The History of the Debert Military History Society
Peacekeepers Day 2010 participants
The Debert Military History Society (DMHS) began when a small group of concerned citizens felt it was important to preserve the military history of the former Camp Debert (16X, RCAF/FAF) and to restore the former CFS Debert Museum which closed in 1996 when the military decided to decommission and close the former CFS Debert.
Built in 1936-1940, Debert was a staging area for an estimated 300,000 soldiers being shipped overseas to fight for our freedom in World War II.
When the Debert Military Camp was built in 1940, 1400 carpenters, 1600 labourers, 200 steam fitters, 150 painters, 10 electricians and 150 truck drivers were employed. The government paid 35 cents to 60 cents per hour depending on the skill of the workman. There were 200 buildings on the completed site, with the streets laid out and a sewage system installed.
For many of them, Debert was the last Canadian Base they would ever see. Many stories and poems (some not to complimentary!) were written about Debert.
DMHS was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in March of 1998 and planning for a museum got underway almost immediately.
On June 1st 1998, a lease was signed with Colchester Park Development Society (CPDS) for the use of Building 213, a war-time "H-Hut". The museum is open during the summer months and is a prominent tourist attraction and is advertised nationally in the Legion Magazine and other tourist brochues.
We have been very fortunate to receive student grants which allows for the Museum to hire one or two students as a tour guide for visitors to the museum and to help research and record war stories from veterans and local residents.
Fundraising is carried out by membership drives and various other activities.
The Society welcomes your input and would gratefully received other artifacts (military and civilian) dealing with the way years in and around Debert. We would also greatly appreciate a few hours of your time should you wish to volunteer. This is a great opportunity for area senior citizens to tell about their experiences during the war years.
Visitors are often awed by the huge expanse of the military encampment and the stories about it.
Drop on in for a visit we are sure you will enjoy the tour!