Originally established in 1904 by the Department of Militia and Defence as a summer training camp for artillery, the camp occupied a vast tract of land – over 20,000 acres – where the Petawawa River flows into the Ottawa River.(1)
It was a “concentration camp,” in the parlance of the day.(2) That is, though units might be raised and given initial training throughout the country, they would be brought together, or concentrated, in one or another military camp for final training before going overseas. Thus Percy’s 48th Battery was raised in Toronto, and trained initially at Exhibition Camp there, but moved to Petawawa for training for deployment overseas. And the 55th Battery, raised and trained in Guelph, also came to Petawawa at the end of May 1916.
The soldiers lived in tents – a change for Percy from the great barrack halls of the Exhibition Camp.(3)
(1) Ronald G. Haycock, “Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.” Canadian Encyclopaedia. April 16, 20120.
(2) Niccholson, G.W.L. Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War: Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919. Ottawa, 1962. 14
(3) Postcard, n.d. Sent by William George Calder to his father, September 24, 1916. The Canadian Letters and Images Project.
Copyright 2016. See “More about this project.”