First Year @ RMC 1949 – We ran the obstacle race at 1600 in coveralls and running shoes, it was grim.

Week 11 at RMC for 3069 W.A. McColl

Nov. 22 – 1949: Very cold these days; there was ice on the parade square this morning. Got a letter from Fran and it seems I graduated OK and got a dramatic pin. Turned out for basketball tonight but doubt if I’ll make the team. Got a blind date thru’ Bill Furter for the dance, her name is Sheila McGoogan… What’s in a name anyway? Bob and Andy aren’t going the scabs.

Nov. 24 – 1949: Spent yesterday afternoon playing basketball. We had two tests today making about six this week. Woke up this morning at about 0445 freezing cold, finally got up, closed the window but couldn’t find my pants, my chair, or my extra blankets. So, I went in and went to work on Andy’s room. I found my chair in Drummond’s so I went to town on him too but he woke up when I was turning his books around. Poor Andy went to five minutes to “turn-out” in his pajamas. I’d better lock my door tonight. Why do they do some things around here? At noon we had a dinner parade and a march past on the square; we all nearly froze. After classes Maj. Featherstone took us for a tour of the obstacle course. He says there’s nothing to it, but I’m beginning to quail. We can’t wear gloves; it’s colder than ever; the wind would cut one open and the ground is like cast iron. Started to study calculus after supper but conked out on my bed until after roll call. In the meanwhile, there was quite a snowfall.

Nov. 25 – 1949: La fête de la Sainte Catherine. About 4” of snow last night, but at least it is not as cold. The lake is terribly rough and very dark. Classes were cut short this afternoon and we had a short talk by Field Marshall Slim, Chief of Imperial Gen. Staff. He is a very forceful speaker and held our attention completely. He spoke only 10 minutes and yet he said all he wanted to say very effectively, then he walked out. Briefly, he outlined the qualities which an officer should have: 1. courage, 2. initiative, 3. knowledge, 4. self sacrifice. We ran the obstacle race at 1600 in coveralls and running shoes, it was grim. Al Derrick came 1st, Findlay 2nd and Ross 3rd – all little guys.

Here are the obstacles from admin building to fort:

-under tarp

-log barrier

-up over wall on telephone poles

-rope out from wall

-scramble net

-up rampart from outside fort

-catwalk

-barrier

-blockaded tunnel

-up rampart under tarp

-ramp over powder houses

-hand-over-hand by big gun

-log rails

-down rampart

-thin swinging tires

-through 2nd blocked tunnel

-over catwalk

-up ramp and drop into moat

-up and down ladders

-out of the moat and up over the walls on ropes

-then back to the old gym

I came in 38th; lost all my time on the first rope because I went feet first and had to go back. Then the snow made all the climbing extremely hard. We all were dead beat but now it’s over and it’s fun to think back on it. Oh, yes, 2nd sqn. won and we came 3rd. Andy did well and came 10th. He fell from the hand-over-hand hard affair and hurt his back. Guess he’ll be OK since the great doctor Cpl Ward is on the case.

Nov. 26 – 1949: Drill this morning was hellish; it was just several degrees above zero and the snow hadn’t been ploughed off the square. Some guys froze their ears a bit. The Dance tonight wasn’t bad although it wasn’t as good as the last one. This Sheila was no beauty and no hell as a dancer, but I had a fairly good time anyway. Deachman’s girl was a honey.

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