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HISTORY OF WORK POINT BARRACKS

by Jack Bates

PART 6 — 1940 to 1956


1940

With the departure of the PPCLI detachment, the main units which garrisoned Work Point Barracks and Macaulay Camp were that of coastal and anti aircraft artillery, the overseas training centre with support units, and the Canadian Scottish Regiment.

January 1, 1940, by this time the bulk of the Machine Gun Company of the Canadian Scottish had moved and settled in Work Point Barracks. Conditions at Work Point were not ideal by any means. There was a shortage of office and storeroom space. Transportation was another drawback since it was not until January 5th that the unit was loaned one truck. Crowded barracks, lack of sufficient clothing and proper footwear, led to a large number of men with influenza.

Also in residence at Work Point was the RCE Works Detachment, 11 Military District. They numbered 3 -5 officers and 35 - 50 other ranks. Associated with them were an equal number of civilians.

Macaulay Camp became the home for the 1st Battalion of the Canadian Scottish early in 1940, just across the road from Work Point Barracks. The area was previously part of a golf course, and it was this pleasant landscape which was being covered with “H” huts even as the battalion moved in, some to occupy huts and some in tents. It was a nice location, close to home for many, and yet so situated as to include a sweeping view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the snow - capped Olympic Mountains beyond.

It was while the 1st Battalion was at Macaulay Point that its most famous “recruit” joined up. He never polished a button nor cleaned a rifle, yet was a favourite of the most exacting officers. He was little more than a year old when he “enlisted”, yet he had a serious solemn gravity about him which even a new second lieutenant could not match. This new recruit was “Wallace,” the St. Bernard dog, who became the mascot of the battalion.

Daily Colonist
March 3, 1940

OFFICIATES AT REOPENING OF COURSE

Brigadier C.V. Stockwell, DSO, District Officer Commanding MD # 11, is caught by the Colonist staff photographer, driving the ball from the first tee as the Macaulay Point Golf Club was reopened yesterday afternoon for soldiers in the Victoria and district. There was quite a large attendance of onlookers as the Brigadier smacked the ball down the rejuvenated first fairway. Freddy Burns who has been a professional at the Esquimalt course for over fifteen years, supervised the reconstruction of the links. There is just a small fee charged to the troops for playing on the course, and the layout is kept busy during the week.

Macaulay Point Golf Club Reopened

Daily Colonist
April 7, 1940

NEW YMCA HUT WILL BE OPENED

YMCA Red Triangle Hut on Bewdley Street at Anson, Macaulay Point

Shown above is the smart new Y.M.C.A. Red Triangle hut on Bewdley Street at Anson, Macaulay Point. Recently completed, the building will be officially opened later in the week. Tomorrow night, however, the first programme will be given in the hut, to which all men in uniform are invited. The Y.M.C.A. board of directors and their wives will act as hosts to the men. A dance and refreshments will follow the performance of the concert party, and W.T. Straith, M.P.P., will act as chairman. Dudley Wickett will direct the programme, which will include selections by the Elizabethan Singers, a hand balancing act by Larry Moore, monologues by Hope Denbigh, and community singing with Fred Arnot at the piano.

June 1940, 2 - 12-pounder QF guns mounted at Golf Hill, and 1 – 12-pounder gun, originally mounted at Ogden Point breakwater, manned by 56th Battery.

Work Point 1940
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Daily Times
September 13, 1940

Old Times Copy Link With Past

The July 11, 1892, copy of the Victoria Daily Times, unearthed at Work Point Barracks yesterday by Col. H.L. Sherwood, when an old building was being torn down, is an interesting link with the Victoria of 50 years ago.

