Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | January 20, 2016

Artifact of the Week. Cornwall Army Basic Training Centre, No. 31 – flag pole crown.

scan0069The crown of the flag pole at the Cornwall Basic Army Training Centre, 1940 to 1944.  This artifact was rescued by Capt. W.L. Beattie, 2nd in command of 1st Platoon, “A” Company, June, 1944.  It was donated to the museum by his son Bill Beattie.


A World War II postcard showing the flag pole and drill hall, in the rear, at the Cornwall Basic Army Training Centre at 601 Marlborough Street.


An aerial view of the Cornwall Army Basic Training Centre, behind the Cornwall Armoury. With Wartime Housing Limited taking over the Fair Grounds and the loss of the racing tracking at that site, in April of 1943 the Cornwall Driving Club arranged to lease property immediately north of the Army training center for a replacement half-mile track.

The 35 acre training camp, located between Marlborough and McConnell on the Dingwall estate, opened on Oct. 9, 1940.  When it closed in 1944, Lt-Col. R. Larose had put approximately 15,000 men through the 30 to 40 day basic training course.

Canada’s declaration of war in September of 1939 committed the nation to an active role with the Allied Forces fighting overseas. However, to avoid the divisive issue of conscription, the Mackenzie King government promised in the General Election of 1940 that compulsory service would only be required for home defence. In June of that year, the National Resources Mobilization Act (NRMA) set out the conditions for this service. Single men and childless widowers between the ages of 21 and 45 were required to register for military service and part in a 30 day (later 40 day) training program. Cornwall was selected as the site for one of three new training centres required for Military District #3.  In August of 1940 two officials from the District arranged for the lease of 35 acres of land owned by the Dingwall estate located behind the Cornwall Armoury and east of Marlborough Street and signed contracts and arranged for the construction of the necessary buildings to accommodate 750 recruits and a permanent staff of 150. The first contingent arrived on October 9th.


Camp Commandant, Lt-Col. R. Larose, Cornwall.


Lt-Col. Larose saluting a platoon of trainees on parade.scan0076




This is just a portion of the photographs and items the Cornwall Community Museum has regarding the Basic Training Camp available for viewing during museum hours.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Cornwall Industry

A Cornwall Community Museum Blog

Cornwall Canal and Shipping History

A Cornwall Community Museum Publication

Cornwall Community Museum

In The Wood House at the waterfront, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

%d bloggers like this: