day, November 11, the display will be running on the monitor over the main desk on the 3rd floor of the Central Library and projected over the main doors in the Central Library lobby.
There is a searchable database of names available on The World Remembers website. By searching this database, you can discover when a particular name will be displayed. For example, the name of Hugh McDonald McKenzie, awarded the Victoria Cross for valour at Passchendaele, will be displayed at 09:36:15 am on October 14, 2017. You will need to add 12 hours to the time listed in the search results. Search here
To accompany the project, The World Remembers has put together a number of documents to provide further information.
. RH Thomson discusses his memories of the veterans of the Great War, especially his great uncle Art who survived.
. Personal memories of the destruction in Belgium.
A Christmas Truce
. Personal memories of the famed Christmas truce of 1914.
Coming Home After the War
. Philip Brown, a Canadian veteran of the War in Afghanistan shares his memories of coming home and relates those memories to the horror of WWI.
The Fick Brothers of Cologne, Germany Goes to War
. A Canadian shares the story of her German great uncles who served.
A Four Year Old's Trip to Wartime England to be With Her Soldier Father
. A woman shares her childhood memories of her family travelling to England to be closer to her father during the war. 2 letters her father sent from the front are included.
My Grandfather - a German Office and a Lutheran Minister
. Memories of a Canadian's German grandfather are shared.
My Grandfather, Gallipoli and My Time in Turkey
. Col. Chris Kilford shares memories of his grandfather who served with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment at Gallipoli.
Nursing the Old Soldiers
. A woman who nursed elderly veterans talks about the men she cared for.
. Quotes from war diaries, letters and interviews.
American Recruits in the Canadian Expeditionary Force
. Even though the US was neutral until April 1917, many Americans enlisted in Canada.
Artists and War
. Art created in the years leading up to the declaration of war often reflected the mood of the period.
Battalions Based on Ethnicity in WWI
. Specialized battalions were created as a way of boosting recruitment.
. While over 60,000 Canadian died in the War, over 138,000 suffered phyical wounds and countless others returned with "shell shock." Communicable diseases also spread rapidly.
The Chinese Labour Corps at the Western Front
. Catastropic losses in the Battle of the Somme meant that able bodied soldiers were needed for the front lines. The British government looked to other countries to supply labour to work behind the lines.
Incidents & Oddities of WWI
. Gilbert Reid shares some of the stange facts behind the story.
A Komagata Maru Legcay for Sikh Canadians
. Minister of National Defense, The Hon. Harjit S. Sajjan, shares the story of the Komagata Maru.
Music and War
. Music was composed along with patriotic text to bolster spirits. Stories of composers who served are shared.
The Ongoing Story from the Battlefields
. 100 years later, old shells still come to the surface of fields in Belgium and France and human remains are still found and reinterred.
The Pilon Family: a Francophone Voice
. Myths around participation by French-Canadians are discussed and the service of 2 different men named Pilon is highlighted. The Vigil of 2008 when the names 68,000 fallen were displayed at night on the National War Memorial is also discussed.
Poets and War
. The service of poets who wrote about the war.
Preparing Boys for War
. Social organizations for boys during this period focused on turning out good citizens.
Racism & Canada's Diverse Communities in WWI
. Dead about how ideas of race changed through the course of the war and of how some groups fought to be included.
Women at Work in the First World War
. Becuase so many men were on the Western Front, women were required to work in factories and to take up jobs traditionally filled by men. This led to a fundamental shift in women's rights.
WWI and the birth of the International Movement
. The scale of the war required a change to a more global view of events.
More information can be found at The World Remembers