“An ideal spot”

YMCA letterheard

Gordon Brown took advantage of the facilities provided by the YMCA — space and stationery in particular — to write to his mother on arrival at Camp Petawawa, and describe his new surroundings for her and his family at home.

It seems an ideal spot for a military camp. There are fine paved roads running all through it with places for each battery marked out at different places here and there. It is very sandy here but it is mostly covered with grass, bushes and stunted evergreens. A few steps from here, I can look down at the Ottawa river below. There are many little islands in it and big rafts of logs along the other shore. It is very pretty indeed. Beyond the river are fairly good sized hills probably part of the Laurentian range.(1)

Runciman.postcard.YMCACampPetawawa

This undated photograph shows a more substantial building than a tent, and may show a replacement. Though undated, the photograph came from Walter Kenneth Runciman who did not enlist until September 1917.

(1)Robert Gordon Brown, letter to his mother. May 31, 1916, in The Canadian Letters and Images Project.

Copyright 2016. See “More about this project.”

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