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  • »Please donate! We need your support! / Faites un don! Nous avons besoin de votre appui!
  • »Please donate! We need your support! / Faites un don! Nous avons besoin de votre appui!
  • »Please donate! We need your support! / Faites un don! Nous avons besoin de votre appui!
  • »Please donate! We need your support! / Faites un don! Nous avons besoin de votre appui!

Carrefour

Today we visited the Regina trench cemetery located in a remote area in Northern France. Because of it's location, it is not visited as much as other WW1 cemeteries in France. Despite that however, the site was still being maintained by the Commonwealth Graves Commission. This was significant for me because it demonstrates that the First World War is still important to Europeans even after a century. Mainta ...

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Sounds of War and Memory

As I reflect on the day, one of the elements that stands out for me is the way that the locations we visited appealed to our different senses, especially sound. My ongoing research examines music during the First World War so I think that I am especially attuned to what we are hearing, in addition to what we see and touch throughout the tour. A consideration of the sounds of war and memory offers a unique l ...

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Memory and Mourning in Ypres

I started researching my family’s history when I was twelve. Three out of my four grandparents had lost an uncle in the Great War. For all but one, we barely knew their names. However, my grandmother had been raised on the stories of her mother’s brothers who had left Edmonton to serve in Europe, particularly Uncle Alec, who had died while serving with the PPCLI. She passed these stories onto her children, ...

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Challenging Personal Beliefs: Day One at the Somme and Ypres

Today was a busy day. Starting off this tour, I was a little apprehensive about the itinerary, meeting new people, and the academic work that accompanied it. After arriving in France today (May 26) I realised that all my concerns were misplaced. We all have something that draws us together, only making this trip more memorable. We began our Battlefield tour by visiting the museum in Péronne. The display was ...

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Péronne and the Museum of the Great War – Day One

We have finally arrived! This trip has been a long time coming. Much research, planning and anticipation has gone into the preparation for today and the two weeks to come. You will have to excuse this blog post if I start to ramble off on random tangents or cut it off in the wrong spot.... Jet lag! I think all of us can speak to this tonight. But, what a day! I am feeling extremely lucky to be on this trip ...

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We are about to set off again!

Once again the Canadian Battlefields Foundation Student Study Tour will be travelling to Europe in May and June 2017. Twelve deserving students from across Canada were selected for this amazing opportunity to study the battlefields important to Canada in the First and Second World Wars. Led by Dr. Geoff Hayes, from the University of Waterloo, David Patterson, and Dr, John Rickard (an alumnus of the very fir ...

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In All Thy Sons Command

Having finally arrived home after a long trip and a chance to sober my emotional thoughts, I felt it necessary to reflect upon the lessons learned and the experiences had on the CBF 2016 tour. It was incredible to have been able to experience the battlefields of wars fought decades ago. The impact of war has had long-standing consequences on the land and those that inhabit it. Something that will always sta ...

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Leaving’s the hardest part

Our last true day on the battlefields tour happened today and instead of detailing every single thing we saw, I'm going to share what happened as we visited the Canadian Cemetery at Brettville-sur-Laise. This cemetery contains some of the many Canadians who perished during the push through Normandy. At this cemetery, I couldn't contain myself and truly sobbed. I think it was a product of being emotionally e ...

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The Green Fields of France

Today was a very full day. We started in Hell's Corner, outside Authie and Buron, and talked about the fighting in the days and weeks following D-Day. This was the theme of the day: Canada's continued contribution following June 6, 1944. We discussed the tank battle in Authie and some of the Nazi atrocities committed against Canadian prisoners of war. Much of the day was devoted to talking about the Canadia ...

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Of Contrasts and Conundrums

Today was a study in contrasts. The weather, foggy and cold at first, the turned into a warm and sunny evening (where were these clear blue skies when trying to see the battlefields and vantage points in the distance, I ask you?).  The tour also combined several different location, national cemeteries, and approaches to remembrance. We had a full day. At 8:30 we headed to the D-Day Academy. Following a part ...

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