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254   DAYS OF PREPARATION

all men at one large camp and separating them unnecessarily from easy communication with their friends, the Government instructed the Engineers to prepare a number of smaller camps, and by February, 1916, there were no fewer than sixteen .in the Dominion. Valcartier and Three Rivers served for the recruits secured in Quebec. The Artillery Camp at Petawawa, Ontario, which is ideal for gunnery practice, though somewhat isolated, was re-opened. Barriefield Camp, Kingston; Carling's Heights, London; Rockcliffe Camp, Ottawa; Gresty Park Camp, Port Arthur; Windsor Camp, and the historic field at Niagara-on-the-Lake were soon well occupied by marching men. Aldershot and Digby Camps, Nova Scotia, and Sussex and St. Andrews Camps, New Brunswick, served the Maritime Provinces. Sarcee, near Calgary and a finely situated camp at Vernon, British Columbia, were for the men of the Mountain territory, while Sidney Camp accommodated the recruits from Vancouver Island. At all these the average population during the summer of 1915 did not exceed 4,500 men. But Camp Hughes near Brandon, Manitoba, had more than twice as many. This famous property originally acquired by the Militia Department in 1903 (then named Camp Sewell) was "revised and enlarged" for its new inhabitants. Probably there were good and sufficient reasons for its re-naming. Whether or not, the christening took place. The camp, on a sandy treeless plain, received the full sweep of the prairie blasts. A young typhoon roaming through the tents one evening scattered to the four quarters of the earth a thousand pay cheques just made out for distribution to an infantry battalion. At the same time the eyes of the soldiers were filled with sand. Fortunately none of the "paper" was negotiable. Everywhere, in all camps, the spirit of the men was high and eager; the routine of drill, Swedish exercises, route marches, and shooting was the same; the baseball, football, and boxing were the same; the "sing-songs" and the Y.M.C.A.


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