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Camp Hughes National Historic Site of Canada

Provincial Road 351, Hughes, Manitoba, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2011/07/19

Dulmage Walk in 1993 in Camp Hughes fields; Parks Canada / Parcs Canada, 1993 (Grant Tyler)
Dulmage Walk
Traces of a communication trench; Parks Canada / Parcs Canada, 1993 (Grant Tyler)
Traces of a communication trench
The Camp Hughes swimming pool, 1916; Military History Society of Manitoba, archival collection/collection d'archives, Military History Society of Manitoba
Exterior view

Other Name(s)

Camp Hughes
Camp Hughes
Camp Sewell
Camp Hughes National Historic Site of Canada
Camp Sewell

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2012/07/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Camp Hughes National Historic Site of Canada is located south of the Trans-Canada Highway 10 kilometres west of Carberry, Manitoba. Formerly a First World War military training camp, it is one of the most intact simulated battlefield terrains in Canada. The site consists of rolling open grassy fields, remnants of the military camp consisting of administration and training areas, a cemetery and archaeological vestiges. Official recognition refers to the 420 hectare parcel of land including training trenches, rifle range, grenade training ground, artillery observation posts and a cemetery.

Heritage Value

Camp Hughes was designated a national historic site of Canada because:
- it is the most intact First World War battlefield terrain, created for training purposes, remaining in Canada and one of a dwindling number worldwide;
- it retains in whole or in part many key features including the training trenches, rifle range, grenade training grounds, artillery observation posts, building foundations, and a camp cemetery. The trenches and rifle range, in particular, speak to Canada's efforts to provide training tailored to the specific tactics and conditions of the First World War; and,
- it provides a powerful and evocative illustration of Canada's participation, contribution and sacrifices during the First World War.

The heritage value of Camp Hughes lies in its physical fabric and historical associations. It was at this camp that tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers received instruction in the tactics and weaponry of war prior to being deployed to Europe during the First World War. Battlefield conditions, including a system of trenches, grenade pits, and a rifle range, were created to reflect the realities of trench warfare. Many of the soldiers who trained at Camp Hughes went on to fight at Vimy and Passchendaele, defining battles in Canada’s history. The camp served as a military training facility until 1934 when it was dismantled as part of an unemployment relief project.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements contributing to the heritage value of this site include: - the intactness of the landscape including surface imprints and subsurface components associated with military trench warfare during the First World War;
- the approximately 10 kilometres of intact main battalion trench system including front- and support-line trenches, dugouts and fire bays, communication trenches, island traverses, and the Battalion Headquarters position known as Dulmage Dugouts; - the rifle range including evidence of the target house; - the grenade school training area including throwing bays and grenade pit; - the artillery range and observation post; - the camp cemetery and the entrance marked by a peaked-roof wooden gate; - the archaeological features including building foundations of the Midway, west camp training area, central camp area, and administration area; - the integrity of any surviving archaeological remains relating to the site’s use as a camp during the period from 1909 to 1934; - the viewplanes within the camp which contribute to an understanding of the site.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

2011/07/19

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1915/01/01 to 1916/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type

Current

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure

Historic

Defence
Military Base

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

13019

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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