World War One Remembered at the University of Saskatchewan
Honour Roll Addendum
Professor Dean McNeil Trumpet Solos The Last Post and Reveille
On Thursday August 7, 2014 the "Honouring our heroes" program commemorated those students, faculty and staff who fought in the First World War (1914-1918) in Convocation Hall, Peter MacKinnon Building on the University of Saskatchewan Campus. According to the University of Saskatchewan media advisory, Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Gordon Barnhart, and history student Eric Story related that this is the first of many commemorative events planned in honour of the centennial year. World War I commenced August 4, 1914.
Pezer recounted that while World War I "produced unprecedented slaughter" of those "sent forth to the Great War", the effects of the war had a "profound effect upon the province" as well as established a "growing sense of national pride." "Beyond fighting there were many ways that the University" contributed to the war effort, such as chaplin Edmund Oliver who joined the Western Universities Battalion with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). Edmund helped to establish the University of Vimy Ridge and worked on the battle fields in France serving the sick, the wounded soldiers, and advising families when enlisted personnel gave the supreme sacrifice.
Veiled Plaques Honouring our heroes
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Gordon Barnhart, history student Eric Story, Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer
Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Gordon Barnhart, history student Eric Story, Chancellor Emerita Vera Pezer
Research conducted by Professor Emeritus of History, Michael Hayden, found those names missing during the original commemoration services held by the University of Saskatchewan. 349 men and one woman are named on the walls of the Peter McKinnon Building National Historic Site of Canada (the former College Building ). Memorial ribbons are inscribed with the names of 298 military personnel, noting additionally those who were wounded wounded, or killed in action. Accompanying the ribbons are 34 names mostly of the Royal Air Force. Another 23 names commemorate the volunteer nurses of the Emmanuel College Hospital who served during the 1918 Influenza Epidemic. The names of 18 service personnel were dedicated at this ceremony on a plaque unveiled August 7, 2014. This plaque will be mounted outside of Convocation Hall and in this way these eighteen heroes of World War I will be honoured prominently in the first building erected on the University of Saskatchewan grounds.
Eric Story History Student University of Saskatchewan Great War Commemoration Committee
Interview of MichaelHayden at Honouring our Heroes
J.G. Diefenbaker Memorial Ribbon
Following speeches given by Pezer, Barnhart and Story, the names of those commemorated on the plaque were read out. The "Last Post" trumpet solo rang out by Professor Dean McNeil. A moment of silence followed and then the "Reveille" trumpet solo rung out paying especial tribute to those students, faculty and staff named upon the plaque.
|O Valiant Hearts.|
World War I hymn
O valiant hearts who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.
~ Sir John Stanhope Arkwright </i>
Barnhart related a lesson taken on by history students where each pupil in the class was assigned a country. The assignment was to "trace through hour by hour and day by day the events leading up to ... August 4, 1914, the beginning of the first world war one". Such an indepth study brings home the politics one hundred years ago, that even though August 4 officially started the war, there were many contributing factors and forces in play which finally gave way to the imminence of war.
Memorial Ribbons Admiration
University of Saskatchewan
Memorial Ribbons Plaque
Petty Officer 1st Class Warren Noble CD Recruiter
Honour Roll Addendum ~ Professor Dean McNeil Trumpet Solos
Petty Officer 1st Class Warren Noble CD Recruiter
Sub Lieutenant Alicia Morris
Though the University had only been open for seven years, Barnhart recounts that within three months of the First World War commencement, a recruitment program was in place. Seventy five per cent of the student body saw active service. Alongside students, staff and faculty served in the war effort. So many were absent from the College of Engineering, that it was forced to close during the 1916-7 academic year amid the Great War.
|Regarding the students enrolled on the University campus in 1914; "It's highly traumatic for that small academic community, because these people were walking beside them a short time before, and now they're in the army, and now they're dead." ~ James Pitsula retired University of Regina History Professor.[|
Students were given one year's credit towards their degree program which at the time they felt was a triumphant entitlement as the war was predicted to last short of one year. Faculty positions were held for all those who had enlisted.
During the renovations of the Peter McKinnon building a special insulation was installed over the memorial ribbons which was then encased in plywood casings to preserve the historic carvings. In this way no paint, no hammer nor any construction event could damage the commemorative ribbons.
"War changed Canada," Barnhart affirmed, "in many ways Canada was no longer a colony". Canada may have entered the Great War as a colony, however emerged as a country in its own right signing the armistice alongside the Allies of World War I on November 11, 1918.
G Swift-J D Cumming-H J Blair-Memorial Ribbons
Story spoke on behalf of the University of Saskatchewan's Great War Commemoration Committee which is chaired by Professor Emeritus Bill Waiser. This ceremony, the "Remember Us - Honouring our heroes" unveiling ceremony is the inaugural event sponsored by the Great War Commemoration Committee, there will be many more memorial events upcoming in the next four years.
Joseph Boyden has been scheduled to give a talk about two aboriginal snipers of World War I whom he wrote about in the much acclaimed novel, "Three Day Road". There is in the making the "Great War Soiree" which will feature a theatrical number, and a musical score in tribute to the First World War.
In the works, is a public talk by Brain Gable, University of Saskatchewan alumnus, and award winning cartoonist for the Globe and Mail. Gable depicts editorial or political cartoons, containing commentaries and illustrations relating to the effects that the Great War had on society during the contemporary news releases of the Great War Centenary. His cartoons provide insight into issues and historical context of World War I embracing sensitivity, seriousness and satire on the outcome of events with a point of view 100 years later.
College Building Plaque
Peter McKinnon-(College Building) National Historic Site
Peter McKinnon Building -College Building Plaque
Proposals yet to come from the Great War Commemoration Committee may feature the following. In 2016, a feature based upon the "The Antiques Road Show" will take place showcasing memorabilia, artefacts and antiques from the Great War. A culinary week is in progress studying the recipes and foods sustaining the appetites during the First World War years. Finally in 2018, the University of Saskatchewan Archives website will be completed and expanded with an grand ceremony unveiling featured topics such as "How to research", blogs and articles on the Great War.
|The Soul of the Soldier|
Sketches from the Western Battle-Front
A Belgian Poem
"I came to a halt at the bend of the road;
I reached for my ration, and loosened my load;
I came to a halt at the bend of the road.
"For thee that I loved, I went down to the grave,
Pay thou the like forfeit thy Country to save;
For thee that I loved, I went down to the grave.
"Fulfilled is the sacrifice. Lord, is it well?
Be it said--for the dear sake of country he fell.
Fulfilled is the sacrifice. Lord, is it well?"
by Thomas Tiplady
While Story suggests these aformentioned ceremonies as tantalizing morsels of events yet to come over the next four years, it is by no means an exhaustive list. To follow more about plans undertaken by the Great War Commemoration Committee please see their facebook page and twitter page online.
World War I ~ "The war to end all wars"~ how is it remembered? The Great War Commemoration Committee tackles the issues, the evolution, and culture of the war years, and its impact on the University and its role in the greater community of the city of Saskatoon, the province of Saskatchewan the nation of Canada on the world stage. The evolution of the University was inevitable and dramatic during the war years contrasting sharply with the life of contemporary students, faculty and staff. The University of Saskatchewan's motto Deo et Patriæ (Latin) translates to For God and Country. "'Deo et Patriæ' has been the guiding slogan of the university since its foundation, and the strength and fervor of that slogan were amply demonstrated during the dark years of the War, when students and professors marched shoulder to shoulder in the grim chaos of Flanders."
Saskatoon Star Phoenix [Saskatoon Daily Star] July 15, 1926.
UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN HONOUR ROLL ADDENDUM
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