A tourist day to Fort Rod Hill
Victoria Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
June 29th, 2008 – by: hummingbird50
We started out at around 10:00am and the sun was bright and the day was already warm. I love the sun.
I had not been to Fort Rod Hill an ages..ya know I go by it every weekend, it is there and I never really take the time to go. I am always up in the hills somewhere chasing a snowball or something.
Fort Rod Hill is only about a 15 minute drive from Downtown Victoria heading up the Island. It is a great place to take kids as they can roam around the grounds, see guns and old cars.
There are picnic grounds there, lots of beach and sand, and rocks to climb and grass to run on.
A bit of History
Fort Rod Hill is a coast artillery fort built in the late 1890's to defend Victoria and Esquimalt Naval Base. The fort includes three gun batteries, underground magazines, command posts, guard houses, barracks and searchlight emplacements.
A little more than a century ago, soldiers stationed to defend Esquilmat Harbour were rousted out of their beds to begin the long journey back to Britian.
May 17, 1906 departure of the Royal Garrison Artillery signalled the end of an era-they were the last British troops stationed in Canada.
Their arrival in 1893 had marked the beginning of a new agreement between Canada and Britian to share the cost of building modern, permanent artillery batteries.
Once they were in place, work began on three additional batteries designed to mount smaller, quick firing guns to defend against attack by torpedo boats.
In 1905 the British Pacific Squadron was disbanded as part of a major reorganization. The Royal Navy had decided to concentrate more on warships in British waters in response to the growth of the Imperial German Navy.
The departure of the garrison may have ended the story of the British army's role in defence of Canada, but more than 60 memebers of the royal Garrison Artillery and Royal engineers stayed behind and accepted the opportunity to transfer to the Canadian Permanent Force.
According to a recruiting poster, staff sergeants topped the pay scale at $! a day (holy moly), sergeants 80 cents, corporals 70 cents, and bombardiers 50 cents, while last but not least buglers under 18 years of age and gunners started at 40 cents per day.
The companies remained active until 1956, when coast artillery was declared obsolete beacause the advance of jet air craft, long-range carriers and intercontinental bombers.
The first lighthouse on Canada's westcoast.
There has not been a lighthouse keeper since the light was automated in 1929.
Built by the British in 1860, when Vancouver Island was not yet part of Canada.
Once a beacon for the British Royal Navy's Pacific Squadron.
All in all it was a beautiful day to just get out and wander around play tourist, act like a kind and just have fun....enjoy the day!!!!!!!
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