Camp Petawawa during WW2

World War II brought The Salvation Army into the eye of many Canadians in a remarkable way.  Whether overseas or within the Canadian landscape, TSA was present providing care to soldiers and their families.

My grandfather, behind the pulpit in this photo was part of our Red Shield Services throughout the War.  In the early days he was in Hamilton, Ontario working with the men at the Armories.  Then he was moved to Camp Petawawa, on the shores of the Ottawa River.

Accordign to Wikipedia: During World War II, three training centres (two artillery and one engineering) were established at Camp Petawawa. In September 1942, 12,515 troops were stationed on the base. The peak load was reached during 1943 when approximately 20,000 troops were undergoing training at one time. As in the previous war, Petawawa was the site of an internment camp. The camp’s official designation was Internment Camp No.33; located at Centre Lake it held 645 civilian internees. There were 28 different nationalities, the majority being German people.”


My Dad, who was a boy at the camp always spoke fondly of these days.  From his perspective the uniforms, men and equipment were fascinating, and though War remained a clear horror, he held his Father and these men in deep respect.


Where this photo was taken, or by whom is unclear.  I have no reason to believe it was at Petawawa but perhaps it was.  It was given to me by a retired Salvation Army Officer in Edmonton.  How they came to have it in their possession I was never told, but I am glad to have it for it captures a moment in time that is very special and historic.

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