Battle of Coronel Commemoration


On November 1, 2014, Royal Roads University held an intimate commemoration of the Battle of Coronel, which took place on November 1, 1914. The 100th anniversary ceremony included opening remarks from Dr. Pedro Marquez, acting VP Global Advancement, Marketing and Business Development, a talk by Dr Geoff Bird and a keynote address from honoured guest speaker, Rear-Admiral William (Bill) Truelove, Maritime Forces Pacific Commander.

The event took place at the back of the Grant Building, where Royal Roads Military College artifacts are displayed, with an exchange of historical photos after the presentations. The group, which included RRU's BoG Chair and Chancellor, Wayne Strandlund, MARPAC Public Affairs personnel, CFB Esquimalt personnel, RRU staff and students, and a good selection of senior retired officers, proceeded to the Italian Garden cenotaph where a wreath was laid in honour of the four midshipmen. After a group photo at the cenotaph, attendees made their way to the library to view the dedication plaque, mingle and look over historical photos and documents provided by RRU Archivist, Caroline Posynick.

The Battle of Coronel was a First World War naval battle that took place on November 1, 1914 off the coast of Coronel, Chile. The engagement saw the defeat of a Royal Navy squadron commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock by German Kaiserliche marine forces led by Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee, resulting in the loss of almost 1,600 Royal Navy sailors. Among those killed were four Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) midshipmen onboard HMS Good Hope, who became the RCN’s first causalities. The midshipmen were members of the first graduating class at Royal Naval College of Canada and the first Canadian casualties of WWI. The Coronel Memorial Library at Royal Roads Military College was named in their honour in 1974. 

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