RMC Battlefield Tour Kicks off 16 – 24 February 2019

Tour Leaves Cadets “With a deep appreciation of who we are as a nation”

Article by Jennifer Jordan, RMC Foundation Fundraising Coordinator

The RMC History Department, through funding from the RMC Foundation, embarks on the Annual Battlefield Tour from 16-24 February 2019. This tour, established in 2003, and almost exclusively funded through donations to the RMC Foundation since 2004, allows Cadets to tour First and Second World War Canadian Battlefields in France and Belgium. Since 2003 this tour has become a major college activity with increasing interest from the Cadet Wing.

The Annual Battlefield Tour provides Cadets with the “out of classroom” experience immersing them in a much deeper understanding of the stories and connections to these historic sites. Walking the beaches of Normandy, for example, leaves Cadets with a deep appreciation of how the actions of so many of our Canadian Soldiers’ helped define who we are as a nation.

The RMC Foundation is proud to support the Annual Battlefield Tour. Stay tuned for updates on the Cadet experiences throughout the tour on our Social Media Accounts.

Here are some examples of previous Battlefield Tour Participants and how the experience had a lasting emotional effect on them:

“. . . memories of the tour are still fresh in my mind . . it was the culminating point . . . and a highlight of my experiences at RMC and a touchstone for me since I graduated. . . the tour was so meaningful to me that I brought my family to many of the same sites during my leave from Afghanistan.” – 23241 Craig Scott, Class of 2005

« . . . . l’un des “highlights” de mes années passées à Kingston . . . … le tour m’a permis de concrétiser bien des lectures et de voir l’étendue des impacts reliées aux décisions que nous prenons en tant que chef. La vie ou la mort de nos hommes dépendent des décisions que nous prenons . . . c’est l’expérience d’une vie que je garderai en tête et que je ferai largement la promotion . .  », 23612 Alexandre Hottin, promotion de 2007

“ While away on numerous deployments since graduation, memories of the tour keep me humble . . I know that my efforts pale in comparison to those who are buried in the Canadian cemeteries in Europe . . . I hope that cadets can continue to participate in this incredible and life changing trip for years to come, I know they will find it as rewarding as I did.” 24125 David Kay, Class of 2009

4 Comments

  • Eric McKay

    February 11, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    Realize this is quite late for the 2019 edition of the tour, however as a semi-retired Class of ’80 engineering ex-cadet grad, I have been wanting to do a tour myself of these battlefields with or without other family members, time and circumstances permitting. Are senior ex-cadets required to accompany the cadets in some capacity?
    Thank you for the Foundation’s role in enabling these fantastic opportunities/experiences and for considering my query.
    Best regards,
    Eric McKay, CD, MBA
    TDV 12106

  • 13789 Darren Rich

    February 14, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    I had the opportunity to go, at my own cost, on one of these Battlefield Tours when I was on staff at RMCC. Kudos to the organizers and the financial support from the RMC Foundation to make it all happen. I attended all of the pre-trip academic sessions that go with this trip. It isn’t just hop on a plane, see some WWI and WWI sites and come home. Each student was assigned to a syndicate and required to research an assigned battle and then give a presentation to the rest of us before the trip. Then, we stood in the snow and rain, with our battlefield maps in ziplock bags, as Majors Michael Boire and Doug Delaney explained why we were standing in a farmers field in Normandy in February, etc. They also made us run up the beach on Dieppe from the tide line in the early morning then told us to imagine wearing 60-80 pounds of kit, carrying a rifle, being shot at… Over the course of that tour I saw a visible change in the attitude of the students. The realization of what combat entails sank in – in a positive way. All-in-all this was head and shoulders above the Staff College Battlefield Tour, mostly because of the pre-trip preps and the extreme dedication shown by our Tour Guides – Majs Boire and Delaney.

  • 11766 James Philip Doherty

    February 23, 2019 at 7:58 am

    I see familiar names among the comments above. I find this fascinating and I would add my name to the list of ex-cadets interested in attending such a tour.