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National Historic Designation sought for Battalion Numbers in SW Calgary

The Battalion Numbers on Signal Hill could get National Historic Designation should an upcoming push by the area councillor be successful.

Ward 6 Coun. Jeff Davison is hoping to get council’s approval Nov. 10 for city administration to seek the designation for the 105-year-old southwest Calgary World War I monument.

“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 Coun. Davison.

The Battalion Numbers – 113, 51, 151, 137 – are in the city’s 93-hectare Battalion Park, located at 3001 Signal Hill Drive SW. The numbers represent the regiment numbers of the battalions from Calgary, Lethbridge, Central Alberta and Edmonton that were at the area, originally called Camp Sarcee.

According to Canada’s Historic Places, the Canadian militia leased the training site from the nearby Sarcee reserve in 1914. The site has already been declared a provincial historic resource. That designation only included the 113 number.

In 2015, the area was designated as a municipal historic reserve.

At that time, then-Coun. Richard Pootmans pushed for a similar application. It received unanimous approval from city council, a release from Coun. Davison said. That’s stalled and they wish to revive that application.

According to Parks Canada, a designation process can take two or more years from the time the application is received until the minister decides.

The site may be eligible for up to 50 per cent reimbursement for costs to preserve the monument, according to the Parks Canada website.

Since 2012, a Remembrance Day ceremony has been held by the Ward 6 office and the King’s Own Calgary Regiment. This year, with COVID-19 restrictions, the ceremony will be streamed through Coun. Davison’s social media channels.