2010 Study Tour This year’s programme of study was very special. As part of the 100th Anniversary celebrations of Canada’s navy, the group visited Iceland and the United Kingdom to examine the vital role played by the RCN in the Atlantic. After crossing the Channel, participants then explored the Second World War campaign in Normandy.

2009 Study Tour This involved a 16-day Study Tour of Canadian Battlefields in France and Belgium from 29 May to 13 June 2009. The 2009 programme of study included First World War battlefields atYpres, Beaumont-Hamel, and Vimy Ridge. Following a stop in Dieppe, participants then explored in depth the Second World War campaign in Normandy.

2008 Study Tour The 14th Annual Battlefield Study Tour 16 – 30 May 2008. Again this year we chose 12 keen university students from across the country to study the Canadian battlefields in Northwest Europe. As 2008 marked the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War, we spent five eventful days following the Canadians from Ypres to the Somme and Vimy and the Final Hundred Days. Then we headed to the Channel ports in Northern France and the Scheldt to see how First Canadian Army overcame its many challenges a generation later. With stays in Brugges and Arnhem, we followed the Maple Leaf Route into the Rhineland, then explored how the Canadians helped liberate so much of Northwest Europe. A final visit to Westerbork, from where so many Dutch Jews were deported to the death camps, was profoundly moving. The students ‘read’ many books, but they also ‘read’ the ground over which the Canadians fought, as well as the many cemeteries, monuments and rituals through which we have come to remember these events. There were many powerful moments.

2007 Study Tour The 13th Annual Battlefield Study Tour – The Canadians and the Liberation of Europe: Normandy, Dieppe, Vimy, Beaumont-Hamel 1-16 June 2007

2006 Study Tour The Tour program included visits to Vimy Ridge, Beaumont-Hamel and Dieppe before beginning an intensive study of the Canadian role in the Battle of Normandy.

2005 Study Tour The Canadians and the Liberation of Europe: Normandy to the Scheldt 1-15 June 2005. The program included visits to Vimy Ridge, Beaumont-Hamel and Dieppe before beginning an intensive study of the Canadian role in the Battle of Normandy and the operations to clear the Scheldt Estuary.

2004 Study Tour The Foundation observed the 60th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy by offering 16 Canadian University students the opportunity to visit and study the Canadian battlefields in Normandy. The Study Tour began with visits to Beaumont-Hamel, Vimy and Dieppe and then spent two weeks in Normandy. The course was honoured to have Her Excellency Adrienne Clarkson preside over Foundation ceremonies at Le Mémoriale and place de L’Ancienne Boucherie in Caen and at L’ Abbaye D’Ardenne in the presence of students numerous veterans and French dignitaries and citizens. Students and members of the Foundation including Normandy veterans lived together at le Moulin Morin, a property close to the beaches and inland battlefields.

2003 Study Tour  Marking the 60th Anniversary of Operation HUSKY, the invasion of Sicily, this year’s student tour was dedicated in its entirety to Italy. Twelve students from across Canada were selected to attend this year’s tour which was led by LCol David Patterson, of the Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College. Two students assisted ably with the guiding duties; they were Lee Windsor, a PhD candidate from UNB, and Major Mike Boire, a PhD candidate from RMC.

The tour followed the path of the Canadian Forces in Sicily and Italy starting where they did, on the beach at Pachino. The wide deserted beaches, devoid of monuments, contrast sharply with the heavily commemorated strand along Juno Beach. The students knew they were standing on ground very few Canadians have visited, a fact that made the experience all the more precious. After the beaches we visited the Canadian Memorial at Manza (see photo) a large monument in one of the first villages seized by the Canadians. We then followed the path of the 1st Division into the rugged hills of Sicily. Famous names such as Leonforte, Assoro, Agira and Regalbuto were transformed from two dimensional map references into craggy hilltop towns that amply illustrated the tremendous achievement of the Canadian troops. The cemetery at Agira was a sight few will forget.

After Sicily we moved north to Cassino and the Liri Valley, then crossed the mountains to Ortona. The steep valleys of the Moro and “The Gully” were visited along with the narrow streets of Ortona town itself. The bitter fighting in the town and environs was described and the new museum in Ortona visited. We continued north to visit the Gothic Line battlefields of late summer and fall 1944. The achievement of the 1st Canadian Corps in cracking the Gothic Line is often overlooked, but not by the students of CBF Tour 2003. We visited all the important battlefields and gained an enormous respect for the professionalism and courage of the Canadian soldier.

We rounded out our tour with a ceremony in Bardi where we helped mark the unveiling of a monument to two Canadian airmen, among a crew of six, who died in a crash near the town in 1943. The dedication and respect of the local population was overwhelming. The tour the ended in Milan where we looked back on out two week odyssey with a new appreciation for the “D-Day Dodgers.”

2002 Study Tour. Led by Dr. Geoff Hayes, the 2002 tour visited Vimy, Beaumont Hamel, and Dieppe before spending eight days examining the Normandy campaign. They followed this up with a tour of the Channel Ports and Bruges, -and closed with a study of the Battle of the Scheldt. The tour ended with a day in Paris.

2001 Study Tour The 2001 tour visited the Ypres salient, and other Canadian battlefields in the Somme, in and around Vimy, and Amiens. Dieppe was the next destination allowing an in-depth tour of all three Canadian landing beaches.

2000 Study Tour Participants started in Great Britain and followed the Canadian Forces across the English Channel, on to Juno Beach, and into the areas south of Caen.

1999 Study Tour The 1999 Canadian Battlefields Foundation study tour strayed from its normal itinerary and ventured south to Italy. The participants were privileged enough to spend eight days following the movements of the Canadian Army from the Gustav Line to Rome and from Ortona to the San Fortunato Ridge. In France the study tour spent a day in both Amiens and Dieppe, and seven days following the Canadians from Juno Beach to Falaise.

1998 Study Tour This tour was led by Professor Terry Copp of Wilfrid Laurier University, focussed on the Normany and Northwest European Campaigns. After visiting several Great War sites and Dieppe, the participants followed the ‘Maple Leaf Route’ from Juno Beach to Njimegen, Netherlands.

* Study Tour itineraries vary each year but usually terminate in Normandy

Past Study-Tour Blog Posts