HISTORY OF WORK POINT BARRACKS
by Jack Bates
PART 3 — 1894 to 1906
Still Unconscious — Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bates, who were asphyxiated in their home on North Park street on Wednesday, were still unconscious last night, and the doctors at the Jubilee Hospital, where they are being treated, were unable to say whether they would recover. The inquest on their child, who died from the effects of the fumes from the make shift stove, will be held this morning.
March 9, 1901
LOCAL SOLDIERS TO GO ABROAD
"A" Company R.C.R. to be Sent to Either Malta or India
Will Leave for Halifax About the Beginning of Next Month
Daily the Canadian is coming further to the front in the Empire's work. Now the remaining members of "A" company of the Royal Canadian Regiment, serving at Hospital Point under Col. McKay, are to be sent abroad for foreign service. They will leave on April 1 for Halifax, where the other companies of the regiment are stationed, and from the eastern military station they will go abroad to serve King Edward in either Malta or India, and the men are looking forward with no small amount if interest to their life in the garrison town to which they are to be sent, whether Malta or in far away India.
The company at Hospital Point now numbers 36 in all, its former strength of 97 who served under Col. McKay having been depleted by the departure of so many to serve in Baden Powell's South African Police, and by the fact that some have taken their discharge at the expiration of their year of service at the local barracks.
The orders received under which the company are to go abroad do not give the location of the garrison town to which they are to be attached simply stating that they proceed to Halifax for foreign service, but unofficially the officers and men of the company have learned that it is either to the well equipped garrison town of Malta, in the sunny Mediterranean, or to one of the Indian garrisons of the Empire that they are to go to, and they are expectantly looking forward to the rip abroad. Arrangements are now being made for their transportation to Halifax, and the arrangements for the further journey are to be made there.
The regiment of which A company is a part, the other seven companies being at Halifax, was formed during the war in South Africa in April last, as a special service regiment for garrison duty, and the members of the local corps have done garrison duty, furnishing guards daily at the nearby forts. The Marine Hospital, across the harbor, was transformed into a barracks for them and has since been their home. Their stay has not been without interest, for they have come before the public notice in different ways on more than one occasion. The members of the company have ever given their service for any entertainment or charity, and their fancy drills and other exhibitions have been welcome numbers to concert programmes.
Col. Benson, who has been acting D.O.C. of military district No. 11 for some time, accompanied by his wife and family, leaves tonight for Montreal. He will assume command of military district No. 5, with headquarters in Montreal. Until the arrival of Col. Holmes from London, Ont., where he is at present D.O.C. of military district No. 1, who is to succeed Col. Benson here, Col. Gregory, of the Fifth regiment, will be given charge of military district No. 11.
Hospital Point barracks is ready to be vacated by the remaining members of "A" company, R.C.R. Tonight Lt. Col. McKay, Lieut. Clarke and nine non commissioned officers and men leave on the Charmer to entrain at Vancouver for Halifax. Two members of the company have already gone east. "A" company has been stationed here for a little over a year, and during that time the officers and men have made many friends in the city. Lt. Col. McKay has been very popular throughout Victoria, and will be very much missed among his wide circle of friends.
ARTILLERYMEN UNDER CANVAS
The Fifth Regiment Have Gone Into Camp at Macaulay Point
For two Weeks Officers and Men Will Undergo Summer Training
The Fifth Regiment Canadian Artillery are in camp at Macaulay Point, and their camp presents a pretty site. About a hundred yards of or thereabouts from the grass covered mounds which as far as the onlooker from without the barrier can see, are the forts of Macaulay Point, stand many rows of bell tents, some sixty in all, set in the straightest of lines, several large marquees, a canvas covered, but wall-less dining room and the kitchen where the viands for the rows of tables are prepared by a staff of six cooks. Each company has engaged a cook, five companies having secured white men, while No. 5 Company has a heathen Chinese who finds poor companionship in the pine boarded kitchen. At the front of the camp is the Flag, and behind it a guard tent, standing in a central position before the rows of bell tents in each of which eight men and a corporal sleep. Here a non-commissioned officer and five men are stationed, who form the camp guard. Behind the guard tent with their wagons and limbers before them are four thirteen pounder field guns of the regiment, and still further down this centre aisle between the several rows of tents are two rows of stacked rifles before which a sentry paces briskly to and fro. This is the scene at the camp of the Fifth Regiment Canadian Artillery, where 269 officers and men of the local militia regiment are in camp. It is a pleasant place this camp at the shore side of Macaulay Plains just without this fort, for there nature is seen at its best. The limpid waters of the roads where the merchantmen lie at anchor are just beyond the fort, whose three six inch guns, down in their hidden receptacles within the fort, point across the straits to those picturesque snow clad ranges, and with the bright foliage all about, few better encampments for the soldiers could be found. The arrangements at the camp are also good. The dining room is bright, and that it is airy is evident, for no canvas sides interrupt the sea breezes from the sea, and no tented gables stop the color of the viands in the string of iron pots suspended over the trench in which the flames leap and jump at the front of the kitchen where the cooks and commissariat department of the men have their headquarters. The officers have a kitchen on their own account further in the rear.
The preparations for the campers were made on Saturday, when the marquees and domiciles for the cooks were erected, and on Sunday morning at 10 a.m., 269 officers and men paraded at the drill hall, and 35 minutes later started out to the music of their band for Macaulay Point. In a short time the soldiers had erected their canvas homes for their two next weeks of camp life, and — the cooks having been busy in the meantime — lunch was served. The men were relieved of all duty for the day, and the greater number returned to the city, the camp having a deserted appearance for the remainder of the day.
Yesterday morning Nos. 1 and 2 Companies proceeded to Work Point Barracks and there secured two more thirteen pound muzzle loading field guns, and six carriages which they hauled to the camping ground, and when placed in position with the other guns they added much to the military appearance of the camp. It was yesterday morning that the work began in earnest, and for two weeks the drill and instruction will continue. To make more efficient soldiers of the Fifth Regiment soldiers, who as Col. Biscoe, the assistant adjutant-general commanding the Imperial forces in Canada, said, form an important arm of the defences of Esquimalt. The orders of the day as posted on the order board at the camp amply how this drill and work is carried on. The orders were as follows:
Rations will be issued every morning at 8 o'clock from the quartermaster's stores west of the middle of camp. Hospital sergeant's tent is south of No. 5 Company's line of tents. Sick parade will be at 6:15 a.m. in front of the hospital sergeant's tent.
The following men have been taken on strength of the regiment and are posted in companies as follows: No. 1 Co., No. 37, Gr C Allard; No. 4 Co., No. 162, Gr II Stewart; No. 192, Gr C McNaughton.
Nos. 1 and 2 companies will proceed to Work Point Barracks at 6:15 a.m. on June 17, and bring over two 13 pound field guns and six wagons before going on with their drill and instruction already ordered for that hour.
Nos. 3, 5 and 6 companies will each supply a six inch B.S. gun detachment which will proceed to drill on A., B. and F. gun respectively, at the same hour.
No. 4 company will supply a D.R.F. and two maxim gun detachments. Second Lieut. Langley is attached to No. 4 Co. for this parade, and will be in command of the maxim gun detachment.
Dress of above company and detachments, clean fatigues.
The remainder of Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 companies will be paraded at 6:15 on the regimental parade ground in front of camp for instruction in infantry drill in drill order.
The strength of the regiment which marched into camp on Sunday morning as given in the parade state, was as follows:
As the total strength of the regiment at its full strength is 300, this was a good muster.
MOBILIZATION AT THE POINT
Militia Will Carry Out Manoeuvres On Labor Day
Although nothing official has yet been given out, it is understood that the manoeuvres which were so successfully carried out last year at Esquimalt by the Coast Militia, with the active co-operation of the regular forces stationed at Work point, will be repeated this year. Locally there has been no desire to agitate for a repetition of the mobilization, as the two weeks training which the Fifth Regiment put in earlier in the year depleted regimental funds, upon which a demand would have to be renewed if the mobilization is decreed. The men also in many instances secured leave from their respective employers and would not care to ask for a renewal of the privilege.
However, as Labor Day seems to have been set for the training, the latter obstacle would not appear to be serious, as most of the business houses will be closed for the day. The regiment will probably not go under canvas on Sunday, but will march into camp on Monday and participate in the tactics, returning to the city in the evening. The Sixth Batt. of Rifles from Vancouver will likely come down by special boat early on Sunday morning and pitch their tents at Macaulay Point. A drum head service will in all probability be held during the day, and a band concert be given in the afternoon or evening.
The manoeuvres for Monday are not yet decided, but the Fifth Regiment will probably man the guns, in conjunction with the R.G.A., while the Rifles will act as infantry supports, and, if the programme of last year be repeated, as picquets and scouting parties. It is expected that this year a more reliable element will be introduced into the manoeuvres by the participation of the squadron. It is contemplated to have an attack on the forts by the ships, and possibly an attempt at storming the fortifications by landing parties of blue jackets and marines.
Last year A Co., 3rd R.C.R., was detailed to attempt a surprise on the Rod Hill forts, and this may be repeated this year by a detachment of the Rifles.
The latter will return to Vancouver by special boat on Monday evening.
October 1, 1901
The Royal Horse Artillery who arrived here from China a short time ago, and who, since that time have been in camp at Work Point, embark at Montreal on the Corinthian on October 12th. They will leave here on Sunday morning by the Charmer.
October 7, 1901
TROOPS LEFT FOR HOME
Royal Horse Artillery, After Enjoyable Stay in Victoria, Left on Saturday for England
On Saturday evening last the residents of Esquimalt and Victoria west districts were awakened from their slumbers by the cheers of soldiers and sailors and the music of the Garrison fife and drum band. The detachment of Royal Horse Artillery which some weeks ago arrived in Victoria after active service in China, and since has been quartered at Work Point, left on the Yosemite that night bound to eastern Canada, from whence they will take a liner for home.
The many who welcomed the troops to the city on their arrival from China noticed on that occasion their evidently worn and fagged out condition. A few weeks in Victoria had disposed of all the affects of their campaign, and on Saturday night as they marched through the streets on their way to the boat the crowds, which in spite of the fact that it was midnight, cheered and gave them a most hearty send off, observed that their short stay in Victoria had improved their physical appearance wonderfully.
The march continued from the Work Point barracks, headed by the fife and drum band, which played pieces appropriate to the occasion. The march to town was enlivened by cheer upon cheer of sailors who filled the cars. On reaching the electric power house the fife and drum band was augmented by that of the Fifth regiment, which escorted the "Tommies" the remainder of the way to the boat.
In spite of the fact that the visiting detachment has been here but a short time, they have made many friends among the soldiers, who were their companions, and Victorians by their manly bearing and their invariable courtesy.
Army Stores — Mr. Joshua Davies has received instructions to hold the first sale of condemned army ordnance department stores at Signal Hill, Esquimalt, on Thursday next at 11 a.m. The stores consist of carts, wagons, forges, baskets, duplex feed pump, iron drums, brass lanterns, furniture, new and old clothing, cast and wrought iron Hessian wrappers, great coats, watch coats and pea jackets. On Tuesday the same auctioneer will sell at 85 Wharf street a lot of galvanized iron buckets, fish and marmalade ex the ship Red Rock.
Recommendations That Lieutenant Colonel Holmes Will Make to Ottawa
Nelson, B.C. Oct. 12 — (Special). Lieut. Col. Holmes, D.O.C., states that he will recommend hat the militia department disband the Revelstoke company of militia, and give the company to Rossland; also to disband the Kaslo company, making the headquarter here when this place will become headquarters for the regiment and the band, also that a drill shed be built here, and one at Rossland.
The Kamloops Company of rifles will probably be disbanded and mounted companies established there and at Vernon and greenwood.
