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
within the cover provided by a flooded trench
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
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.