First World War soldiers' stories live on

Kerri Breen
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

New book honours those without known graves

In Beaumont Hamel, unidentified soldiers were buried with the phrase "Known unto God" written on their headstones.

The phrase is the title of a new book that tells the stories of Newfoundland forces members who died during the First World War, many of whom have no known graves.

The Book "Known unto God" by Frank Gogos and Morgan MacDonald outlines the history of Newfoundlanders missing during the First World War. - Submitted photo

In Beaumont Hamel, unidentified soldiers were buried with the phrase "Known unto God" written on their headstones.

The phrase is the title of a new book that tells the stories of Newfoundland forces members who died during the First World War, many of whom have no known graves.

The book, by Frank Gogos and Morgan MacDonald, serves as a companion to three bronze plaques installed at Bowring Park on July 1. These tablets - featuring the names of the Newfoundlanders who died - are replicas of those unveiled at Beaumont Hamel on June 7, 1925.

Gogos, a historical researcher, says the book came out of the research done to make the plaques, which were sculpted by MacDonald.

"I was doing some work on the names on my own when Morgan suggested we could do something with it and turn it into a book."

Scanning service records, talking to descendants and taking a trip to Beaumont Hamel themselves, MacDonald and Gogos pieced together soldiers' stories - who they were, how they died and how they lived.

"It's a time consuming process to find some of this stuff," Gogos said.

"Known unto God" includes period memorabilia and photographs from private and public collections, some of which have never been published.

The point of the book, Gogos says, is to remind the public that these soldiers were real people - much more than names on a plaque.

Keeping their sacrifices in the public eye, Gogos says, will make future generations wary of pursuing armed conflict.

"I think if the general population keeps the sacrifice of past soldiers in the consciousness you would be more careful on what actions you get involved in and what sacrifices are going to be made and what purpose."

The book, published by Breakwater, is being launched tonight at 7 p.m. at Chapters.

kbreen@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Chapters

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Bowring Park

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments