Forging the Weapon

A WW1 Canadian Expeditionary Force
Historical Novel


Frank Rockland

Setting > Valcartier Camp

Valcartier Camp

View Photo Gallery of the Valcartier Camp

On August 2, 1914, Colonel Sam Hughes arrived at Quebec City by special train and was then driven the twenty miles to Valcartier for an inspection. He was considering the site as the mobilization base should Britain declare war on Germany.

He informed the accompanying reporters that Valcartier would make an ideal location because it:

The federal government had been buying property at Valcartier to build a central training base for the province of Quebec for a number of years. There was only one problem. The base did not actually exist!

When war had been declared on August 4, the Canadian government announced Valcartier as the assembly point for a contingent of 25,000 men they were planning to send to help defend the British Empire.

To accommodate the volunteers the following facilities were built in early September 1914:

From August to October of 1914, the camp was home to nearly 31,000 men plus 7,000 horses. For the first month, the conditions the men trained and lived under were quite deplorable as the base was being constructed.

Map of Valcartier Camp 1914

Map of  Valcartier Camp

Source: Official History of the Canadian Forces in the Great War 1914-1919, Duguid, Colonel Fortesque, page 87.

Sources and further readings

Canada Enters the War - Training at Valcartier | Canada and the First World War

The Valcartier tour de force | World War I

CFB Valcartier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Canadian Forces Base Valcartier | Canadian Army