Author Topic: Fates of former armouries  (Read 58579 times)

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Offline dapaterson

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #50 on: July 29, 2014, 11:04:51 »
Fond memories of mess dinners at that armoury. Sad to see it go instead of being fixed up.

The final dinner was held on the parade square on 12 April this year.  Given the state of the building and the inability to retrofit it to meet modern (or even 1970s) health and safety standards at anything close to a reasonable cost, it's not a surprise that it's closed.

I seem to recall reading that of the three options initially considered - renovate, rebuild, and relocate - that renovate was the most expensive and least functional.  Add to it the problem that there's no exterior space for vehicle storage at all, and it's even more understandable that it would close.
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Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #51 on: August 03, 2014, 00:21:01 »

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #52 on: August 03, 2014, 10:00:19 »
Fond memories of mess dinners at that armoury. Sad to see it go instead of being fixed up.

I spent quite a while in Hillside Armoury in 1976 during the Olympics. I was a rifleman in the D&S Platoon of TF2, which had its HQ in the Armoury: I spent many shifts on sentry or local patrol there.  A very interesting old structure: I was told that it was originally the warehouse and stables of a delivery service.
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Offline Remius

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #53 on: August 03, 2014, 17:18:57 »
The Aberdeen pavilion at lansdowne park in Ottawa housed the LSH before they departed for the boer war.  Also was used by the PPCLI in WW1 and was the CHofO and Princess Louise Dragoons in WW2. Unrelated is the fact that it hosted a Stanley cup once...

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberdeen_Pavilion
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Offline 171292

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #54 on: July 05, 2015, 22:25:45 »
The armoury in Kemptville, Ontario served as the local fire hall after the battery was disbanded in one of the force cuts in the sixties. With the construction of a new fire hall the building has been put to use by the local Sea Cadet Corps.

The building was used for a memorial service for Private Blake Williamson, 1 RCR, who was killed in Afghanistan in October 2006.

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but would you happen to know what regiment used the Kemptville armoury?  My neighbor, who served in the 30th Field Artillery in the early 60's, mentioned that the 30th Field Artillery had a battery stationed in the Kemptville armoury, just wondering if anyone can confirm this.  Tried searching the web and the forums, never found anything much about the history of the Kemptville armoury.  Thanks!
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #55 on: July 06, 2015, 05:46:06 »
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but would you happen to know what regiment used the Kemptville armoury?  My neighbor, who served in the 30th Field Artillery in the early 60's, mentioned that the 30th Field Artillery had a battery stationed in the Kemptville armoury, just wondering if anyone can confirm this.  Tried searching the web and the forums, never found anything much about the history of the Kemptville armoury.  Thanks!

I was told it was the 30th Field, but will confirm this when I get home.

Offline FJAG

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #56 on: July 06, 2015, 12:48:14 »
Just did a quick scan of Part II of the RCA Standing Orders and found that the following batteries were founded at Kemptville:

2 Feb 1920 - 25 Field Battery RCA;

1 Apr 1946 - 181 Light Anti-Aircraft Battery RCA;

The lineage for 30th Fd Regt indicates that it started as 8th Bde FA CA in 1905 and redesignated as 1st Bde CFA on 2 Feb 1920 on which date 25 Fd Bty was formed and assigned to it. (There was an earlier 25th Battery CFA [formed in Lethbridge 1908] and a 25th Battery CFA which was part of 6th Bde CFA of the CEF during WW1 --- I note that the nominal rolls for 6th Bde indicate it was raised in the Montreal region of Quebec so I don't think that there is [nor have I seen any reference to] a perpetuation between the two 25 Bties CFA and 25 Fd Bty RCA)

I note that 25th Fd Bty RCA was part of 30th Fd Regt's establishment in 1966 but had been switched to the Supplementary Order of Battle by 2000. No idea when the switch actually happened.

The info on 181 LAA Bty is even more sketchy and the Library and Archives Canada entry for the Guide to Sources relating to the Canadian Milita (Artillery) for the two batteries looks like this:

25 Battery:

"25th Battery, CFA authorized but not organized (1st Brigade, CFA). Headquarters to be
at Ottawa (MD3), 2 February 1920.
Redesignated as 25th Field Battery but not organized, 1 July 1925.
Authorized to organize, 15 May 1928.
Placed on active service (18th Field Regiment), 10 May 1941.
Active unit converted and redesignated as 25th Medium Battery (2nd Medium
Regiment), 26 January 1942.
Active unit disbanded, 3 October 1945.
25th Medium Battery redesignated as 68th Medium Battery (active Force), 1 March
1946.
25th (Reserve) Field Battery amalgamated with the 51st (Reserve) Anti-Aircraft Battery,
type 4L, converted and redesignated as 25th Field Battery (30th Field Regiment), 1 April
1946.
Transferred from Ottawa to Kemptville, 31 March 1965."

and

181 Battery:

"Authorized (60th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (Brockville Rifles)). Headquarters at
Kemptville, Ontario (MD3), 1 April 1946.
60th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, including 181st Light Anti-Aircraft Battery,
amalgamated with the 32nd Anti-Tank Battery (Self-Propelled) to form the 32nd
Locating Battery (Brockville Rifles), 1 September 1954."

Over to you OldSweat.

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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #57 on: July 06, 2015, 13:37:32 »
Good work, FJAG.

I have a couple of buds who served in the militia in Kemptville. I might be able to get a battery designation out of them. They also were volunteer firemen, so I might get a lead there re when the armoury became the fire hall. As some of us remember all too well, the mid to late 60s was a time of almost continual force cuts for both the regular and reserve force.

Offline FJAG

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #58 on: July 06, 2015, 18:27:56 »
There was a particularly heavy reorganization in 1965 by Hellyer based on the Suttie Commission Report. I joined late that year just as three regiments in Toronto (29th Fd, 42nd Med and 1 Loc) were amalgamated under the banner of 7th Toronto Regt RCA. I think any changes subsequent to that within the Canadian Militia artillery were relatively minor fine tuning ones.

Still not sure when 25 battery went though because the standing orders have it on 30th Fd OB as late as '66. Would have thought however if the armoury was actually still active as late as '65 it would have gone as part of the Suttie reorg for sure. - just a guess though.

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Offline Wolseleydog

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #59 on: July 11, 2015, 12:03:56 »
Just to respond to an older question way back in this thread (as I sit here sipping my morning coffee surfing):

I can personally confirm that both the Minto and McGregor armouries in Winnipeg are still in active use.

My son just joined the FGH, which parades at McGregor with, I believe, a Fd Engr unit, and the local Bde recruiting office (where he was sworn in one frigid Feb night earlier this year) was at Minto.

He is currently at BMQ, in of all places, Nanaimo BC.  Why the Garries had to send him all the way out there is unclear to me, but there we are...

Offline Dan M

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #60 on: July 11, 2015, 19:12:57 »
...so I don't think that there is [nor have I seen any reference to] a perpetuation between the two 25 Bties CFA and 25 Fd Bty RCA)

According to my copy of the 1936 Defence Forces List the 25th Battery, CFA, of the CEF was perpetuated by 25th Field Battery, CA.

At this time the occupant of the armoury in Kemptville was Company B of The Grenville Regiment (Lisgar Rifles).  No, I'd never heard of them either.  I think this regiment disappeared through amalgamation in the 1936 NPAM reorganization but I don't yet know with whom.

Cheers,
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #61 on: July 11, 2015, 19:38:57 »
I have a copy of the 1936 reorganization at home and will have a look for it. A host of infantry regiments were converted to artillery and other corps to provide a corps structure on mobilization. And if anyone notices, my bud who served in the artillery in the 60s in Kemptville is away for another week or so.

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #62 on: July 11, 2015, 19:41:51 »
50TH FIELD ARTILLERY REGIMENT (THE PRINCE OF WALES RANGERS), RCA

http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/ol-lo/vol-tom-3/par1/art/50far-eng.asp

Quote
The Grenville Regiment (Lisgar Rifles) originated in Prescott, Ontario on 12 April 1867, when the '56th "Prescott" Battalion of Infantry' was authorized to be formed. It was redesignated: '56th "Grenville" Battalion of Infantry' on 9 August 1867; '56th Grenville Battalion of Rifles' on 13 September 1871; '56th Grenville Battalion "Lisgar Rifles"' on 29 September 1871; '56th Grenville Regiment "Lisgar Rifles"' on 8 May 1900; and 'The Grenville Regiment (Lisgar Rifles)' on 12 March 1920. On 15 December 1936, it was amalgamated with the '56th Field Battery, RCA', as above.

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #63 on: July 11, 2015, 19:45:09 »
Thanks, Michael. You obviously survived Pachino Day.

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: FORMER ARMOURIES
« Reply #64 on: July 11, 2015, 19:55:21 »
According to my copy of the 1936 Defence Forces List the 25th Battery, CFA, of the CEF was perpetuated by 25th Field Battery, CA.

At this time the occupant of the armoury in Kemptville was Company B of The Grenville Regiment (Lisgar Rifles).  No, I'd never heard of them either.  I think this regiment disappeared through amalgamation in the 1936 NPAM reorganization but I don't yet know with whom.

Cheers,
Dan.

Digging into the internet archives of the now defunct Regiments.org found this.

http://web.archive.org/web/20041215032002/http://www.regiments.org/regiments/na-canada/volmil/on-inf/056grenv.htm
 1867.04.12      56th Prescott Battalion of Infantry
 1867?              56th Grenville Battalion of Infantry
 1871.09.13      56th Grenville Battalion of Rifles
 1871.09.29      56th Battalion Lisgar Rifles
 1900.05.08      56th Grenville Regiment (Lisgar Rifles)
 1920.03.15      The Grenville Regiment (Lisgar Rifles)
                        reconstituted in Militia with HQ at Kemptville, Ont.
 1921.02.15      reorganised to perpetuate CEF
                       •1st Battalion, without perpetuation
                       •2nd (Reserve) Battalion
 
 1936.12.15     56th (Grenville) Field Battery, 4th Field Brigade, RCA
                      converted to artillery
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Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #65 on: July 24, 2017, 06:44:49 »
This from The Canadian Press via localexpress.ca:
Quote
An emotional fight over an armoury in rural Nova Scotia could be a precursor of things to come for other small towns as the military moves to get rid of hundreds of buildings across the country.

Confusion has run rampant in Amherst, a town of 10,000 on the border with New Brunswick, since resident Russell Clarke received a letter from the Department of National Defence a few weeks ago.

"It was quite simple," the 93-year-old Second World War veteran said in an interview. "They said the armoury would go on the block for sale or demolition at some point."

The armoury was built in 1915 and later named after James Layton Ralston, the Amherst native who served as Canada's defence minister for most of the Second World War.

The building was the longtime home of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, which lost nearly 500 members during the Second World War and remains active as a reserve unit today.

But the Nova Scotia Highlanders, as they are now known, moved to another town in 2006, leaving the unit's regimental museum and three cadet corps as the armoury's only occupants.

Many locals believed at the time that the move was temporary, as the federal government promised to renovate the armoury in 2010.

But fears mounted when the repairs weren't finished, which is why Clarke, who belongs to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders memory club, wrote to National Defence about the building.

Amherst Mayor David Kogon, who sent his own letter to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan about the armoury in March, said even without the Highlanders, the building remains a focal point for Amherst.

"They need this as a place to train and learn and do their functions," he said of the cadets. "And we have a lot of veterans in this community. There are a lot of people that are being touched by this."

Retired chief warrant officer Ray Coulson, who now runs the Nova Scotia Highlander regimental museum, said without the armoury, the cadet corps and museum would disappear.

"If you're in downtown Ottawa, these things don't seem to be too big a deal," Coulson said. "But when you're out in a town with a population of 10,000, this is a big deal." ...
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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #66 on: July 24, 2017, 06:52:49 »
Some here in the office mentioned that when they were back in Halifax last month for a coastal visit, they were told the Armouries at the Commons is being sold off.  Is this true?

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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #67 on: July 24, 2017, 11:31:35 »
My question: where were the cries of anguish when the regiment that filled that armoury left town? People are heartbroken to lose a pretty old building, but if they'd given a damn about what used to happen in that building this wouldn't be an issue for them now.

Offline MCG

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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #68 on: July 24, 2017, 12:46:30 »
I am sure if the town really wants the armouries as a community building, then they can arrange transfer of the property from the federal government. (And once they own the building they can fund the upkeep)

This from The Canadian Press via localexpress.ca:
Quote
... as the military moves to get rid of hundreds of buildings across the country.

...

I assume some of these "hundreds of buildings" are unused infrastructure on various bases around the country, but the example in the article is of DND off-loading an entire footprint in a community.  I don't suppose anybody has numbers of "footprints" DND will divest as opposed to buildings removed from land that will be retained? 

