Canadian National Flag Point Grey Battery


Map of the areaThe WW2 Battery at Point Grey was not the first at that location. The area had been a military site for many years previously.

Surveys in 1859 by Captain George Richards of the Sloop 'Plumer', and a later survey by Colonel Richard Moody of the Corps of Royal Engineers recommended that land be made available for defence of Burrard Inlet. One area of land set aside for this purpose was at Point Grey, where 500 acres was earmarked for military use.

In July 1881, Colonel Crossman of the Corps of Royal Engineers and Commander Bourke of the Royal Navy recommended to the Inspector of General Fortifications in England that a battery of heavy guns be installed at the northern corner of Point Grey. This report was not actioned at the time."

On 27th March 1884, the Point Grey Military Reserve was transferred to the control of Department of Militia and Defence by the British Imperial Authorities. A further agreement in 1912, between the Province of British Columbia and the Crown (Dominion) transferred the land at Point Grey to the Province. A condition of the transfer was that some of the land would be used for fortifications should the need arise.

At the start of WW1, there were no fixed defences guarding Vancouver. The only naval force was at Esquimalt, and this was an old and obsolete Cruiser, HMCS 'Rainbow', used for training purposes. Two British Sloops, 'Algerine' and 'Sheerwater' were much further south off the coast of Mexico. Between the 'Rainbow' and the sloops was the German Cruiser 'Leipzig', with another German warship believed to be approaching. There were also four other German Raiders operating in the Pacific to consider. 'Rainbow' was despatched to escort the two Sloops to Vancouver, which it duly did safely. Two naval guns from 'Sheerwater' were then mounted in Stanley Park. In September 1914, Point Grey got its first guns,two Sixty Pounder Field Guns, which arrived by rail from Ontario. The guns belonged to the Coburg Field Battery from Ontario. One of the guns had a damaged breech-block and sabotage, although not proven was suspected. As the war progressed, naval forces were built up, and the threat posed by the German Navy passed. The guns were then removed.

It was not until 1936, with the rising threat from Japan, who as allies in World War 1 had stationed the Cruiser 'Izumo' at Esquimalt, that the defences of Vancouver were again appraised. Major B. Treatt of the Royal Regiment of Artillery was commissioned by the Department of Defence to report on existing and potential coastal defence sites. His report recommended four sites as being suitable to guard the Port of Vancouver. Parliamentary approval was forthcoming and work on the first site, Ferguson Point in Stanley Park, commenced in February 1938. In August 1939, it was Point Grey's turn.

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