Eight of the 11 cadets from Admiral Budge in Sidney

Cadets will be part of historical event

Admiral Budge Sea Cadets of North Saanich going to France for nine-day experience

Eleven Peninsula youth will each sit at the faraway grave of a soldier they’ve come to know.

In April a group of cadets from the Admiral Budge Sea Cadet Corps, based in North Saanich, will visit France on a nine-day trip to tour the historic battlefields of the First World War and participate in the 95th commemorative ceremony at Vimy Ridge.

Lieut. Earl Phillips will lead the group in his third time accompanying cadets to Europe, a program he started in Manitoba with a trip to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the battle at Vimy Ridge.

“We made the kids research a soldier and get in touch with their family,” he said.

The kids connected with the family of a fallen warrior, then gave them the opportunity to offer a memento to be left behind on their soldier ancestor’s grave.

“It was really moving for those kids to do that. It’s a powerful thing to see those gravestones,” Phillips said. “It really gives them a connection to our history, not just boring stuff learned on Nov. 10 each year in school.”

The Peninsula cadets will do the same as they prepare for the spring trip. Each cadet will be assigned his or her soldier, all selected from small B.C. towns, this month. Aside from the research, the group of 12- to 18-year-olds will fundraise for the travels in Europe.

“It forces them to take ownership of the trip and they’ve got some skin in the game,” Phillips said. “It’s important they have buy-in.”

The local youths will join a group of cadets from the Prairies as they start in Paris to visit the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral. They will travel to the Normandy region where they will tour Dieppe and visit the D-Day beaches including Juno Beach then pay respects at the Canadian War Cemetery (Beny-sur-Mer) and take advantage of the educational opportunities at the Juno Beach Centre.

The last two days will be to the Vimy region where the cadets will see where Canadian soldiers fought during the First World War. They will tour the Passchendaele Memorial, the Newfoundland Memorial and attend the Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate.

On the final day of their trip, the students will participate in the Vimy Ridge 95th anniversary ceremonies.

“For me the reward is seeing the experience in their eyes. There’s not a kid that at some point doesn’t sit at a grave and cry,” Phillips said. “With veterans dying off, if we don’t get kids learning war history, it will die with the vets.”


Just Posted

Saanich lifeguards earn Vital Link awards for cardiac arrest response

Awards from BC Emergency Health Services recognize quick and skillful life-saving

High of 21 C for Wednesday

Plus your weekend forecast

Cyclists and drivers take to the streets Wednesday morning in first official Bike to Work Week celebration

The 25th annual Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week kicks off the followingMonday, May 27

Art and fashion collide for a cause at the Union Club of Victoria

May 26 event benefits Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibitions and educational programs

UVic science and engineering research gets $18.8 million federal funding boost

Funding for engineering, science, sustainability research

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Thetis housing project clouded by confusion

View Royal mayor clarifies details about Capital Region Housing Corporation project

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

‘Conservation financing’ could stop old-growth logging

Reader says with this type of financing province recognizes the benefit of forests

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Most Read