Many pass up and down the memorial staircase each day, and even more have at least once in their time at RMCC walked its steps – either to run an errand or because the beauty of the stained glass windows adorning the first landing caught their eye. Of these three stained glass windows, there is one on either side that is different in design and by name but is nevertheless still connected with the other. The one on the left shows St. Michael and is in memory of OCdt Logie; the right depicts Sir Galahad and is in memory of OCdt Smith. Originally, this was all that was known about these two cadets. More is now known about the mystery surrounding these two windows and the sad tales they hold.
The date was May 3rd, 1903, and 603 Arthur Latrobe Smith and 588 James Wylie Logie decided to take to the water on a canoe. Both of their parents resided in Hamilton, Ontario. They were just finishing the school year when tragedy struck. Upon noticing that the two had not returned, search parties were sent out Saturday afternoon, and a lookout was kept throughout the entirety of Sunday. In the Monday’s issue of The British Whig, the front page stated that the “commandant, officers and cadets at the Royal Military College and the relatives and friends of the missing cadets have been forced to face the worst in regard to the disappearance of J. W. Logie and A. L. Smith. That they were drowned from their canoe late on Friday afternoon seems to be certain.” The canoe, Smith’s kitbag, and a paddle were the only remnants found of the incident.
Colonel W. A. Logie had just spent a week in Kingston with his wife for a Queens University convocation ceremony, and they had gotten a chance to see their son days before the accident. He returned to Kingston and took part in the search Saturday afternoon. On the other hand, Mrs. Smith was notified about the missing cadets while visiting in Almonte and was only able to arrive by Sunday afternoon. Smith’s late father, C. B. Smith of Toronto, died the previous July – he was a member of the firm of Smith Curry & Chase and had charge of the Hydro-Electric construction at Niagara Falls. Both Logie’s parents and Mrs. Smith returned home Sunday evening when there was no sight of the cadets’ bodies.
Hamilton Times says “This is not the first time that Logie has been the victim of an accident on the water. A year ago he had a narrow escape. Logie was well and favorably known in Hamilton. A splendid rifle shot, member of the collegiate cadet rifle teams, and having taken part in the annual matches at Toronto and Ottawa, he was well-known outside the city as well. The young man came within a few points of making the Junior Bisley team two years ago.” Logie’s cadet file also notes a ‘Quebec Cup’ that was won for soccer while at RMC. Not much is known about Smith however; it is only listed that he “was about five feet ten or eleven inches in height and was educated at l’arkdale Collegiate institute Toronto.”
No further articles were found in The British Whig*; the bodies were never found. From this, the parents decided to remember their sons’ passing with the stained glass windows that can be found in the MacKenzie memorial staircase today.
*However, an obituary is recorded to have been written in a long-lost copy of The Proceedings, 1914.