The front page of six columns is mostly given to advertising and many of the firms are long since gone. Some of the old firms, well remembered by pioneers, are Hughes and O’Brien (groceries and provisions); Nicholls and Renouf (paints); the Stanley House (general drygoods); Langley & Company (disinfecting powder); George E. Munro (groceries and provisions); Swinerton and Oddy (real estate brokers); Gilmore and McCandless (advertising a drawing for a horse and buggy); the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company, forerunner of the C.P.R.; the Bank of British Columbia, W.C. Ward, manager; J.W. Mellor’s (wall papers); the Victoria Shirt Manufacturing Company; Perry, Gray and Davis, (civil and mining engineers); the new Vancouver Coal Mining and Land Company; the Japanese Bazaar; G.A. McTavish (flower seeds); the Westside, which later became Angus Campbell’s, now out of business; Jackson and Mylius (watchmakers and jewellers); George J. Jackson (tailor, now the famous Dr. Jackson of the breakfast foods); F.G. Richards (real estate and financial broker); Hotel Driard, Redon and Hartnagle and Hotel Victoria, P.J. Patton; Beaumont Boggs & Company (real estate and insurance); Heisterman & Company; Charles Hayward, funeral director and embalmer. The other funeral director of the day was C.B. Lockhart & Company.

Prime Minister Abbott was in charge of the Canadian government of the day, according to news dispatching. There was an election on in Britain, and Gladstone had just been conceded victory. Ravachol, the anarchist murderer, was guillotined that morning in Paris.

The sealing fleet had just arrived home, among the ships being the Mary Taylor, Pioneer, San Diego and Otto. The Pioneer, with 419 skins, came home in cjarge of Capt. Gedded, her master, Capt. McGouall, having been drowned. It was reported that the crew of the Rosie Olsen, Capt. Michael O’Keefe, had refused to allow American officers to board the schooner and that she had been seized and sent to Sitka.

October 4, 1940, the 1st Battalion, Canadian Scottish with approximately 1,000 all ranks, marched out of the gates of Macaulay Camp Barracks en route to the docks.

As tensions with Japan increased, Pacific Command was established at Work Point Fortress Headquarters in October of 1940. Joint USA and Canada meetings were held for mutual protection of the Juan de Fuca straits. This also afforded increased protection against German attack. The first Commanding Officer was Major Gen RO Alexander who resided in Work Point Barracks. He was also the DOC of MD # 11.

Searchlights in place at the end of 1940 were: 1 at Saxe Point, 1 at Harrison Point and 2 at McLoughlin Point.


1941

ESQUIMALT NAVAL BASE
A History of Its Work and Its Defences
by Major F.V. Longstaff - 1941 - Chapter III. (Edited)

Click here for PDF document

Newspaper article

B.C. ARCHIVES APPEAL

To the editor: The older residents of this city will remember the years 1893 till 1906, when Imperial troops garrisoned the naval base at Esquimalt. The units were Royal Marine Artillery, Royal Engineers and Royal Garrison Artillery. A special effort is being made to gather up all local material dealing with the officers, N.C.O.’s and men before the records are lost. There are no copies of the Official Monthly Army Lists in the Provincial Library, which is quite a handicap to the work of students.

I therefore make an appeal to anyone who has one or more copies of the Official Monthly or Quarterly Army Lists between 1893 and 1906 to come forward and present them to Dr. Kaye Lamb for safe custody in the library. To most people an old list of any sort seems of no value, but they are of great value to students and in their name I make this appeal.

F.V. LONGSTAFF
Major retired
50 Highland Drive.

March 27, 1941, The Pacific Command Victoria – Esquimalt Fortress’ mandate established was: “The defence, in conjunction with USA, defences on the south shore of the Juan de Fuca Strait.”

August 29, 1941, Lt. Col. Joan Kennedy opens Work Point Barracks office to enlist women for the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, they were housed and trained there. An excellent display, including a commemorative plaque of the CWAC, is housed at the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military museum in Naden. My good friend Dave Eastick’s aunt Pte. Evelyn Connor, who was killed during a London blackout in September 1944, is featured as part of the display.

N.C.O.’s in Canadian Women’s Army Corps

Newspaper photo:

Above are pictured twenty five volunteers, members of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, who recently completed a three weeks’ course which qualifies them for non commissioned rank when vacancies occur in the Corps. With them are Junior Commander Joan B. Kennedy, officer commanding No. 11 Detachment (third from the left front) and their instructors at Work Point Barracks. The volunteers include: D.G.Farley, B.P. Harvey, B.E.H. Large, J.F. Allen, I.K. Carey, H.M. Butterfield, J. Gooding, G.E. Brankley, D. Clive, B. Beckton, U. Ralph, E. Waymark, M.M. McKay, A.E.M. Watts, A.J. MacLennan, A. Wilkinson, B. Nation, R.E. Hincks, P.C. Smith, D.E. Phillips, M.F.K. Cornwall, D. Brock, V.M. O’Shea, N.K. Hewett and J.G. Marshall.

60th Battery manned Fort Macaulay in 1941. During their time there, they built the concrete wall for the Macaulay Point tidal swimming pool, (now filled in and part of Buxton Green) as was the one at the officer’s mess, built by General McNaughton a dozen years ago.

Canadian Coast Artillery and Anti Aircraft Training Centre established at Work Point Barracks with headquarters in the old hospital building beside the Fortress HQ.

Ron Lovatt. 1956.

December 12, 1941. After Pearl Harbour was bombed on December 7, 1941, the following units provided close infantry defence for gun sites and other important points as a mobile defence force:

18th (Manitoba) Reconnaisance Bn; The Dufferin and Haldeman Rifles; le Regiment de Hull; 3rd Bn Regina Rifles Regiment; 2nd Bn The Canadian Scottish regiment.


1942

In January, the Coast Artillery School of Instruction replaced the Canadian Coast Artillery and Anti Aircraft Training Centre, and increased in staff to 15 officers and 95 other ranks.

January 28, 1942 - Mrs. Isabel Grace Peters passed away in her home at 423 Peters street, the former “Ashburn.”In April the Peters residence was utilized for a PMQ and CWAC recreation Centre. It was later demolished in 1947(Esquimalt HAC reference article)

On June 20, 1942 a Japanese submarine shelled Estevan Point. See March 1, 1959.

The 6th Division was formed with headquarters at Work Point Barracks commanded by Major General A.E. Potts.

G.W. Williams – U Vic - 1968.

Regiments in the Esquimalt Victoria Fortress Area

Divisional units in the Esquimalt area were:

9th LAA Regiment, RCA; 22nd Field Coy, RCE; 6th Div. Signals, RC Sigs; 6th Div. Ammunition Coy., RCASC; 6th Div. Petrol Coy., RCASC.

Divisional units in the Esquimalt Victoria Fortress were: 31st (Alberta) Reconnaissance Regiment., CAC; 5th (BC) Coast Regiment, RCA; 21st Field Regiment., RCA; 3rd Bn – Regina Rifle Regiment; Le Regiment de Hull.

Mobile Force in the Esquimalt area: 1st Bn Canadian Scottish regiment; 2nd Bn Canadian Scottish regiment (less 1 Coy and 2 Platoons); 62nd Field Battery, RCA; 1 Coy. 13th Field Ambulance, RCAMC; Detachment 6th Div. RCASC; Detachment 11th Div. Signals, RC Sigs.

60th Battery manned Fort Macaulay with 2 – 6 inch breech loading guns at the left and right emplacements. In front of the centre “crew” emplacement was a 6 pdr gun as an “examination gun,” a new 4 inch naval gun on the east of the fort and a rifle range on the west side.

55th Battery manned 2 – 12 pounder Q F guns at Golf Hill with a Vickers Machine Gun pit at the shore line and 1 Vickers and 1 Lewis gun west of the fort.

27 Anti Aircraft Regiment was established at Macaulay Point in June 1942, and 42 Battery had a 3.7 inch gun at Macaulay Point. 13 LAA Battery had 12 - 40 mm guns across the Victoria Esquimalt area all controlled from operations headquarters at Macaulay Point. 9th LAA Regiment RCA also established at Macaulay point.

Macaulay Point Heavy Anti Aircraft personnel accommodation was mostly in the area bounded by Anson, Thomas and Clent streets. As their practice camp they had 4 HAA gun sites with a twin Bren gun pit near Bewdley Ave.

The Royal and Royal Canadian Engineers in British Columbia, with provincial headquarters presence in Victoria and Work Point dating back to the turn of the century, changed, as the headquarters of MD 11, Works Detachment, RCE, was relocated to Vancouver in September. 11 Works Company, RCE, was established at Work Point in 1942 and existed until the 1960’s.

Pacific Command: A Staff Officer at Work Point in 1928, and soon to be appointed Lt. General, George Pearkes arrived in Esquimalt on September 2, 1942 to assume responsibility of the Pacific Command which encompassed all of British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon Territory and the District of Mackenzie, NWT.

Although Work Point in Esquimalt had been the site of district headquarters for well over half a century, it was vulnerable to a seaborne raid. It was decided that due to the circumstances of the time, Jericho Beach in Vancouver was to be chosen as the site for the new Pacific Command headquarters, which included MD 11. The move was completed by the 30th of November to the Old Vancouver Hotel as a temporary home.

I summarized this activity with references to support Work Point Barracks being included within the Township of Esquimalt’s official history in 2012 and the role of the G.O.C. in relation with the Navy and Air Force. The G.O.C. would act as “primus inter pares” (first among equals or peers) in the event of an emergency.

A CANUCK IN ENGLAND
Journey of a Canadian Soldier by Howard Clegg

85346 - Howard Clegg, “D” Company PPCLI, wrote this book about his enlisting at Work Point and travelling overseas to England in 1939.

OPCMH
1942

“HQ - 27 AA Regiment RCA at Work Point Barracks”

Photo taken towards Lyall Street, original married quarters in the background.
WW 1 veteran from Esquimalt - RQMS AK Hine is 6th from the left in the front row.
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Library and Archives Canada
Report on Fort Macaulay Victoria
March 19, 1942

This report was written by W.A. Griesbach, Major General, Inspector General, Western Canada

Click here for PDF document


1943

Daily Colonist
February 1943

Peter’s House Favorite with Esquimalt CWAC’s

Girls of the C.W.A.C. stationed in Esquimalt haven’t got far to go if they want a change from barrack room life. They can drop into Peter’s house, the Y.W.C.A. war services centre canteen for service women and one of the most popular spots in the area. Taking up the ground floor of the former Peter’s home near Work Point Barracks the centre provides them with writing rooms, lounges and a canteen. Testifying to the popularity of Peter’s House canteen figures show that 6,000 were served there during January and 7,500 during the preceding month. Busiest time of the week is Monday evening the “in-night” of the CWAC’s when no passes are issued for leaving barracks.

Canteen Hostesses

Running Peter’s House is a full time job for Mrs. Florence Edwards, senior hostess and Mrs. Christine Johnson, assistant hostess. As well as doing the buying and banking they must keep track of all stock which in addition to food includes stationery, cosmetics drugs, soap, films and cigarettes to mention a few of the items the CWAC’s may buy there. Alternating each month with Macaulay Hut, Y.M.C.A. centre up the road, Peter’s House give a tea party with the CWAC’s and their boy - friends as guests. “You are all invited to come to tea here Sunday, 16.00 to 18.00 hours,” read the blackboard sign near the entrance of the last affair. “Bring your “wolf” if you have one.”

Party Style

Emphasizing the “home” atmosphere for the occasion Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. Johnson arranged large bowls of spring flowers and blossom in the hallway and lounges. Plates piled high with sandwiches and cakes were ready for the uniformed guests and tea was served in party style from two candle lit tables in the main hall. Altogether there were more than 200 guests. All furniture for Peter’s House has been supplied by the Y.W.C.A. Across the hall from the big lounge and canteen there’s a writing room which is a favorite rendezvous for the CWAC’s. All the furniture is of natural wood and above the mantle are shelves piled high with books. Stationery, too, is supplied by the “Y” and every evening the desks are occupied with uniformed girls snatching a few minutes to write letters home.

Daily Colonist
April 4, 1943

Victoria Men Graduated From Artillery School

First officers to complete the qualifying course at the Canadian Coast Artillery School, Esquimalt, are those seen above with three Victoria men in the group. All men were drawn from the ranks, began the course as secong lieutenants, and have been graduated as lieutenants. Their course included study of heavy and light anti-aircraft batteries and searchlights.

From left to right they are: Top Row, G.L. Smith, Vancouver; R.B. McMicking, Victoria; centre, L.B. Durrant, Victoria; G.P. Lyons, Prince Rupert; W.J. Burnett, Vancouver; G. J. Manson, Vancouver; bottom, D. Butt, Port Alberni; A.M. Tierney, Vancouver; J.K. Foote, West Vancouver; A. Caddell, Victoria.

