Remembrance Day
Recording Artist: Bryan Adams
Writers: Jim Vallance
Bryan Adams
Date Written: January-February 1986 / Vancouver Canada
Albums: Into The Fire (A&M Records, 1987)
  Bryan Adams: rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocal, backing vocal
Jim Vallance: sequencer, backing vocal
Keith Scott: rhythm guitar, lead guitar, backing vocal
Ian Stanley: keyboards
Dave Taylor: bass
Mickey Curry: drums
Produced by Bob Clearmountain and Bryan Adams.  Associate producer Jim Vallance.  Recorded by Bob Clearmountain, September 1986, at Cliffhanger Studios, West Vancouver.  Mixed by Bob Clearmountain, January 1987, at AIR Studios, London.
Michel Gravel's book
"Tough As Nails"
James Wellington Young
England, May 1918
In the early 1900's my great-uncle Jim Young operated a grocery store at the corner of 22nd Avenue and Slocan Street in Vancouver. The store was a big responsibility, a one-man operation, so Jim didn't enlist voluntarily when war broke out in 1914.

As the war dragged on and hundreds of thousands of allied soldiers perished in France, the need for replacements became desperate. In 1917 the Canadian government passed the Conscription Act, thus guaranteeing an uninterrupted supply of "cannon fodder" for the remainder of the war. Jim was drafted in January 1918. His younger sister Ethel (my grandmother) took over the store.

In February 1918 Jim Young left Vancouver by train, traveling across Canada to Halifax harbour. From there he sailed to England for training. In June 1918 he joined the British Expeditionary Force in France and participated in some of the last great battles of the First World War.

On September 27, 1918, just a few weeks before the war ended, Jim Young was killed by shrapnel from a German shell, shortly after crossing the Canal du Nord. He's buried in a small British war cemetery near the village of Sains-les-Marquion, France. I've visited his grave on many occasions.

The war ended at 11:00 a.m. on the 11th day of November 1918. In Canada, every November 11th, we celebrate Remembrance Day, to remember the soldiers who died in various conflicts during the past 100 years.

In 2005, researcher and author Michel Gravel included a reference to Uncle Jim in his book "Tough As Nails", a history of the 14th Canadian Infantry Battalion, 1914-18.
In 1988 Adams and I were approached by the Canadian Ministry of National Defence, requesting permission to use "Remembrance Day" in a video production to be played in schools across Canada each November 11th.

The video can be viewed by clicking on the television image. Also, have a look at the "thank you note" (see below) that we received from Perrin Beatty, Minister of National Defence.
Click on image above to view lyrics "in progress".
Letter from the Minister of National Defence.
For our King and our country and the promise of glory
We came from Kingston and Brighton to fight on the front line
Just lads from the farms and boys from the cities
Not meant to be soldiers we lay in the trenches

We'd face the fighting with a smile - or so we said
If only we had known what danger lay ahead

The sky turned to grey as we went into battle
On the fields of Europe young men were falling
I'll be back for you someday - it won't be long
If I can just hold on 'til this bloody war is over

The guns will be silent
On Remembrance Day
There'll be no more fighting
On Remembrance Day

By October* of '18 Cambrai had fallen
Soon the war would be over and we'd be returnin'
Don't forget me while I'm gone far away
Well it won't be long 'til I'm back there in your arms again

The guns will be silent
On Remembrance Day
There'll be no more fighting
On Remembrance Day

One day soon - I don't know when
You know we'll all be free and the bells of peace will ring again
The time will come for you and me
We'll be goin' home when this bloody war is ended

The guns will be silent
On Remembrance Day
We'll all say a prayer
On Remembrance Day

On Remembrance Day - say a little prayer
On Remembrance Day

Well the guns will be silent
There'll be no more fighting
Oh we'll lay down our weapons
On Remembrance Day

*War historian Michel Gravel informed me that Cambrai was captured in October 1918, not September, as indicated in the song lyric!