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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #69 on: July 24, 2017, 13:58:11 »
Private financing. They turned the armoury in London into a hotel and the one in Windsor is becoming a music facility and concert hall for the University of Windsor. I believe Edmonton turned one into the city archives building. If the will is there to retain it in some other form, without government funding, the templates are already there. Many buildings are being sold for a nominal fee ($1.00) so the feds can wash their hands and walk away and let private enterprise take over.
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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #70 on: July 24, 2017, 14:10:40 »
I think that the reality is most small towns will lose their armouries as time goes on and maintaining a large old armouries for a platoon sized detachment is determined to be too expensive. Small town Maritimes will be vocal about it, as any change is seen as bad back home. I also think solutions from large cities such as London, Edmonton, etc are unrealistic for a town of 10,000.

I think it's a wise move to divest bad/old/surplus infrastructure, if a building is required for the local reserves then something modern and suited to the size of the force should be built.

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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #71 on: July 24, 2017, 14:32:54 »
Regarding the fates of other former armouries,

FORMER ARMOURIES 
https://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=111568.0
3 pages.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 19:25:57 by mariomike »

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #72 on: July 24, 2017, 16:47:51 »
I think it's a wise move to divest bad/old/surplus infrastructure, if a building is required for the local reserves then something modern and suited to the size of the force should be built.

But, unfortunately, Militia Regiments often have a Mafia or Regie.

In Montreal, the Base had a lot of problems (still does, I think) convincing some of the militia units to relinquish their historical, but inadequate, armouries. In fact, even when they had managed, some Regies managed to convince the political side that the "Regiment simply cannot move out of its historical home" and carry the day after great expenditure of funds and efforts.

When I was X.O. of DONNACONA, it became clear that our building was becoming (1) dated; (2) dangerous [it was an old sport club we moved into for WWII and was heavily modified for "temporary" purposes with internal wood structures]; and, (3) incapable of modification to meet modern naval reserve needs. So, with Navres and Marcom's assistance, we began the process to move to another building, purpose built.

The Base commander and the Base Admin O came to our unit one night to "discuss" the matter, and see how serious we were. They point blank asked us: "If we start this process and get all the work done, are we going to see some Regie or other political interference stopping us and wasting the money??"

I think they were a bit surprised when we answered that: "In the Navy, we are not married to our ships. They serve us while they are the current "model" in use, but when they no longer meet requirements, we dispose of them when they are past their prime. A ship is the crew and it's history. That resides in people, historical record and memorabilia - not the actual ship itself."

We got our new unit in three years (even though, in the end, Marcom paid for it out of its budget to get it faster).

 :nod:

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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #73 on: July 24, 2017, 20:31:18 »
1 NSH, as I knew it, had armouries galore.  Amherst, a new one in Springhill which is about 10 minutes from Amherst (which is where the Amherst reservists moved to for trg), New Glasgow and another new one in Pictou.  Pictou and New Glasgow are also right across the road from each other and as New Glasgow was also old and run down it was closed with the Pictou armoury housing those folks.  The HQ is in Truro.  Keeping 5 armouries open was excessive and while I feel for Amherst the dept can't keep hosing money into these places anymore than it could afford to keep CFB Summerside, Chatham, Cornwallis etc open years ago.  The reservists in Amherst have a trg location in springhill, why not move the museum and cadets there?  I have been to both and the drive is minimal.  Just across tha border in Sackville NB was once C Sqn 8 CH and it also closed down years ago.  There have to be numbers to justify expenditures.

The Hfx armouries is nostalgic but is also old and expensive.  Because it's a historical building doing anything like adding computer drops is a major PITA.  All these locations were in my AOR once upon a time when I was a Bde HQ commando and sometimes it's time to move to modern facilities and manage expenditures the best the Dept can.   Amherst is, IMO, a case to let go.  The armouries in Sydney comes to mind when I think of a successful armouries that serves the community and several reserve units from a single location.  If it's not closed now, I would close down Glace Bay and move the Jimmies from there to Sydney as well. 
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Offline sidemount

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Re: Fate of Amerst NS Armoury?
« Reply #74 on: July 24, 2017, 21:34:48 »
I'm actually from Amherst (heading there on Wednesday actually), and the last time I was there, about 3 years ago, the Armoury was in pretty rough shape. The Highlanders aren't there and there are some other places to house the cadets that they have there.

They are best off to lose the place and maybe the town can put in something modern. Too many problems trying to upgrade old buildings such as that.

Just my 2 cents.
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