October 16, 1901
Are Ordered to Hong Kong
Company No. 19, R.G.A. Will Sail Shortly for the Far East
To Be Relieved by Co. No. 21, From Bermuda — More Engineers
Company No. 19, Western Division, R.G.A., which has been stationed at Work Point for just two years and two weeks, have received orders to proceed to Hong Kong. When it is to leave has not yet been decided, but probably not until after the arrival of the company which is to relieve it. The company which is to come is Company No. 21 of the western Division, R.G.A., now stationed in Bermuda. It will be with regret that Victorians hear of the intended departure of Company No. 19, the officers and men of which have made many friends since their arrival here. The men too do not view the move with favor as they have become attached to this city, which is so much like the towns of the old country from which they come, and where the climate is so favorable. It is expected that a couple of weeks will see them on their way across the Pacific on one of the Empresses. As the R.H.A. were the first British troops to cross the Pacific from China to Canada on their way home, the R.G.A. will be the first to cross from Canada to China. The British government have evidently come to the conclusion that the Pacific route is the best for transporting troops to and from the Orient.
There are close upon two hundred officers and men in Company No. 19, the officers being Major Wynne, Capt. Macdonald, and Lieutenants Wahl, Gregory and Smith. Before coming to Victoria the company spent just two years at Halifax, that being about the length of time they remain in one place.
The force of engineers stationed here is shortly to be reinforced, 30 engineers having left England a couple of days ago for Work Point. They are coming it is said to carry out the work of building a fort near Rod Hill, which will be the most extensive work yet undertaken by the military authorities on this station. The ground is now being laid out for it. A lot more barrack room has been provided at Work Point and there is talk of a large increase in the force stationed here.
New Force for Work Point Reached Here From Halifax Last Night
No. 21 Company, Western Division, Royal Garrison Artillery, reached Victoria last night on the steamer Charmer to relieve Company 19 of the same corps, scheduled to sail on the R.M.S. Empress of China tomorrow. The new company, which is stationed here comprises five officers and 165 non commissioned officers and gunners, 8 women and 11 children. The officers are Major W. McGurdon, in command, Capt. A.E. Harrison, Lieut. C.G. Sladen, and second Lieutenants A.H. Cameron, O.R.E. Milman and T.A. Whyte.
In addition is a draft of the Royal Engineers for this station, consisting of one warrant officer, 20 non commissioned officers and sappers, with 3 women. Hon. F.G Hood, who is in command, has been temporarily detained in Halifax, but will arrive in January. The new arrivals have been comfortably ensconced in the new quarters at Work Point, which has been found equal to all demands. The men come from Bermuda.
SOUTH AFRICAN VOLUNTEERS
Departure of Victoria's Quota to Col. Evans Canadian Mounted Infantry
Stalwart Lot of Men Who Should Prove Best of Fighting Material
The 10 men chosen on Monday to serve in the Canadian Mounted Infantry in South Africa, presented themselves at the drill hall yesterday morning at 10 o'clock, and were duly sworn in by Lt. Col. Holmes. After the attestation they were dismissed, to make final arrangements for their departure, after being notified to parade in the drill shed at 10 p.m.
Victoria's representatives are all well put up, soldierly looking fellows, likely to give a good account of themselves when the occasion offers. The youngest is 21 and the oldest 38 years of age, and are all good shots and expert riders. The following descriptions are from the official records:
A. Haggerty is 22 years of age; 5 feet 11 ¾ inches in height; weighs 165 lbs and measures 35 inches around the chest. He is a native of Montreal; has lived several years in this province. He served in A company, R.C.R., at Work Point.
J.A. Worley was born in Sussex England. He is 23 years old, 5 feet 7 inches in height, weighs 150 lbs and measures round the chest 35 inches. He was formerly a member of A Company, R.C.R., stationed at Work Point
Only two of the ten are shown here as they were A Company R.C.R. reference being addressed as Work Point Barracks.
Archives of Manitoba
Documentation signed for expropriation of expanding Work Point Barracks, listing the meets and bounds description of the lands, covering lots 1-5, Block 20, Section 11, Plan 195A (Viewfield Farm). See September 1, 1900.