To Camp Petawawa

Under the headlines about the Bulgarian invasion of Greece, the departure from Toronto of the “Gallant 95th” was also front-page news on May 29, 1916. The battalion had departed the day before to an unspecified eastern destination, there to finish their training for the “stern and patriotic work of the trenches.” City officials were prominent in the crowds of well-wishers, among “hundreds of proud relatives and friends.”

It was a busy day at the camp. The ideal summer weather contributed generously to the occasion. All day a steady stream of visitors flowed through the camp gates, eager to greet the men going forward to wage the struggle of civilization, to bid them Godspeed and to give earnest and hearty assurance that ‘back home’ there remained the good wishes and the prayers of loved ones.

There were many patriotic and pathetic scenes. Mothers, wives, sisters, sweethearts, accompanied their brave defenders to the train. Proud father gripped the hands of departing sons. Bands played stirring selections. Citizens cheered. And the men in khaki, going forth to do their duty by those things real men most prize, fought with their emotion and smilingly waved their adieus.(1)

At the end of the report, on page 9, was a further notification:

1916 05 29 to Petawawa

It was less than a week since Percy had been released from hospital and sent on leave, so he must have missed the grand Toronto scenes. When he rejoined the 48th Battery, he did so from Joliette sent off by a smaller but equally proud group of loved ones.

The Globe (1844-1936). May 29, 1916. 1,9. Archive available from ProQuest Historical Newspapers.

Copyright 2016. See “More about this project.




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