Current Study-Tour Blog Posts

June 5th, 2019

June 8, 2019 4:45 pm

We had a busy past few days as we visited many military cemeteries and D Day Academy which was a military museum filled with trucks and Canadian, American, and German military equipment and guns. Today (June 5th) we started off the day by learning about Operation Epsom by looking at Hill 112 which was

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May 30th, 2019

May 30th, 2019

June 8, 2019 4:44 pm

Today was probably one of the most interesting days that I have found thus far. Starting of at the Australian memorial and monument for the First World War along with the Sir John Monash Center. This memorial was definitely one to remember as the way they told their story through their various films,

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Day 7: On to WWII

June 8, 2019 4:43 pm

Wow, day #7 already! What an experience this has been for all of us, with so much more to come in the next nine days. We are all very fortunate to have this experience with such knowledgeable leaders and passionate fellow-students. As you can see from the previous blog posts, we have had very busy days

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Day 13: The 75th Anniversary of D-Day

June 7, 2019 2:23 am

June 6thmarks the day that, 75 years ago, Operation Overlord was launched. Also known as “D-Day”, Operation Overlord was the biggest amphibious assault in history, and it was launched by the Allied forces onto the beaches of the Normandy coast of German-occupied France. There were four distinct

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Community Commemoration at Saint-Aubin

June 7, 2019 2:00 am

By five in the morning we were already loaded up in our vans rolling down the road from Bayeux to Bernièrs-sur-Mer. With the Gendarmes setting up an intensive cordon of roadblocks around the D-Day Beaches, it was imperative that we arrive as early as possible. Although possessing the necessary passes

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June 5th - Commemoration

June 5, 2019 4:07 pm

Today was another busy day following Canadian soldiers through the Normandy Campaign in 1944. We have seen so much through the last few days that it is hard to pick one thing to single out to talk about. An overriding theme that has struck me though is the appreciation of the French people for what

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D-Day Academy to Carpiquet

June 4, 2019 12:45 pm

Today we went to the D Day Academy to get a firsthand experience of some of the weaponry and machinery used in the European Theatre. The gentleman who runs it, Jean-Pierre, was very nice and encouraged us to pick up guns and climb over the vehicles. I love that sort of stuff, so I was really in my element.

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Living History

June 4, 2019 8:26 am

Our day began with a trip to the WWII cemetery at La Cambe, where German soldiers of many ranks and divisions are buried, including soldiers of the German SS. An academic interest in forms of commemoration carried me as far as the front gates, but I did not go further. My family lived in the Netherlands

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June 3, 2019: Exploring the American Sector

June 3, 2019 4:07 pm

Today was a different sort of day than most of the ones we’ve had so far on the tour. We started at the La Cambe German Cemetery and that was a very tough place for everyone to visit. There was a heavy, sad feeling about the place and we all struggled with different emotions and reconciling the idea

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2 June: Normandy, Juno, and Commemoration

June 3, 2019 4:03 pm

Today marks Day 9 of our battlefield adventure, and in spite of our aching feet, overfilled brains, and some sweltering heat, we’ve (mostly) remained happy and eager to continue our great learning experience by visiting more sites and sharing more history. As seen in the past couple blog posts, we’ve

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June 1st 2019

June 3, 2019 3:46 pm

This morning we woke to a beautiful morning in Dieppe. When we were loading the vans, we realized that the right side mirror on one of our vans had been stolen. Despite that mishap, it did not put too big of a damper on the day. We had our morning briefing on top of a hill overlooking ‘Green beach’.

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My Juno Experience

June 3, 2019 3:41 pm

Second day of Normandy. After going to see the parachute divisions side of the D-Day landings, it was time to move onto the beaches. We started off by seeing the Longeau Battery, where I experienced my first ever time of seeing WW2 beaches. There were 4 massive gun stations, with a central command bunker

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Dieppe to Normandy

June 3, 2019 3:38 pm

This morning we woke up and began our day. We started off with breakfast at the Hotel Aguado, then we all jumped into the vans and began our day. Our first stop of the day was at Green Beach where one student had one of their presentations. After a quick stop at the town near Green Beach we continued

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Day 7: On to WWII

June 1, 2019 1:15 am

Wow, day #7 already! What an experience this has been for all of us, with so much more to come in the next nine days. We are all very fortunate to have this experience with such knowledgeable leaders and passionate fellow-students. As you can see from the previous blog posts, we have had very busy days

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Remembrance

June 1, 2019 1:13 am

Wrapping up Day 6 was a memorable one. For me, today was about individual remembrance. We received wonderful presentations on individual soldiers from two of the 2019 tour members; Cora and Mark. Cora shared the story of A.V.S Nordheimer, who fell at The Battle of Moreuil Wood. Mark introduced us to

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CBF Day 7 - Longueval to Dieppe

June 1, 2019 1:11 am

CBF Day 7 – Longueval to Dieppe: Only a week so far, this expedition feels much longer – although exactly how long I cannot say. Thiss is not a bad thing! Far from it. I have been very impressed with the amount of high quality content we are covering in the limited time we have available.

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May 28, 2019: The Somme

May 30, 2019 2:02 am

Today we visited several different memorial sites connected to the Battle of the Somme (July 1-November 18, 1916), including the Newfoundland Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel, Thiepval Memorial, and Courcelette. The whole day was very though-provoking and for me, the Newfoundland Memorial was particularly

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A Day To Remember

May 30, 2019 2:00 am

I must say, I am very impressed with the CBF tour so far. From the expert knowledge of the guides to the quality of presentations from the students, it has been an informative and moving experience. Today we visited a few significant Great War sites. We started the day with our second Newfoundland caribou

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Impressions of Arras

May 30, 2019 1:59 am

The major theme of today was walking French and Commonwealth battlefields around Arras. The Arras sector was under the jurisdiction of the French until 1917, when the British took over over operations. The British and Commonwealth battles of Spring 1917 around Arras were largely diversionary in nature,

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Experiencing Battlefields in Person

May 29, 2019 2:10 am

This small tree at Beaumont Hamel marks the furthest point the soldiers of the Newfoundland 1st Regiment managed to reach, and the end of my two minute walk Today’s battlefield experiences drove home the reality of the cost in human lives that movement forward could cost in the First World War. At

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Day Three: The Ypres Salient

Day Three: The Ypres Salient

May 27, 2019 5:26 pm

Day three of our CBF adventure has been marked by a vast array of emotions and experiences. On the one hand, our group of 12 students and two guides have enjoyed periods of raucous laughter or quiet giggles, all while frantically trying to remember each other’s names. On the other hand, though, today

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Day 3 - Ypres

May 27, 2019 11:44 am

Today marked the third day of our adventure and it was packed full of locations, sights, and experiences. We started off the day by visiting St. Julien then went on to see Langemark, Hill 60 and 62, Passchendaele, Tyne Cot Cemetery, and a few small cemeteries as well. I think the moment from today that

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May 26th 2019

May 26th 2019

May 26, 2019 4:38 pm

We all safely landed in Paris a little after 9 this morning. Once the team got through customs and baggage claim, and we finally secured the rental vans, we were heard towards our destination. Once arrived in Ypres at approximately 3:30pm, the team leads (Jérémie and Marc) and a small group of students,

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Sunday May 26: Travelling to Ypres

Sunday May 26: Travelling to Ypres

May 26, 2019 4:13 pm

Today we continued our journey on the CBF battlefield tour. Our day began with arriving at Toronto Pearson Airport from all different areas of Canada. We all gathered as a group and boarded our plane to Charles de Gaulle. The flight went by fast, and by 9:00 am (Paris time) we had landed and were ready

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Let the tour begin

Let the tour begin

May 26, 2019 3:55 pm

On May 25, all twelve of the selected students for this year’s tour met in Toronto (Pearson Airport) with Professor Marc Milner and myself. Below is a group photo before boarding. After we land in France (Paris), we will head north to Ypres (Ieper) in Belgium. For more information about our tour

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