For most students currently at McGill, the concept of going to war with thousands of their peers would be unthinkable. Yet, for students attending McGill from 1914 to 1918 and again between 1939 and 1945, this was the reality they faced. By the end of World War I, more than 3,000 McGill men and women had enlisted, and 365 had lost their lives. In the World War that followed 20 years later 5,568 McGill students, alumni and staff enlisted and by the war’s end 298 of them had been killed. Since then, individuals from the McGill community have helped to resolve conflicts in Kosovo, Eritrea, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Since the Boer War at the end of the 19th century the names of those who served were recorded, commemorative plaques were placed on buildings and memorials were built. The McGill University Archives gathered an array of records but with each passing year the people and events that inspired these memorials have increasingly faded away. A tangible symbol of this reality is the current state of Memorial Hall on Pine Ave. Opened in 1950 with funds donated by a grateful McGill community, the Hall was once the centre of the University’s Remembrance Day activities.
The stories of individual sacrifice and contribution by members of the McGill community deserve to be preserved, so that they will outlast the uncertainty of collective memory.
|McGill University Archives site||Memorial Hall|
Contact us: mcgillremembers[at]mcgill.ca
Last updated: February 19 2019