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The Book of Remembrance

The Book of Remembrance is an illuminated bound volume in manuscript which records the names of the members of Queen's University and its Officers' Training Corps and Air Squadron who died on active service during World War One and World War Two. The Book which is owned by the Queen's University of Belfast Services Club was presented to the University in 1952, so that it could be put on display in the Library. Each year the Book is brought solemnly to the Remembrance Day dinner of the Club in the Great Hall of the University, prior to the toast to Fallen Comrades.

The Services Club

The inaugural general meeting of the Queen's University of Belfast Services Club was held on 21 October 1918. At its foundation the Club comprised students and staff of Queen's University and members of its Officers' Training Corps who had served in the armed forces during World War One. In 1915 the Queen's University authorities, in response to initiatives by the War Office to find officers, had allowed the OTC to provide a short period of intensive officer training to young men who had already joined the Army before they were commissioned into one of the newly formed battalions. These men had no connection with the University, so there are some men whose names are recorded in the Book of Remembrance and on the University's War Memorial who were members of the OTC but who were not students or members of staff of the University.

After World War Two, Queensmen and women who had served in the armed forces, along with members of the OTC and the Air Squadron, were eligible to join the Services Club.

During World War Two the War Office had made arrangements for young men to enter universities for short courses of study preparatory to entering the armed forces.

The Air Ministry also decided to extend the scheme to university air squadrons throughout universities in the UK. Under this scheme the Queen's University Air Squadron was established in January 1941. A Royal Air Force pre-entry university course was created to give pre-entry training in aircrew duties to volunteers, from whom the RAF expected to draw a high percentage of officers. These pre-entry courses lasted six months. Candidates were trained in service subjects in the university air squadrons and instructed by staff of the university. The men who undertook these pre-entry courses were regarded as full members of the university and the university authorities agreed to count the course towards a degree if the candidate returned to the university after the war.

The men who attended Queen's University to undertake these pre-entry courses for the Army and Royal Air Force and who died in conflict are recorded in the Book of Remembrance.

For more information on the Services Club and its activities, contact the Secretary at the following email address:

The War Memorial

The Queen's War Memorial, which was erected in memory of those members of the University and its OTC who died in World War One, was first dedicated on 21 July 1924 by the Duke of York (who later became King George VI) accompanied by the Duchess of York. The Memorial was designed by Sir Thomas Brock. However, he died before he could finish the work and the Memorial was completed by Mr. F Arnold Wright. It is a depiction in bronze of a winged Victory sustaining a fallen youth. All of the names of those who died in conflict during this War are recorded on bronze tablets on the Memorial.

In 1947 it was decided that the names of those members of the University who had died in conflict during World War Two should also be inscribed on bronze tablets to be placed on the plinth of the War Memorial. The re-dedication of the War Memorial took place on 8 November 1950 in the presence of Field-Marshal Viscount Alanbrook, Chancellor of the University.

The Book of Remembrance

The Services Club and the University Senate, which is the governing body of the University, felt that a Book of Remembrance containing the names of those who died in conflict in both World Wars should be compiled. The Book, which was completed in 1952, was inscribed by Miss Dorothy Hutton, gilded by Miss Vera Law and bound by Mr S. M. Cockerell.

The Senate of Queen's decided in November 1952 that the Book should be put on display in the Library. On 4 December 1952 the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Eric Ashby, accepted the Book from the Services Club on behalf of the University.

The Book of Remembrance contains the names of those who died, their ranks and units (where known), if they were awarded any military decorations, their date of death and whether they were members of Queen's University, the Officers' Training Corps or Air Squadron.

The book consists of 90 pages, is made of vellum and is bound in specially dyed light stone-coloured morocco. The binding is tooled in gold and the front board incorporates the Arms of the University in gold over inlaid coloured leather. There are miniature sketches of the West Front of Queen's and of the Cloisters viewed from the Quadrangle. At the end of the list of names is a laurel wreath in gold.