1.Niagara Historical Society
Soft cover, 10 X 10 $40
2. Paperback edition
8.5 X 8.5, print to order $44.16
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TRAINING FOR ARMAGEDDON
Niagara Camp in the Great War, 1914-1919
Over the past 225 years the oak savannah at the mouth of the Niagara River -- designated as a Military Reserve but regarded by the local citizenry as their common lands-- has witnessed a broad spectrum of military, political and cultural happenings. Perhaps most compelling is the story of Niagara Camp, established in the 1870s on the Reserve as the summer camp for Military District #2. By the eve of the Great War this District that encompassed most of central Ontario from Niagara to Sault St. Marie including Toronto, Hamilton and St. Catharines, was the most populous and patriotic District in all of Canada. Niagara Camp and the training that went on within it endeavoured to prepare over 50,000 young men for the Overseas Canadian Expeditionary Force; however, the Camp's vigorous daily routines, comprehensive instruction and discipline could not ready them for the horrors of the Western Front and ...Armageddon. Many never returned. In 1917 Niagara Camp also became the unique training centre for 22,000 Polish Army volunteers, American and Canadian boys eager to fight for a distant land many had never set foot on. The horrific Spanish Flu Pandemic soon followed with dire consequences for the soldiers and their volunteer caregivers. Niagara was also a training camp for Canada's ill-fated and little-known Siberian Expedition.
Remarkable sagas are recounted of some of the Camp's veterans.
On the centennial of the Great War this in-depth recognition of the brave young volunteers during their preparation for war is long overdue.
Niagara Historical Society
Soft Cover, 10 X 10
or bookstore of your choice
ON COMMON GROUND
The Ongoing Story of the Commons in Niagara-on-the-Lake
This tract of land in Niagara-on-the-Lake has witnessed an amazing cavalcade of Canadian history.
For 250 years a large tract of oak savannah at the mouth of the Niagara River designated as a Military Reserve has witnessed a rich military and political history: the site of the first parliament of Upper Canada; a battleground during the War of 1812; and annual summer militia camps and the training camp for tens of thousands of men and women during the First and Second World Wars. In the midst of the Reserve stood the symbolic Indian Council House where thousands of Native allies received their annual presents and participated in treaty negotiations.
From its inception, this territory was regarded by the local citizenry as common lands, their "Commons." Although portions of the perimeter have been severed for various purposes, including the Shaw Festival Theatre, today this historic place includes three National Historic Sites, playing fields, walking trails, and remnants of first-growth forest in Paradise Grove.
On Common Ground chronicles the extraordinary lives and events that have made this place very special indeed.