The Book of Remembrance

The Book of Remembrance is a hand-lettered and illuminated book in which the names of all officers of The Bank of Nova Scotia are inscribed (including the amalgamated banks - The Bank of Ottawa and The Bank of New Brunswick) who died in The Great War (World War I) and World War II.

After World War II, Mr. C. Sydney Frost (then the Bank's General Manager) took great interest in preparing an appropriate record of those who had given their lives for their country during both world wars. This took the form of a Book of Remembrance, which was beautifully illuminated by A. Scott Carter, who also designed the Bank’s seal and coat of arms. Carter spent more than two years hand-lettering and illuminating the book, which was completed in 1952. In the book, the names of the war dead are inscribed on vellum pages, with two names appearing on each page. When the book was created, the next of kin of each person whose name was included received a replica of the page bearing his name.

In the First World War, of the total of 94 staff members who died, nearly 80 percent were 25 years of age or younger, and they had an average of three years’ service in the Bank. In the Second World War, of the total of 81 staff members who were killed, 57 percent were 25 years old or younger, and also had an average of only three years of service. Most of the First World War casualties were in the Army and fought in famous battles such as Amiens, Arras, Passchendaele, Mount Sorrel, Vimy Ridge, and Yprès. In the Second World War, more than three-quarters of those who died were in the Air Force, with the words “reported missing, presumed dead, following air operations” appearing after many of their names in the book. In 1951, The Bank of Nova Scotia opened their new General Office at 44 King Street West in Toronto, Ontario. From the outset of the construction of the building, considerations were taken to preserve a space for a memorial to members of staff who died in the two World Wars.

On September 24th, 1953, the Bank held a Service of Remembrance to dedicate a special room, known as the Memorial Room, to the memory of those who served. In this room, the Book of Remembrance stood on display and was the main focal point. This dedication brought about the fulfilment of a long-cherished plan to honour our war dead, and is a lasting profession of our pride in their devotion and sorrow in their sacrifice.

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning we shall remember them”- C. Sydney Frost, General Manager, 1953.

For more information about the Book of Remembrance, please contact the Archives at

Book of Remembrance video

Book of Remembrance - interactive version