In 2013, St. Matthew’s, the Anglican Church in the Glebe in Ottawa, conceived and eventually approved a five year project to officially remember the 48 young men from the parish who were killed in action in the two World Wars of the 20th Century. Members of the congregation of St. Matthew's Church were fully involved in both of these wars, with sixteen parishioners killed in action in the First World War and another thirty-two in the Second World War. Approximately 400 other members of the congregation served in World War ll.
And who were these men?
They were our friends and neighbours, many of whose descendants still live in Ottawa and across Canada. They lived on streets and avenues we all recognize: First, Third and Fifth Avenues, Clemow and Powell, Holmwood, Lyon, Percy, Patterson and The Driveway, amongst others.
They were Privates and Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, Pilots and Wing Commanders.
They went to elementary school at Muchmor, First Avenue, Glashen and Kent Street. They went on to Ottawa Technical High School, Ottawa (now Lisgar) Collegiate, Ashbury and Glebe Collegiate. Six went on to Kingston, either at Royal Military College or Queen’s University and other schools as well.
Many were athletes, some were musicians, some were academic scholars. Many were community leaders.
They were teenagers. They were husbands and some were fathers in their mid-thirties. Some were race winners at St. Matthew’s church picnics, some were choristers. Some were married at St. Matthew’s. Some had their funerals at St. Matthew’s. Some were single, some were married.
Some had young children.
They were all members of the congregation of St. Matthew's.
The names of the 48 men killed in these two global conflicts are poignantly displayed on special wall plaques in the northeast corner of the church. Sadly, as the years have passed by, their personal stories are fading from memory.
The goal of this website is to rectify this.
Over the past 4 plus years, the stories behind these 48 names have been researched and documented into individual presentations on each of these soldiers, airmen or sailor. We began delivering the stories of two or three of these men to the St. Matthew’s congregation on the Sunday before Remembrance Day every November since 2014 and have continued this ever since.
Remembering The Armistice
100 Years Later
Sunday November 11, 4pm St. Matthew’s Church
This special service will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, Canada’s contribution to the war effort during those four long and dreadful years. Most important of all, we will acknowledge and remember the 48 St. Matthew's parishioners who gave their lives during both World Wars 1 and 2. The service will feature St. Matthew's combined choirs, selected hymns for this solemn occasion, a bagpiper and bugler, members of Canada's Armed Force and family members of the 48 men from St. Matthew's parish who were killed in the line of duty during WWI and WWII. The service will be 75 minutes in length to be followed by a reception at the back of the church.
Members of the public are invited to attend at St. Matthew’s on this special occasion when a commemorative print, created by the students of Glebe Collegiate Institute, is unveiled for permanent placement in the church, honouring the memory of these 48 brave young men, who will never be forgotten.
The 48 represented all services in our Armed Forces and are remembered today in war cemeteries across Europe and Asia as well as at Beechwood and Pinecrest in Ottawa. They died on the battlefields across France, Italy, the Low Countries. They were shot down over the skies of Europe, were torpedoed and lost at sea, and died protecting Hong Kong and Burma.
They fought for our freedom which we enjoy today.
Remembered on the walls of the Vimy War Memorial as well as in Ypres at the Menin Gate. They are remembered at Ashbury, Lisgar and Glebe Collegiate; at Queen’s and RMC in Kingston, University of Ottawa, Western, Toronto, UBC and McGill. They are remembered at RCAF, RAF and Bomber Command memorials on both sides of the Atlantic as well as other memorials in Hong Kong, Myanmar, Halifax and Ottawa. And, in oh so many cases, on family headstones here in Ottawa, with their parents, who never recovered at all from their unstoppable grieving, their loss of their young and precious sons.
They are, from St. Matthew’s...
We remember them always.
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