Visitors to St. Paul's may have noticed the Book of Remembrance, a unique volume which resides within the In Memoriam table at the front of the Nave, beside the Lady Chapel. It is a treasured, hand-lettered and leather-bound book, created by a member of this parish and dedicated with ceremony in 1950 to beloved parishioners who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War I and World War II.
The Book of Remembrance records photographs and stories of these soldiers, providing details of their families, their achievements, and their service. These pages are lovingly preserved so that future generations can know something of these men, and more fully appreciate the full extent of their offering: they gave their lives so that we might live in peace.
View the St Paul's Cathedral Book of Remembrance using this link.
We will remember them.
The Book of the Remembrance, pages 18-21
Excerpt from the Ceremony of Dedication, 11th November 1950
Tribute from The Dean
It is not given to frail man to honour the Valiant who, for their country’s weal, gave their strength to the Battle or their blood to the Victory. It is only given to those they “Served to save” to remember with a gratitude that has no language but the syllables of tears,
“Like children crying in the night
Like children crying for the light
And with no language but a cry.”
Yet, from time immemorial, grateful men have endeavoured to speak their tribute to the Valiant.
Nearly 2400 years ago, on 431 B.C. the mighty Pericles of Athens spoke these words:
“These then gave their bodies to the commonwealth, but received each one, man by man, for his own memory, praise that will live on the lips, that will blossom in the deeds of their countrymen from sea to sea.
“For the whole earth is the sepulchre of heroes; monuments may rise and tablets be set up to them in their own lands; but on far-off shores there is an abiding memorial that no pen or chisel has traced; it is graven not on stone or brass but on the living heart of humanity.
“Take these men for your example; like them remember that happiness can be only for the free, that freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.”
No words of mine could more adequately say what needs to be said in this Book of Remembrance.
Twice in a half century the dearest and best of our young manhood and womanhood in this Cathedral Parish have responded to the World’s cry for defenders of Freedom and offered their strength and their lives upon the Altar of Liberty.
Because of them we live.
Because of them Freedom is not perished from the earth.
Because of them, we, their eternal debtors, here highly resolve, in the Name of God, that we shall remember, and remembering Keep what they have so dearly purchased.
Rector and Dean
11th November 1950