1st Officers Qualifying Course C.C.S.A. Esquimalt B.C. March 2, 1943

Victoria Times
June 11, 1943

$320,000 Housing Job In Esquimalt Let

J.A. Pollard, Victoria contractor, has been awarded a contract for the construction of 100 Wartime Housing Ltd. Dwellings in Esquimalt at a total figure of $320,000, it was announced today by J. P. Leonard James, supervising architect.

The worker’s dwellings will be erected on Dunsmuir and Paradise streets in the Work Point area.

Construction will be of frame and cedar siding on concrete foundations with brick chimneys, the dwellings to contain from four to six rooms. One will be a duplex. In addition to the dwelling construction the project calls for street, sewer, water and other services developments.

Tenders are being called by Wartime Housing for the erection of a four room school building on the Lampson Street site.

July 1943, 58 Special AA Battery was disbanded.

August 30, 1943, the Chief of Defence Staff recommended a reduction of the forces deployed in defence of the west coast, due to a diminished threat in the Pacific theatre.

6th Division strength totalled 11, 462 all ranks on Vancouver Island, headquarters relocated to Prince George for the Kiska deployment.

Golf Hill Battery
April 24, 1943

Photo: Golf Hill Battery, Work Point Barracks and Macaulay Camp. # 2 HAA Battery buildings corner Clent and Thomas Streets.


1944

The withdrawal of anti aircraft guns and personnel started in May 1944, and continued slowly until Japan surrendered in August 1945.

Magazine Article
May 27, 1944

SOAP IN THE ARMY

At the rates that we’re going some time ago – and nothing indicated that it might be any different today – the soap supplied to the Canadian Army, according to the contracts, cost $200 a ton. However, if one takes into consideration that one single soldier uses on average one pound a month of this product, it follows that it costs $10,000 / month to provide the necessary soap to an army of 100,000 soldiers.

With the arrival of the recovery campaigns, and everyone knows that in national trash collections, one can find some materials which are ideal for transformation. So, kitchen leftovers, grease, used car oil, leftover meat from restaurants supplied by restaurants and elsewhere, for example, can be used again perfectly in soap manufacturing. That, the staff sergeant F.C. MacDonald had every reason to know since before the war, he had acquired in the area, a vast experience in a Chicago soap factory. Also, as soon as the national recovery campaigns were started, this intelligent civil servant judged that there was the possibility for the Canadian Army to make its soap much more cheaply.

For this purpose, authorization was given him to outfit a defunct gunpowder storage unit at Work Point Barracks, to make a soap factory. It didn’t take him long to demonstrate that the effort was worth it. Things worked so well that one almost immediately surprised to see a little industry unfold there, where, before there was an unused storage area.

Today, thanks to this initiative, one can make soap altogether appropriate to the army’s needs which cost $1000 / month, there where the alternative was costing ten times more.

In other words, the transformation of kitchen waste – including those of civilians – and of old car oil from army vehicles, provided a soap which cost one cent a pound. Over time, it was possible, as one anticipated, that this cost be reduced in half.

In the preceding issue of this magazine, it was affirmed with proof that the Canadian Army was among the best fed in the world. It should also not be doubted by anyone that it was also among the cleanest!

Photos: Top photo, Staff Sergeant F.C. MacDonald in his lab; above and opposite, three phases of soap manufacturing in the army.

This article was written in French and translated for this compilation. The building originated as a gunpowder magazine erected by contractor William Rockett, a carpenter who resided at 234 Johnson street. The construction was done per a Department of Public Works plan under a contract signed April 27, 1893. The magazine is shown on an 1895 Work Point Barracks plan with a walkway to it. After the munitions were relocated to a second magazine, built in 1898 beside the saluting base, it was utilized over the years as RE stores, shoe maker, carpenter’s shop, soap works / factory et al. Its demise came in 1953 when a suspicious fire destroyed what was left of the building on the little island at West Bay. The island now forms part of the filled in West Bay Marina RV site.


1945

Macaulay Point Battery was closed in May 1945, all remaining anti aircraft gun sites were closed and cleared by 13 LAA Battery and turned over to 11 Maintenance Detachment, RCE.

