The Tunnelers Friends

Hi my name is Amanda, and I’m a Parliamentary Guide. Today I am going to be talking to you about a part of the building that’s not on the guided tour. At the entrance of the Peace Tower, we find the Memorial Chamber, a space finished in 1927, where there are the Books of Remembrance. It commemorates that armistice of 1918 and the sacrifice of Canada during the First World War. What many of you might not know is that above the entrance to the Memorial Chamber, there is a commemoration for animals. There are donkeys, reindeers, and horses that were used as pack animals; dogs on the other hand had first aid kits attached to their collars. Carrier pigeons or passenger pigeons we used to send messages. And finally, the smallest animals, but in my opinion the most important, were the field mice and the canaries. They were put in the trenches to let soldiers know if toxic gas had been emitted, hence the name, the tunnelers’ friends. So in the end, these humble beasts that served and died might not always be remembered in Canada’s history, but they will always be remembered here in Canada’s Parliament.