From the Archives: Lest We Forget

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Jenny Seeman
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1976 Memorial Service

The stone cenotaph in the centre of the Italian garden was installed in 1972 as a memorial to former Royal Roads cadets who were killed in action. It was presented by the class of 1946 on the 30th anniversary of the college and for many years the cenotaph has been the focal point of Remembrance Day Services, as shown in this picture from 1976. More pictures of Remembrance Day ceremonies, as well as other important events in the cadet year, can be found in the digitised cadet photo albums for the years 1963-1988.

The names on the cenotaph are: LT Malcolm Seafield Grant; SLT Russell Henry McConnell; LT Hugh Dunbar Sutherland Russell; SLT Reginald Lloyd Ross; LT Walter Edward Shields; LT John Molson Walkley; LT George Bucknam Wright; LT George Allan McLachlan; LT Robert Ivan Loucks Annett; and LT Arthur G. Herman.

With the exception of LT A.G. Herman, who served with the 1st Battalion Royal 22nd Regiment in Korea, the men named were all on active service with the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR) during World War II. They spent several months at the newly established HMCS Royal Roads receiving intense training in seamanship before joining the war as Lieutenants and Sub-Lieutenants on Canadian vessels. Their stories are told in the museum at Royal Roads University. 

Russell Henry McConnell was born on June 7, 1918. He was an accountant before joining the RCNVR. He was serving in HMCS Raccoon, an armed yacht, when it was sunk with complete loss of life, while escorting a convoy on Sept. 7, 1942. More information about Russell McConnell can be seen in the short film, “One Name on a Memorial” created by Geoff Bird for the War Heritage Research Initiative

The Remembrance Day Ceremony at Royal Roads University will take place on Friday at 10:40 am.m in the Italian garden and is a respectful reminder of our military heritage.

Jenny Seeman, Museum and Archives Specialist.