Topic: Canadian Army
"Permanent force units now stationed [at Petawawa] are the Royal Canadian Dragoons, an armoured unit; the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment; "W" Battery, of the 81st Field Regiment, RCA, and "X" Battery of the 79th Field Regiment, RCA; No. 3 Engineer Stores Depot, No. 1 Air Observation Flight, RCA, and others known as the "services." Among these are the RCEME, Ordnance, dental, Medical and Army Service Corps." (Ottawa Citizen, 11 August 1953)
Camp Petawawa (1947)
Ottawa Citizen, 17 November 1947
By V.A. Bower, Citizen Parliamentary Writer
Petawawa military camp, 10 miles north of Pembroke, which during the war was one of Canada's greatest military camps, accommodating some 20,000 troops, is to have a new lease on life.
The camp, which since the end of hostilities has been used for reserve army troops with a few permanent force troops for maintenance, about the end of March will see the first influx of permanent force units who will in future make Petawawa their permanent home.
The camp, according to army authorities, will be occupied by infantry formations with their necessary ancillary and servicing troops and units. But before the winter is out the ranges formerly echoing to the thunder of 25-pounders of the Royal Canadian Artillery may echo once again, this time with the clanking of armoured corps units.
Plans are completed for the moving in of infantry units and consideration is being given to moving in armoured corps units, though decision in this latter move is not yet reached.
In all the strength of the camp will not come near the 20,000 figure of war time.
The Canadian Permanent Force, even if recruited to full strength, would number 25,000 troops. However, there will be several thousand new troops moving into the area. Total strength may go as high as 5,000.
One of the problems at present facing the authorities is the fact that many of the permanent force troops are married and in many instances have converted huts near their present stations into living quarters. This means new living quarters—married quarters as the army calls them—will have to be provided at Petawawa. There are ample buildings at the sprawling camp for the unmarried troops quarters, messes, canteens, garages, hospitals, and other use. But married quarters are scarce.
The army's idea is not to convert temporary barracks to married quarters since this would only be a temporary solution. Thus new married quarters will probably be erected on the station.
The military reservation of Petawawa embraces in all over 100 square miles which gives ample scope for both infantry and armoured corps training. The old artillery ranges which were abandoned when the RCA moved west are ideal for tank maneuvres, and will fill a need which the armoured corps has found lacking in Borden.
Camp Borden and Petawawa are linked together in the scheme to give permanent units of the permanent force home stations in Ontario.
Royal Canadian Signal Corps, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, RCEME, RCAMC, and other troops sufficient to service the camp will also move to Petawawa.
The move will give new life to the town of Pembroke, long familiar with the marching feet of Canadian soldiers. The close down of the big camp came as a serious blow to Pembroke merchants and the news of the reopening on an expended scale is being received with satisfaction.
The removal of the RCA was not due to the presence of the Atomic plant at Chalk River, but rather due to the fact that modern artillery guns have a firing range too great for available ranges, army authorities said.