City council supported a drive to erect a plaque commemorating a short-lived, First World War-era internment camp in Mount Revelstoke National Park in 1915.
At the request of council, Revelstoke Museum and Archives curator Cathy English appeared at the Oct. 8 meeting to explain the history of the camp.
It was a road-building camp in place from September to October, although some activity continued until December. The camp met with an authentically Revelstoke fate: It was abandoned because excessive snowfall prohibited work on the roadway.
“It was a short-lived camp,” English said. “The city was actually quite anxious to have a camp in the community because it was quite an economic driver.”
The camp held about 200 prisoners and had 75 guards.
The prisoners were connected to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, part of a national concentration camp program that interned “enemy aliens” in 27 camps across Canada.
According to English’s presentation, 8.579 male prisoners were interned in 27 work camps, many of them in National Parks.
English said only 3,138 could be correctly classified as prisoners of war. Internees faced many hardships, including confiscation of property and death due to disease and harsh conditions.
Council agreed to a request from the Ukranian-Canadian Civil Liberties Association to erect a memorial plaque in Revelstoke.
Proposed locations include the Revelstoke Museum or the pathway leading to Mount Revelstoke from near the Revelstoke Railway Museum.
Here is the slide presentation from Cathy English’s Oct. 8 presentation to Revelstoke City Council.