The site chosen for the training camp was on a field near the northern shores of Quidi Vidi Lake’s eastern end that had been a cricket pitch and a track. Earlier a commons for grazing cattle and horses, this level ground, east of Golden Grove Farm and Virginia River (then called Rutledge’s Brook), was Crown Land and the area had been known as “Pleasantville” from its cricket heydays of the 1870s to 1900s. You will recognize this area today around the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 56, along The Boulevard.
The city brigades which cancelled their usual summer camps for boys donated their tents to the Regiment, as did Governor Davidson, sending large marquis tents from Government House. Other tents came from businesses and private citizens. Some were hastily made locally with donated sails from ships in the harbour! The Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company in Grand Falls donated the wooden floors for the tents and the Anglo American Telegraph Company installed telephones in the camp. Everyone wanted to help and do their part.
Supplies for rations and meals had to be obtained and shelters built for preparing and cooking for the Regiment and feed them in “mess” tents. Cooks had to be hired and the menu, while plain, was familiar to the men – porridge, salt cod, potatoes, corned beef or sausages (very little other meat), bread, jam, tea and molasses. Breakfast at 7 a.m., lunch (called dinner by Newfoundlanders of the era) at noon, and supper at 5:30 p.m. was the routine of training camp. The soldiers were required to wash their own issued enamel dishes in the brook that ran through the camp after each meal.