Cadets Take Time to Remember at the Arch and Across Ontario and Quebec
Photos by 26346 OCdt (II) Dan Ryan and 25366 Mike Shewfelt
Article by 25366 Mike Shewfelt
The traditional Remembrance Day Arch Parade was significantly smaller this year as the Cadet Wing supported remembrance ceremonies across the province of Ontario and in Quebec. Cadets in Scarlets represented the College at 26 different ceremonies, including local ceremonies in Kingston and the surrounding communities, parades in Montreal and Toronto, a ceremony at the National War Memorial, and others.
After those Cadets heading to the other ceremonies had departed, what was left of the Cadet Wing formed up on the Parade Square on a bright, warm November day. They then marched to the Memorial Arch, where “Last Post” and “Abide with Me” were played, “In Flanders’ Fields” was read, and three wreaths were laid. College Commandant, 14835 BGen Eric Tremblay, and his wife, G146 LCol Brigid Dooley-Tremblay, laid a wreath on behalf of the Cadets and staff of the Royal Military College, MGen Pierre Forgues, Commander of the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA), laid one on behalf of the CDA, and A118 Ray Dignum, President of the Kingston Branch of the RMC Club of Canada, and Cadet Wing Commander 25586 OCdt (IV) Brenden Clark laid a wreath on behalf of the RMC Club.
A reception following the ceremony was held at the Senior Staff Mess.
Photos from the College Arch Ceremony and reception (click to enlarge):
Remembrance Day Parade in Montréal
Article by 25798 OCdt (IV) Shona Couturier
As a part of the College’s effort to have Cadets present at Remembrance Day ceremonies across central Canada, 50 Cadets participated in the ceremony held at McGill University in Montreal. The contingent was commanded by 25663 OCdt (IV) Dmitri Sapeguin, the Cadet Wing Training Officer, his 2I/C 25561 Ocdt (IV) Michael Salov, and the parade sergeant-major, 25824 OCdt (IV) Michael Findlay. The parade began at the Canadian Grenadier Guards (CGG) Armoury, and was comprised of Cadets from RMCC, RMC St-Jean, an honour guard from the CGG, and the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, HMCS Donnacona, and local cadet units. The parade marched from the armoury to McGill campus where they were joined by members of the legion, as well as veterans, and city officials. The province’s Lieutenant-Governor Pierre Duschesne was present as the Queen’s representative, along with the city’s acting major, Lachine councillor Jane Cowell-Poitras. (Notably, MPs Marc Garneau and Justin Trudeau were present to lay wreaths on behalf of their constituents.)
Once the contingent arrived at McGill, the parade began with the normal military formalities, and soon after began the ceremony of remembrance. At 11 o’clock guns were fired to commemorate the armistice signed at the 11th hour, on the 11th day, in year 1918, and continued to fire a 21 gun salute throughout the parade. Helicopters flew over the campus as the guns fired, and a moment of silence was observed by all present. The parade continued with the playing of the last post, the lament, the reading of the act of remembrance, and a word from the padres present. Several wreaths were laid on behalf of diverse organizations; a poignant moment of the parade was the laying of the wreath on behalf of mothers and widows by a silver-cross mother, Claudette Pépin.
I am honoured and proud to have been a part of the parade. It was a humbling experience to stand on the McGill grounds, and remember conflicts such as the First World War. McGill and the city of Montreal made large sacrifices for the war effort. A total of 3 059 McGill students enlisted for the First World War; of that large number, 363 died and 791 received various military decorations including two Victoria Crosses. The grounds we marched on are rich in history and represent the sacrifices which helped build the country we serve and defend today. Participating in parades, in places as McGill, remind us as Cadets of the true meaning of the commitment we have made, and the role we are soon to assume as professional officers in the Canadian Forces. Unlimited liability becomes more than a concept in a textbook, and its implications become very real to all present. “Dying has made us rarer gifts than gold.” TDV
Hockey Team in Cambridge
The RMC Paladins Hockey Team took time to stop in Cambridge, Ontario (while on route home from 2 away games in Windsor) for the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Cambridge Cenotaph. The team members joined approximately 500 members of the public, Legion members, Police, Fire, local Cadet Units and The Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada in remembering our fallen.
Remembrance Day in Whitby
Article by 26659 OCdt (I) Danielle Andela
We Will Remember. As children we repeat these words, sitting on our parents shoulders trying to see what’s going on. As teenagers we say it, thankful for the break in class. As an adult at the Royal Military College of Canada, I have gained a new appreciation for these words.
I was one of the lucky cadets who got to attend the Remembrance Day Ceremonies at home, in my home town of Whitby, Ontario. It was an honour to participate in the parade that I have watched every year, with a new appreciation and a new perspective. I may not have been a member of the Canadian Forces long, but I have been in long enough to feel truly moved by the ceremonies I witnessed and it has been my privilege to be able to be back home on this somber and important occasion. I also got a chance to spend some time with the local 2 VandenBos Air Cadet Squadron at the parade and tell them a bit about life at RMC. As well it was great to get together with the legion members after the ceremony at the local branch and talk about their experiences and years gone by.
Overall it was an amazing day, one I will not soon forget but will highly recommend to others. Above all else, we will remember them.
RMCC Cadets Attend Sikh Remembrance Day Service
Article by 26285 OCdt (II) Saajandeep Sarai
This past weekend, 26288 OCdt (II) Sarabjot Anand, 26628 NCdt (I) Tejvinder Toor and myself attended the Sikh Remembrance Day service which was held at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Kitchener, Ontario. This cemetery holds the only military grave in Canada belonging to a Sikh soldier.
Private Buckham Singh was born on December 5th, 1893 in the farming town of Mahilpur, India. Since India was still a British Colony, many Sikhs enlisted in the British Army due to their warrior tradition. At the age of 14, Singh departed for British Columbia and left behind his homeland. When he arrived, he faced many racist laws in the province and therefore moved to Ontario and worked as a farmer in Rosebank. When World War I was declared, Singh enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and became one of just nine Canadian Sikhs to fight in World War I.
He was sent to Barriefield Camp near Kingston and joined the 59th Battalion. On his registration papers, he recorded himself to be a follower of the “Church of England” as there was no option for Sikh.
He fought in France and was hit in the head with shrapnel on June 2, 1916 and due to this, he was hospitalized at St.Eloi. This very hospital was run by LCol. John McCrae, the author of “In Flanders Fields”. After about 8 months, Singh was sent to rejoin combat but due to severe tuberculosis that he developed he was sent back to Canada. Upon his return, he was discharged and spent the remaining days of his life at Freeport Military Hospital. He died on August 27, 1919. His grave is the only known Canadian Sikh soldier’s grave in existence.
Since 2009, Sikh members of the Canadian Forces (CF) have attended this annual event. This year RMCC received an invitation by the event organizers for any Sikhs at the College to attend the service. We gladly accepted and represented RMCC at the event in uniform. The event had a huge audience, a large amount of media and a lot of political presence. Various members of the CF also attended. 13260 Brigadier General Matthew Overton, CD, Assistant Chief of Military Personnel, was also present at the event as the Guest of Honour. The service was also to honor the local soldiers that served from the Kitchener/Waterloo area, as their graves were also located at the cemetery. A moment of silence was given to remember all the sacrifices that our soldiers have made.
It was a true honor to be invited to the event and to represent RMCC.