Topic: Wolseley Barracks
Thanks to the University of Western Ontario, we can explore the development of London through their online publication of local aerial photos. Among their resources can be found a series of images taken of London's urban area in 1922, including the neighbourhoods covering and surrounding Wolseley Barracks.
These 1922 aerial photos show London a few years after the end of the First World War and the composite shown above displays the area occupied by Canadian Forces Base London, long known as Wolseley Barracks. In the photo above we can still see the well-worn paths made by thousands of soldiers as they marched between barracks and training locations. The Quartermasters' stores building on the lower left (still standing behind McMahen Park) has a compound still full of military stores, above it is a long gone building, probably a headquarters or officers quarters from the round driveway in front of it. The white square in the centre of the image, on close inspection, appears to be a baseball diamond, proof that leisure activities were never completely neglected in training. Except for Wolseley Hall itself in the upper left and the QM Stores building, all the buildings shown are gone, the base having been reconstructed during the Second World War and again in the 1950s with some newer buildings after that period. Since then, the base was reduced in size in the 1990s and the lower third of the image now contains a housing development while the upper right quadrant is occupied by a major grocery store.
Wolseley Barracks, created in 1886 on property formerly owned by the Carling family, saw the construction of Wolseley Hall between 1886 and 1888 and the occupation of the barracks by "D" Company of the Canadian Infantry School Corps in 1888. The Infantry School Corps has become The Royal Canadian Regiment, which had had a continuous presence in London since the 1880s and still recognizes Wolseley Barracks as its Home Station today. Today the 4th Battalion of the Regiment and The RCR Museum remain quartered in Wolseley Hall.
The base property at Wolseley Barracks had one of its busiest periods during the First World War when it was used as a training camp for many units that were formed in south-western Ontario. Panoramic photos of infantry battalions ready to leave Canada for England can be found with Wolseley Hall in the background as they formed up for the photo on the open training ground south east of that very recognizable building.
The 1922 aerial photos at Western Libraries Map and Data Centre are provided with the following source data: