Press Release: Councillor Jeff Davison Seeks National Historic Designation for Battalion Numbers

November 05, 2020

Calgary, AB – To recognize the national significance of the Battalion Numbers on Signal Hill, Ward 6 Councillor Jeff Davison has submitted a Notice of Motion asking City Administration to seek a National Historic Designation for the site.

The Battalion Numbers are symbolic of Calgary’s role in World War One. They mark the area known as Camp Sarcee, which once was the second largest military training centre in Canada. More than 45,000 personnel were trained at the Camp. The majority were not career soldiers, but volunteers. 6,100 Albertans lost their lives in WWI, and 21,000 were wounded.

“The Battalion Numbers are a tribute to the profound social and cultural impact of WWI on Canada, Alberta, and Calgary. Seeking National Historic Designation for this site is the right thing to do,” said Councilor Davison.

The Battalion Numbers, comprising a series of white-painted fieldstones arranged in the formation of the numerals 113, 51, 151 and 137 (called geoglyphs), were originally placed in 1915-16 by members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

The Battalion Numbers commemorate the men who served from the 51st Infantry Battalion (recruited in Edmonton), the 113th Infantry Battalion (Lethbridge Highlanders), the 137th Infantry Battalion (recruited in Calgary) and the 151st Infantry Battalion (recruited in Central Alberta);

In 2015, the City of Calgary designated the Battalion Numbers a municipal historic reserve. A similar Notice of Motion was prepared by then Councilor Richard Pootmans which received unanimous consent from City Council. Davison’s motion seeks to revive the original application, which has since stalled with Parks Canada – thus, the designation was never made.

The Notice of Motion is set to be reviewed at the Priorities and Finance Committee meeting on November 10, 2020.

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* Since 2012, the Ward 6 Office and the King’s Own Calgary Regiment have held a Remembrance Day Observance at Battalion Park. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on public gatherings, this year’s Remembrance Day Observance will be modified. Calgarians are kindly asked to attend virtually: a broadcast from the site will be made available at 10:45am on Cllr. Davison’s social media platforms.

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