You have probably seen the numbers on Signal Hill in Southwest Calgary, but do you know what the numbers represent? As we get ready for Remembrance Day ceremonies, I feel that the time is perfect to explain the significance. The symbols are Battallion Numbers.
“Sarcee Training Camp” was set up to train soldiers for WW1 and was located near the base of Signal Hill (then called Cairn Hill), and was actual located just south of Glenmore Trail.
Because many of the trainers were from the United Kingdom, they saw an opportunity to utilize the abundance of field stones as a training exercise, to display the soldiers battalion numbers, as they had done in the UK. So in 1915-16, more than 16,000 stones were carried up the hill and arranged by the soldiers in their Battalion numbers(Calgary/137, Lethbridge/113, Red Deer/ 151 and Edmonton/51.
The 113 is the oldest of the four, and was put together by the 113th Canadian Expeditionary Force known as the Lethbridge Highlanders, one of many battalions that made up the Canadian Expeditionary Force that fought in the trenches of World War I.
Those soldiers from the 137 Battalion, who survived the war, came home with a mission to save the Stones of Signal Hill, which had become a symbol of their lost comrades.
The land was annexed to the City of Calgary in 1956, and Signal Hill was established in 1986. Battalion Park officially opened on November 3, 1991.