There has been a tradition during the Remembrance Day service at SJWT to read the names of parishioners who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the two world wars and who are listed on the church’s distinctive War Memorial Window Plaque. As time has passed, parishioners have had less personal connection with who the people listed were, what their lives were like, and what their untimely deaths meant to those they left behind, including fellow members of St. John’s. Fortunately, there is a way to personalize the St. John’s parishioners who lost their lives in the service of Canada during World War I and World War II.
The Canadian Virtual War Memorial provides a window into the lives and deaths of fallen soldiers. There are entries in the Virtual War Memorial for almost all of those listed on the SJWT War Memorial Window Plaque. Included are various documents, photos and newspaper clippings that have been uploaded by family and others with materials to share. Of particular interest, newspaper clippings often included where the fallen soldiers lived and what they did before they enlisted.
I’ve recently researched the names of parishioners listed on the War Memorial Window Plaque who gave their lives during World War I and gathered lots of interesting items, especially newspaper clippings. To help engage with the names you’ll hear read during the Remembrance Day service, you can browse through the clippings uploaded here: Remembrance Day - WW I Newspaper Clippings Highlighted here are two clippings that tell of the particularly poignant experiences of Arthur William Rawlinson (died Sept. 30, 1916, age 36, lived at 446 Clendenan Ave.),
Harry H. Evans (died Aug. 10, 1916, age 21, lived at 1978 Dundas St. West).
If you are interested in contributing to the SJWT-100th Team, and/or have items of historical interest to share, contact Christopher Rutty at firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published in the St. John's Newsletter on November 12th, 2022