The Book of Remembrance was formally dedicated on November 11, 1962. It listed the names of 842 men and women “who were killed in action, died of wounds, illness or injuries” in the First Great War (1914-1918), the Second Great War (1939-1945) and in the Korean Conflict (1950-1953).
The project was launched in 1961 at the request of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 452. A committee was formed, the Peterborough Memorial Book Committee, to coordinate the financing and production. This committee, which was chaired by City Alderman Gordon Monkman, also compiled the hundreds of names to be commemorated, using casualty lists and other readily available military records. Talented local artists designed and created the Book.
Since its unveiling in 1962, the Book has been on permanent display at Peterborough City Hall.
Over the years some local citizens noted that the names of loved ones were missing from the Book of Remembrance. In 2001, City Councillor Glenn Pagett spearheaded an initiative to update the Book.
The Peterborough Museum and Archives (PMA) was given the responsibility for the project. Primary research yielded seventy-one new names. Five new pages were added to the original Book, each illuminated in the same decorative style with the names rendered by hand in calligraphy. Museum conservators cleaned and repaired the Book to ensure its on-going preservation. Ultraviolet radiation filtres were installed over all lighting and windows in the City Hall foyer to help protect the Book from cumulative light damage.
The Book of Remembrance has been formally incorporated into the holdings of the Peterborough Museum & Archives but will remain on permanent display at City Hall. A digital version of the Book has been made available here on the PMA’s website.