The Canadian Expeditionary Force Novels

Forging the Weapon cover 1914
Hammering the Blade cover 1915

by

Frank Rockland

Setting > Valcartier Camp

Valcartier Camp

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On August 2, 1914, Colonel Sam Hughes arrived by special train to Quebec City and was driven the twenty miles to Valcartier for an inspection. He was considering the site as the mobilization base in the event that British declared war on Germany. He informed the accompanying reporters that Valcartier made an ideal location because it:

While 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 one problem. The base did not actually exist!

When war was declared on August 4 the Canadian government announced Valcartier as the assembly point for a contingent of 25,000 troops that they were planning to send to defend the British Empire. To accommodate the volunteers the following facilities were built by the time the men and women arrived by early September 1914:

For nearly two months the camp was home to nearly 31,000 men plus 7,000 horses. For the first month the conditions that the men labourers under were 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