Did You Know? Asks Victoria Edwards

Did you know?

Researched by E3161 Victoria Edwards

This plaque in the vestibule of Mackenzie Building, was erected in 1902. The same plaque was installed in St. George’s Cathedral in Kingston and in Rochester Cathedral, or the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Norman church in Rochester, Kent. The Royal School of Military Engineering in Brompton means the Corps of Royal Engineers and Rochester Cathedral maintain strong links to this day.

Sacred to the memory of the undermentioned Officers Graduates of the Royal Military College of Canada

[Column 1]

Huntly Brodie Mackay

Captain Royal Engineers

Born at Kingston Ontario 14 March 1858

Served with distinction in Bechuanaland 1884-9 and as Commanding Royal Engineer on the West Coast of Africa 1887-9.

In recognition of his services in Expeditions against the tribes near Sierra Leone he received the Distinguished Service Order

Died of fever at Mombasa on the 10 April 1891 whist acting administrator to the Imperial British East Africa Company

[Column 2]

William Henry Robinson

Captain Royal Engineers

Born at St. John New Brunswick 16 July 1863

Rendered valuable services as Commanding Royal Engineer W Coast of Africa 1880

Killed in action on the 14 March 1892 whilst with conspicuous bravery in blowing up the gate of the stockade at Tambi near Sierra Leone.

[Column 3]

William Grant Stairs

Captain the Welsh Regiment

Born at Halifax Nova Scotia 1 July 1863

Lieutenant Royal Engineers 1885-91

Served on the staff of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition 1887 under the leadership of H.M. Stanley and exhibited great courage and devotion to duty.

Died of fever on the 9 June 1892 at Chinde on the Zambesi whilst in command of the Katanga Expedition sent out by the King of the Belgians.

This tablet is erected by their old comrades and friends of the Royal Military College of Canada and by friends of the deceased officers in the Corps of Royal Engineers.

 

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Did you know?

Researched by E3161 Victoria Edwards

As part of the Royal Military College, Duntroon’s centenary celebrations it is timely to consider how the Australian College was founded on 27 June 1911 by an ex-Kingston cadet.

25 Cadet William Throsby Bridges (RMC 1877-9) was born February 18, 1861 in Greenock, Scotland. He was one of the recruits who had entered RMC Kingston late in the second term on 10 April 1877. Although he was a good student, he became unsettled and began failing his courses when his family migrated to Australia leaving his in Kingston. Commandant Hewett asked his father to withdraw his son. This ex-cadet was the first RMC dropout.

In 1890, the Governor General, the Marquis of Lorne spoke of the success of RMC graduates in the British Army and said that a similar college was needed in Australia. At the request of Queensland 6 copies of the RMC regulations and the instruction syllabus were sent to Brisbane. In 1902, MGen E.T.H. Hutton proposed the RMC, Kingston system by which officers were trained for the reserve as well as for all arms of a regular force for Australia.

In 1909-10 Colonel William Throsby Bridges reported to the Australian Minister of Defence that on his way home to establish the Australian Military College, he had inspected his alma mater the Royal Military College of Canada. According Bridges’ diary in RMC’s Massey Library, he felt that the RMC Kingston system trained officers without getting full use of their services after graduation, since officers were trained for the reserve as well as for all arms of the regular force. With the international scene getting darker, he copied the West Point system, by which only regular army officers were trained via a four-year course training for all arms.

Lieutenant-General Sir William Throsby Bridges, KCB CMG served as founder and first commandant of the Royal Military College, Duntroon (1910-14). He served as commander of the Australian Imperial Forces in 1914. He was the first Kingston ex-cadet to command a division in the field. He was killed at Gallipoli on 18 May 1915. He is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and on page 566 of the Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance. His name is listed on the RMC memorial arch. He is remembered in a Memorial at Mt Pleasant Lookout Royal Military College, Duntroon.

Source: Richard Arthur Preston “Canada’s RMC: A History of the Royal Military College’ (Published for the Royal Military College Club of Canada by the University of Toronto Press, 1969) Toronto, Ontario

Canadian Virtual War Memorial http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem/Detail&casualty=20011