RRMC Memories

RRMC Memories

Researched by E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003)

RCN252 Cdr (Ret’d) Richard Ratcliffe (RRMC 1945) ”Inspired by the visit of the Executive Officer HMCS ST. CATHERINES to my Sea Cadet Corps – RCSCC RENOWN in the spring of 1944, I knew that my life ambition was to command one of Canada’s Warships. A year later, I was accepted for entry to The Royal Canadian Naval College Royal Roads and was awarded one of six Navy League of Canada Scholarships covering all tuition and costs. This set my course on a naval career, which through perseverance, luck and a good sense of humour spanned twenty-five years. And yes, in 1967, I did have the honour to command the Destroyer – HMCS QU’APPELLE. I always considered the Navy League Scholarship to be a big step to help me achieve my dream.” http://www.canadianseacadetscholarships.ca/former_sea_cadets.htm


3429 Gordon F. Smith (RRMC 1955) In 1946, I joined the Royal Oak Sea Cadet Corps in Stratford, Ontario. In our summer training we went to Princess Alice camp on Georgian Bay and HMCS Cornwallis in Deep Brook NS.

By 195I, I rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Then I applied to go to Royal Roads Military College and Queen’s University. I was accepted by both but I decided on Royal Roads because I was offered a Navy League scholarship. This would pay my accommodation, board, 4 trips to Victoria and home to Stratford. The scholarship was worth $572.00.

I joined Royal Roads in 1951 and then the Navy, through the ROTP program, in 1952. All expenses were paid plus I received about $65 per month. After 2 years in Royal Roads, I went to the Royal Naval Engineering College in Plymouth, England for the Basic Engineering course (2 years), Specialist course (1 year) and Post Graduate course in Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, England (2 years). This training qualified me as a Professional Engineer in Quebec or Ontario.

I served in HMCS Ontario (cruiser), Beacon Hill, Antigonish,(frigates) for summer training, then Bonaventure (aircraft carrier) as a Watch-keeping Officer and Flight Deck Engineering Officer), NDHQ Ottawa, and Provider as her Engineering Officer.

In 1968, I was sent to the Naval Central Drawing office in Montreal on the DDH 280 drawings program. I resigned from the Navy in 1969 mostly because of the unification uncertainty. I worked for United Aircraft Limited and German & Milne, Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

In 1972, G&M had a contract for my services as chief engineer in charge of setting to work and trials of HMCS Iroquois and Huron. In 1974, I formed my own company and acted as a consultant in Systems Engineering and Management, mainly in the field of marine engineering.

I retired in 1995 and moved to Ottawa. My wife and I have travelled extensively. In 2007, we did an around the world cruise in Ms Amsterdam. I belong to the HMCS Bytown Wardroom, RMC C lub (Old Brigade), Naval Officers Association of Canada, and the Navy League of Canada. I enjoyed my Navy life which all began with my early Sea Cadet experience. I very much support the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Education program.