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Impressive Victoria Cross Library at home in Ameliasburgh

Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Terry McDonald, Ian Reilly, and MP Daryl Kramp unveil the Victoria Cross Library at the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre in Ameliasburgh.

Records of 1,358 recipients of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration of the Commonwealth, are now available in Canada – right here in Prince Edward County.
National Defence Minister Peter MacKay was in Ameliasburgh Friday with MP Daryl Kramp to complete the transfer of the Victoria Cross Library from Britain to the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre.

“I am truly thrilled to be with you. This is such a unique opportunity and such a major accomplishment for those behind this effort,” MacKay said. “There is much living military history in this community to say the least. I am so grateful for the work you are doing – to preserve – to promote and to educate.”
MacKay commended staff at the centre for the “tremendous accomplishment”.
The Victoria Cross Library (The Facts Behind the Men Behind the Medals) was compiled by UK historian Tom Johnson from more than 1,350 binders and books. He has been working with 7th Town Historical Society President Ian Reilly, and his wife Bev, since 2008.
“Around October 2008, my wife Bev, a genealogist, and I received a photo via e-mail of her grand niece, Roraima Juliet Jaynes (a Roddy), who was just six months old. This photo set off the events.”
One e-mail led to others, that eventually led to Johnson, in Chester UK, who, since his retirement, continues his hobby of VC and GC (George Cross) research.
The highest British and Commonwealth decoration, the Victoria Cross has traditionally been recognized as the most prestigious award for gallantry under enemy fire. It has been awarded to 1,359 people (none in Canada).
During the ceremony, MacKay presented four Victoria Cross families with a copy of the library record for their respective V.C. recipient.
Patrick Roddy VC, 1858, was represented by great grand nieces Mary (Roddy) Jaynes and Sr. Therese Roddy.
Alan Arnett McLeod VC, 1918, was represented by nephew Alan Arnett McLeod Adams and his wife Deborah.
Charles Smith Rutherford VC, 1918 was represented by nephew Walter Rutherford and his wife Dorothy and John Weir Fotte VC, 1942 was represented by niece Donna (Foote) Devolin and her sons Douglas and Kenneth.

MacKay said he was thrilled the material is now available on Canadian soil.
“I’m told that today marks the very first time that the records of 1,358 recipients of the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration of the Commonwealth and arguably the most recognized award for valour, will be available in our country,” he said. “How fitting the first Canadian recipients of this important historic collection have family members with us today, whose extraordinary bravery earned them this incredible honour.”

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  1. Simon Pressey says:

    Stumbled on your website while casually researching my relative Colonel Patrick Roddy VC. Do you have photographs in your archive and can I obtain a copy? I saw a magnificent one several years ago in the possession of my great aunt Peggy Pressey (whose sisters, I believe, all settled in Canada and whose descendants are presumably the ones mentioned in your piece, Feb. 22 2011, on the opening of the library) however this has disappeared since her death. She had great admiration for her grandfather (Col Roddy) and claims he never returned to Ireland (he settled instead on Jersey) because he thought his fellow countrymen were all mad…
    If you have an available photograph, I’m sure you will inform me of any costs involved.

    Yours sincerely Simon Pressey

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