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Queen's University. Students' Memorial Union fonds
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- Students' Memorial Union
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1.35 m of textual records, ca. 300 photographs : b&w
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Following the Armistice, signed 11 November 1919, thus ending World War One, there was a strong feeling amongst all those connected with Queens University (both past and present) that some monument should be erected on the campus to memorialize the efforts of those sons of Queens who had served during the hostilities of 1914-1919. Consequently, a notice was sent to all Alumni soliciting their suggestions as to what they thought would be an appropriate method in which to achieve this worthy endeavour. A vast majority of those who replied indicated that a Students Union would be the most apposite project to undertake.
Thus, a subscription was raised, but unfortunately due to circumstances and other more tangible factors, it was to be another five years before the plan was actively revived, and another two after that before construction was begun.
Upon the completion of the Students Memorial Union, its Warden, Lieutenant Colonel K.L. Stephenson, sent the following letter in early 1929, to the next of kin of all those who had died during WWI:
In this Union there is a quiet room set aside as a special memorial to ex-students of Queens University who gave their lives for King and Empire during the Great War. The council of the Union propose to keep them in remembrance by placing their photographs on the walls of this room.
The response was overwhelming, thanks in large part to the ferret-like work of Warden Stephenson, and his successor, Captain John Macdonald, and others, in tracking down addresses. Most of those who had died were memorialized around the four walls of the War Memorial Room, where their portraits were placed; not, it might be added, without further delay and much anxiety upon the part of those who in many instances, had given up their only extant photograph of their son, or brother, or cousin, or nephew.
As an unfortunate postscript for all concerned, a fire on 4 September 1947, destroyed the entire Union building, leaving the Memorial Room and its contents in ashes.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of correspondence, lists, card files, photographs, photographic negatives, and clippings regarding those alumni, graduates, students, and staff who served and/or died during World War One and World War Two, and whose names were memorialized in the Union's War Memorial Room. Also included are minutes of the Student's Memorial Union Council 1922-1966; blueprints; ledger, photographs, and press clippings. The 10th Field Company Canadian Engineers series also includes material from 10th Batallion Canadian Engineers after it was formed from the 10th Field Company Canadian Engineers and detachment from the 124th Batallion (G.G.B.G.) 4th pioneers, 2nd Tunnelling Company Canadian Engineers and 14th Field Company Canadian Engineers.
Immediate source of acquisition
Transfer by N. Hart, Director, John Deutsch University Centre.
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Restrictions on access
University records are subject to the Province of Ontario's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). University records form either some, or all, of this fonds. Therefore, any personal information contained in the records may be subject to certain access restrictions and/or conditions under the Act. Please speak with an archivist for more information.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Copyright provisions may apply. Please consult with an archivist.
The contents of files relating to those individuals who gave their lives during World War One, have been scanned and are available on the Queen's University Archives "Queen's Remembers - World War One and World War Two" pages, found at: http://archives.queensu.ca/Exhibits/queensremembers/wwi.html See also: Queen's Picture Collection, V28 B-JohnD-11
Further accruals are expected
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Description created on 1999/08/27. Last updated 23/02/2017.
Archivist(s): Paul Banfield, Gillian Barlow
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