Vernon Military Camp History.
Located on Mission Hill at the southern edge of the City of Vernon, Vernon Military Camp has a long history. Troops first trained here in 1912 when the 30th BC Horse was formed and a permanent annual district summer training camp for cavalry and infantry militia units was established.
Read more about the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles.
In May of 1915 Camp Vernon became a central mobilization camp and Battle Field training centre. By 1916 there were more than 7000 men training at the camp while the city of Vernon had a population of barely 3000. Between the wars, the hill was home most summers to a concentration of BC militia regiments.
When WWII broke out, Mission Hill became busy. In the April 25th, 1940 Vernon News it was announced that Militia units from across Canada would come and train here in Vernon. "Over 650 Officers And Men Expected Here From May 13 to 20" was reported. "Col. G. M. Shurm, officer commanding the continent said 'The B.C. Dragoons and the Rocky Mountain Rangers will also attend. Just what other non-permanent active militia units will be in the camp here is unknown at present."
Read More about #110 CABTC training in Vernon.
In the fall of 1942 the Coldstream Battle Drill School opened. The Battle Drill School was unique, the first of its kind in North America. It was used for advanced infantry training where real-world situations brought home from the European front were applied in life-saving training exercises. Hand picked NCOs and Officers were trained at a purpose-built village to prepare them for fighting in urban areas. Sites also included various water and obstacle courses. These NCOs and Officers then passed on all their training to soldiers of their regiments.
Read More about the CBDS
Following VE Day in May 1945, the Vernon military camp's focus changed to becoming the Canadian Army Pacific Force (CAPF) training base to prepare Canadian units for battle in the Pacific and ultimately the invasion of Japan. With the sudden of end of war in August 1945, the camp quickly demobilized.
By the spring of 1946, only a minimum staff remained. Many barracks on the upper camp were dismantled sold and rebuilt as housing for returning soldiers and their new families. The Hundred Homes subdivision on Vernon's East hill was constructed from several of these barracks.
In 1951 the Korean war was having a marginal effect on the camp. Earlier in the year the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) spent 4 months at the camp from 15 January - 15 April en route to Korea. Arriving by train at the Vernon Station, they were supported locally by several units including the British Columbia Dragoon's (BCD's) 'A' Squadron and 218 Workshop Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME).