The Communications and Electronics Branch currently possesses a single Book of Remembrance which resides in the Memorial Room of the Military C&E Museum. This book was a gift – a memorial – entrusted to The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals by the late Brigadier-General E.D. Baldock MBE, EM, CD who dedicated this manuscript of fallen names on the 22nd of September 1963. Its pages contain names of those Corps members who died in the conflicts of the Great and Global Wars alongside several UN operations and NATO campaigns up to the early 1960s. The actual criteria used for inclusion in the book is unknown.
Several concerted efforts throughout the years endeavored to compile the names of Branch and Corps members who died in the service of Canada. Several such initiatives date back several decades with the most recent attempt carried out by the late Lieutenant-Colonel Joe Costello, CD (Retired). Much of Colonel Costello’s work is archived within his rcsigs.ca website under the header ‘Honor Roll’. Again, the actual criteria used for inclusion in Colonel Costello’s Honor Roll is not known, nor stated. Unfortunately, Colonel Joe passed away recently so much of the context for his effort is lost.
As noted above, the existing RCCS Book of Remembrance dates to the early 1960s and cannot be modified. However, several related initiatives do provide some tier of aid. The former Signallers’ Club of Canada managed to maintain a roster of club members who passed away. However, this list included all retired members who died, and not necessarily those whose death was related to military service. The Afghanistan Honour Roll – maintained in the C&E Museum – includes only those who were killed in that specific theatre. Joe Costello’s aforementioned list contains greater detail but is not up-to-date. There are also lists prepared for the Semaphore to Satellite history book (dated 2013) and – of course – the Vimy Gate Memorial re-dedication in 2014.
There also exist multiple VAC Books of Remembrance including the 7th edition titled In Service of Canada Book of Remembrance . This volume lists some 1,900 members of the CAF who died while serving Canada since 1947, excluding those who are commemorated in the Korean War Book of Remembrance. The 7th volume leverages very specific criteria for inclusion. Included individuals must have ‘died in conflict, peacetime training exercises, deployments abroad, or other military duty’. Individuals who die after leaving military service are also eligible, even if they succumb to injuries or illnesses attributable to military service.
Determining an individual’s eligibility for inclusion in an official Book of Remembrance normally requires access to the member’s military service file. Access by an individual, other than a family member, is not permitted under the Privacy Act. Veterans Affairs does have special access permission for such research, and they routinely access such files as part of their primary responsibility for maintaining the 7th Book of Remembrance. Using the VAC criteria, while somewhat restricted, would permit the C&E Family to recognize its fallen while concurrently keeping the initiative to a manageable effort. This approach will require coordination with VAC. However, even using the VAC parameters will not eliminate all discrepancies. For example, after an initial check of the 7th Book of Remembrance some C&E members’ names are missing despite meeting eligibility criteria. These discrepancies will need to be addressed with VAC.
Below is a consolidated list of all those included in the various Branch and Corps lists noted above. Those highlighted require reconciliation based on the VAC criteria. Additional information on some of these individuals is available from Colonel Costello’s website and will be used going forward. The non-highlighted names are on one or more of our Branch and Corps lists, and are already included in the VAC Book of Remembrance. Please feel free to pass on any additional or updated information to Kevin O’Keefe at [email protected] about those on the highlighted list or if you know of any individuals who you believe might qualify based on the criteria listed above. If there are individuals about whom you may be unsure, please send them along as they will be submitted to VAC for adjudication though there are no guarantees that individuals will be accepted for inclusion. Also, there are several RCCS personnel who passed away in 1946-47 who are listed in the VAC Book of Remembrance but not listed in any C&E Branch list. Finally, there are many RCAF Radar personnel who perished in the Second World War who are listed in Semaphore to Satellite and VAC, but no other lists.
Your C&E Association is determined to ensure that all our Branch and Corps personnel who died in the service of our country are commemorated and immortalised in the 2nd C&E Branch Book of Remembrance. Please help us do so.
Brigadier-General Kevin O’Keefe, OMM, CD (Retired)
|Ser||Last Name||Initials||Rank||Date of Death||Location|
|1||Henderson||E||Sgt||17-Oct-33||Camsell River, NWT&Y Radio System|
|2||Lang||WC||L/Cpl||30-Dec-33||Fort Rae, NWT&Y Radio System|
|4||Prentice||WD||L/Cpl||03-May-42||A-7 CSTC, Vimy Barracks|
|5||Haagenson||E||Sigmn||03-Nov-48||Hay River, NWT&Y Radio System|
|9||Tivy||WG||2Lt||08-Nov-52||Near Kingston, PWOR|
|10||George,||DH||LCol||08-Jun-55||Paderborn, West Germany|
|12||E.B Budd||EB||Sigmn||14-Oct-56||Fort Smith, NWT&Y Radio System|
|13||. Pennell||KE||Cpl||15-Sep-57||Middle East|
|20||Fummerton||NE||Sigmn||21-Aug-64||Fort Beausejour, Iserlohn, Germany|
|29||D’Arc St Germain||J||24-Jun-70||CFHQ, Ottawa|
|34||Ferguson||WR||Lt (N)||06-Apr-73||CFSCE, Kingston|
|50||McGean||KF||MCpl||05-May-99||79 Comm Regt|
|58||Benoit||D||MCpl||11- Aug 2011|
|65||Webster||C||Cpl||24-May-16||5 CDSG Signal Squadron|
|Several personnel from 1946/47 in VAC but not recorded elsewhere|
|RCAF radar personnel from WWII in StoS/VAC|