Camp Hughes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Camp Hughes
National Historic Site of Canada
Camp Hughes Trench System 1.jpg
Trenches at Camp Hughes built for training soldiers for battle in World War One
Coordinates: 49°53′1.47″N 099°33′4.82″W / 49.8837417°N 99.5513389°W / 49.8837417; -99.5513389
Province Manitoba
Municipality North Cypress
Designated as a NHSC 2011
Founder Government of Canada
Established 1909 (used until 1934)

Camp Hughes was a Canadian military training camp, located in the Rural Municipality of North Cypress west of the town of Carberry in Manitoba, Canada. It was actively used for Army training from 1909 to 1934 and as a communications station from the early 1960s until 1991.

Camp Hughes was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2011. It features an intact World War I battlefield terrain, which was created for training purposes by the Canadian Department of National Defense between 1915 and 1916. It is now one of the only World War One era trench systems remaining in the world.[1]

History[edit]

In 1909, a Canadian military training camp named "Camp Sewell" was established 10 kilometers west of Carberry, south of the Canadian Pacific Railway line. It started out as a city of tents and covered a large area. The name of the camp was changed in 1915 to "Camp Hughes" in honour of Major-General Sir Sam Hughes, Canada's Minister of Militia and Defence at the time. Extensive trench systems, grenade and rifle ranges, and military structures were built at Camp Hughes between 1915 and 1916, and a variety of retail stores and entertainment complexes on a double-avenued area close to the main camp formed a lively commercial midway. During World War I, more than 38,000 troops of the Canadian Expeditionary Force trained at the camp, and by 1916 it had grown to such a large size that it had the largest population of any city in the province of Manitoba outside of the capital city, Winnipeg. Many of the soldiers who trained at Camp Hughes were later involved in the infamous Battle of Vimy Ridge in France on April 9, 1917.

The soldiers and support staff stationed at Camp Hughes maintained very close social and economic ties with the town of Carberry, which is located a short distance away from the site.

The Canadian Army continued to train soldiers at the camp until 1934, when the camp closed and the troops were moved to nearby Camp Shilo, now CFB Shilo, and Kapyong Barracks, a now closed part of CFB Winnipeg, for financial and logistical reasons. The former camp saw some use during World War II.

By the early 1960s, the site re-opened as a Cold War remote transmitter station for Camp Shilo. A one-level bunker was built on the property. The bunker was closed in 1992 and has since been demolished.

Today[edit]

Although very eroded after over 85 years, the original trench system at Camp Hughes is still intact and is the only World War One era trench system remaining in North America.

The Camp Hughes Cemetery, which is located on what is known as Cemetery Hill, also remains at Camp Hughes.

The Camp Hughes National Historic Site is no longer used for active military use, therefor the area is completely open to the public and access is unrestricted. It does however continue to be monitored by the Canadian Department of National Defense, as the Camp Hughes site is located less than 1 km away from a restricted area of CFB Shilo.

Official recognition[edit]

In 1994, Camp Hughes was designated by the Government of Manitoba as a Provincial Heritage Site. In 2011, the site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.[2]

There is a roadside park named "Camp Hughes Wayside Park" located 10 kilometers west of Carberry on the Trans Canada Highway at the west intersection with PTH 351, a short distance north of the actual Camp Hughes site, named in honour of the military camp.

Photo gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Camp Hughes National Historic Site of Canada. Directory of Federal Heritage Designations. Parks Canada. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  2. ^ Camp Hughes National Historic Site of Canada. Directory of Federal Heritage Designations. Parks Canada.

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]