Slesse Demolition Range Accident

20 June 1988

During, what was considered routine demolition training, a premature denotation killed six military engineering students. The students were in the demolition portion of their Military Engineer Officer training and were practicing explosive cratering, a task that makes roads impassable through the creation of deep holes.

Killed that afternoon were Captain J. W. Best, Lieutenant M. D. Aucoin, Second Lieutenant K. J. Wilkinson, Officer Cadet K. R. Gawne, Officer Cadet W. C. Sutton, Officer, Cadet W. J. Whitley

However the six students were not the only persons affected. Several others sustained injuries, whether physical or mental in nature. Families lost their loved ones, whether husband, father, son, brother. Friends, including fellow classmates, lost those who were close to them

A plaque to the memory of the casualties of the June 1988 demolition accident at the CFB Chilliwack Slesse Range is displayed inside the main entrance to the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering, in Gagetown New Brunswick. In addition, there is a willow tree at the Royal Military College in Kingston that is dedicated to OCdt K. Gawne and a small arms competition trophy in 3 Field Engineer Squadron remembers Second Lieutenant K. J. Wilkinson."

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