AMELIASBURGH [Ontario, Canada] — One of the most prestigious military libraries is now calling Prince Edward County home.
National Defence Minister Peter MacKay was in Ameliasburgh last week with MP Daryl Kramp to complete the transfer of the Victoria Cross Library from Britain to the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre.
“This is a historic day for this community and there is much living history here,” he said. “Which is why I am so grateful for the work you are doing — to preserve, to promote, to educate — not only about (the military history) of this community, but the entire country as well.”
“The Victoria Cross Library: The Facts Behind the Men Behind the Medals” was compiled by UK historian Tom Johnson and, according to Ian Reilly, president of 7th Town Historical Society, contains 1,356 books, “some very small and others very large.”
“This is such an important collection of books,” said Reilly prior to the transfer ceremony. There is so much information here and the history is right at our fingertips.”
The Victoria Cross was first awarded in 1856 and is the highest military decoration which is — or has been — awarded for valour “in the face of the enemy” to members of the Armed Forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories. It has been awarded to 1,359 people, most recently to Corp. Benjamin Roberts-Smith of Australia on Jan. 23.
No Canadian has been awarded the Victoria Cross since the end of the Second World War, but there are 94 Canadian recipients of the medal.
The repository of the books of the Victoria Cross library represents the first time the collection has ever left British soil.
Read the full article in the Kingston Whig Standard.