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Okanagan Military Museum



In July of 1942 the Canadian Army moved its Canadian Battle Drill Training Centre school which had been in put into operation in Courtenay, BC in June of that year to the rural community of Coldstream, BC in the Okanagan region of the BC interior.

An ideal training area had been found by the army on the vast holdings of the historic Coldstream Ranch. The ranch manager, Mr. Tom Hill allowed the army access to the entire 11,000 acres of ranch land for training purposes. A large scale training operation hence began its operations in this tucked away corner of the province and made its own unique contribution to the ultimate allied victory.

Troops negotiate tactical movement
within the cover provided by a flooded trench

The battle school eventually included obstacle courses, live fire areas for training troops under fire, a bayonet assault course, a mock village for urban combat, simulated European combat settings and river crossing training areas. The troops trained there in a realistic setting that taught and tested the field, combat and leadership skills required by combat infantry leaders. A Bren carrier section assisted in teaching mobile warfare to the soldiers and officers under training.

Soldiers in the thick of the realistic training

The graduates of the training at the Coldstream Battle School went on into action overseas on Italian and European battlefields with the Canadian regiments and divisions thrown against the Axis forces there. In this sense this region of BC served as the training ground of the army and many veterans learned the art of war, battlefield survival and leadership in the pastoral setting of the beautiful Coldsteam Valley of BC.

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