Sarcee Camp, 1916In 1912 the city was quite a different place; indeed, the world was a different place. The concept of a war engulfing the entire world was unimaginable. Calgary was defended by the Mounted Police and the municipal police force, but there were no army posts in the west. There were militia units, raised by gentlemen soldiers like Lt. Col. Walker. Training took place in a variety of locations but it was evident that an alternate plan was needed. And these alternate plans became critical when war was declared in 1914.
The site that was chosen for the new training area was outside the city limits across from land owned by the Tsuu T’ina Nation (then called Sarcee). Training would continue at Sarcee through WWII and on. Sarcee Camp would become Sarcee Training Area, part of the Harvey Barracks. But with the removal of Lord Strathcona’s Horse and 1 Service Battalion to the super base in Edmonton, the land was not needed and was turned back over to its owners, the Tsuu T’ina.
Today the military presence in Calgary is much reduced but not gone. We still have our Highlanders and the King’s Own Calgary Regiment (and their bands), the 41 Combat Engineer group, the 41 Service Battalion and the 746 Squadron of the 41 Signal Corps. The military will always be important members of our community.