Treasury Office DND
Pacific Command – Army
Vancouver, BC
July 6, 1945

Corporation of Township of Esquimalt
Esquimalt, BC

Rental – Victoria Area DEL Site period 1-7-45 to 31-7-45 $4.63

Assuming this is for the Saxe Point Searchlight.

Daily Colonist
July 28, 1945

Tag Day Will Aid Princess Pats Who Fight in Pacific

This picture shows men of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry leaving Victoria shortly after the outbreak of war. It is for men of this regiment that taggers will be on the streets today to raise funds to keep going the steady flow of comforts, cigarettes etc, that the Women’s Auxiliary to the PPCLI has sent overseas for nearly six years now.

The PPCLI is one of the most famous regiments in Canada. Formed during the last war, their brilliant fighting record caused them to be incorporated into the permanent forces, and between the two world wars half the regiment was stationed at Work Point Barracks.

Replicas of the actual shoulder badges of the Pats will be used as tags, each having a red background on which the unit’s name will be printed in white. Since the PPCLI is one of the regiments which will fight in the Pacific, some of the funds raised today will pay for comforts to go to the soldiers serving there. Other comforts will go to Europe for wounded Princess Pats still in hospital there.

Mrs. Denton Holmes is convener of the Victoria district, with headquarters at the Women’s Institute Rooms, 635 Fort Street, while Mrs. Robert McVie will convene the Esquimalt taggers, at 906 Esquimalt Road.

Photo:

Soldiers of the PPCLI on the bow of the Princess Kathleen, bound for Vancouver.

September 1st, 1945, 6th Division was officially disbanded on after the surrender of Japan in August.

DND HQ, Esquimalt Fortress
Esquimalt, BC
30 August, 1945.

The Reeve
Corporation of the Township of Esquimalt,
Municipal Hall,
Esquimalt, BC

Dear Sir: I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 29th inst regarding the removal of the building housing the Searchlight installation at Saxe Point Park. This matter has been referred to the appropriate higher authority and you will be informed as soon as a decision has been reached.

Yours Truly,

(G.F. Preston) Brigadier
Commanding Esquimalt Fortress

DND
HQ, Esquimalt Fortress
Esquimalt, BC
10 Sept., 1945.

The Reeve
Corporation of the Township of Esquimalt,
Municipal Hall,
Esquimalt, BC

Dear Sir: Further to my letter of 30 Aug 1945 on the above noted file, please be advised that authority has been granted for the removal of the searchlight installation buildings at Saxe Point Park. Instructions have been issued for this work to be carried out immediately.

Yours truly,

(D.N. Robertson) Lt. Col.
a/Fortress Commander
Esquimalt Fortress

DND
RCE Works Office
Work Point Barracks, Victoria, BC
Sept. 12, 1945.

Corporation of the Township of Esquimalt
Municipal Hall,
Esquimalt, BC

Engineer Services
Searchlight Emplacement
Saxe Point, Esquimalt, BC

Dear Sirs: Reference the marginally noted area. Please be advised that in the very near future we expect to remove these buildings.

The Department of National Defence has requested that the power and control cables at such sites be left buried so that, should the necessity arise at any time in the future to place Coast Artillery Batteries back in action making it necessary to re-install searchlights, etc., these cables will be available; and assurance is also requested that future access to the site is available. Will you please advise if this will be satisfactory to the Municipal Council.

It is suggested that the concrete floor of the generator room, etc., be left “as is.” It is thought that it might be useful to the Municipality should they wish to install an open-air fireplace for users of the Park. We will remove the fence and leave the site in as orderly shape as possible.

Please advise if this will be satisfactory to you.

Yours truly,

(H. Oldham) Major, RCE
Area Engineer Officer

Daily Colonist
September 19, 1945

Saxe Point – The Department of National Defence has advised Reeve Thomas Hadfield of Esquimalt that searchlights in Saxe Point Park will be removed in the near future. The department promised to leave the park grounds in good condition, and requested permission to leave electric cables and concrete emplacements in the ground in case of future emergencies.

Daily Colonist
October 12, 1945

Volunteer Workers Sew Uniform Badges and Insignia

Red Cross workers and members of the W.A. to the Canadian Legion were joined Wednesday morning at Macaulay Point by more than 50 of the neighbourhood wives, who mended uniform badges and insignia for the repatriated British soldiers. The men, happy to relax in the warm sunshine, welcomed the chance to talk with the volunteers. Many experiences were recounted and laughs shared while the 1,300 badges were being measured and sewn on the uniforms.

Volunteer Workers Sew Uniform Badges and Insignia

Twelve Years' Service Rewarded

Mrs. H. R. Hopwood, President of the Esquimalt Red Cross, left and Mrs. Thomas Gibbs, congratulate Gerard Kevins, of the 1st Manchester Regiment, as they sew the three chevrons, denoting 12 years of service, on his sleeve. Kevins, a repatriated soldier from Hong Kong, joined the army at the age of 18.

Repatriated soldier receives service chevrons at Work Point

October 30, 1945

Camp Macaulay Is Quarantined

Eleven hundred British repatriated prisoners of war from the Orient have been quarantined at Camp Macaulay because of a suspected case of a serious contagious disease, it was disclosed by army officers here last night.

Officers in charge of the camp would make no statement as to the nature of the suspected case, but said that serum had been sent to Vancouver for test and the results would be known today.

Until the medical report is received from Vancouver, all outside visitors, including next of kin and entertainers, are being refused entry. Everyone at the camp, including the staff, has been affected by the quarantine order.

November 1945, the last men of the 5th (B.C.) Coast Regiment, including the commanding officer, were demobilized. At their peak they had 38 officers and 1320 all other ranks.

Daily Colonist
October 31, 1945

Quarantine of Camp Removed

Quarantine placed on Macaulay Camp on Monday was lifted at 10 a.m. yesterday when laboratory reports from Vancouver on serum taken from skin lesions of a repatriated prisoner of war suspected of having smallpox proved negative, it was announced by Major J.R.S. Nicol, army liaison officer.

Eleven hundred repatriates are now free to come and go, and visitors will be allowed in the camp with the removal of the quarantine.

According to Dr. R.B. Jenkins, superintendent at the Dominion Quarantine Station, William Head, the man suspected of having small pox was suffering from an uncommon skin disease known as erythema multiforme, which is not communicable or dangerous. It is a skin disease which closely resembles small pox in appearance.

Hundreds of telephone calls on Monday night from persons who had entertained the men feared the reported disease might be communicable, besieged officers at the camp. They were unable to give any definite information until laboratory tests had been made.

Meanwhile, Major Nicol said, the quarantine had enabled the medical staff to speed up routine medical checks necessary before the repatriates can resume their journey home.

DND
MPO 1103
Victoria, BC
20 Nov. 1945.

Reeve I. Hatfield
Esquimalt Municipal Hall
Esquimalt, BC

Dear Sir: May I take this opportunity of expressing to you and to the citizens of Esquimalt my most sincere thanks for all that was done by them for the Liberated Prisoners of War at Macaulay Camp.

The stay of these men here was made most pleasant and memorable by the many kindnesses, the hospitality and the sympathetic understanding of the people of this area and I am convinced that the welcome they received and the treatment they experienced will play a large part in their final rehabilitation.

Again, with many thanks
I remain
Yours, Most Sincerely

(M.D. Robertson) Lt. Col.,
Commanding Officer
Liberated Prisoners of War Reception Camps

DND
British Army Staff,
MPO 1103, Victoria, BC
26, Nov. 1945

To: Reeve T. Hatfield, Esquimalt

From: Liaison Officer, Victoria, BC

Dear Sir: As the British Army Staff is about to leave Victoria, at the conclusion of its work here in assisting to send home about 4,000 British liberated prisoners, I am anxious to express to you our gratitude as British onlookers, for all that has been done by you and your Municipality to make the repatriates feel happy and completely at home while they have been here.

It has been the task of my small staff to keep this military movement running smoothly as possible while the military organization and administration, a far larger matter, was handled by the Canadian Units concerned.

Although we have been dealing with all the drafts that passed through from the point of view of soldiers, we have always been fully aware that the full recovery of the repatriates was greatly to be affected by the kindness of citizens among whom they moved when off duty, and on behalf of every one I am glad to express gratitude to you.

Yours sincerely,

(A.F. Sinclair) Major
Coldstream Guards
Senior British Liaison Officer
Victoria, BC


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