The Military Museums of Calgary at War

By David Suatac

The Military Museums of Calgary is situated in a city steeped in military history. Over the course of the First World War, Alberta raised many regiments sent overseas to fight in France and Flanders. Many of them were raised in Calgary. The city also accommodated many of these soldiers during their training. Regiments from all over the province were educated in a camp just outside of the city. Sarcee Camp, as it was known then, trained more than 45,000 Albertans from 30 units during the First World War. Perhaps the most notable of these units was the 10th (Alberta) Battalion. Raised partially from Calgary militiamen in 1914, the Battalion received an impressive 20 battle honours for its service overseas, including at Vimy in April 1917.

The first use of the Churchill Tank was during the Dieppe Raid by the Calgary Regiment. The Calgary Highlanders played a minor role in the battle. 

Credit: The Calgary Highlanders, Dieppe./

Calgary rose to the occasion once again when war was declared in September 1939. The Calgary Highlanders were mobilized for active service on the same day that Germany invaded Poland, and went overseas with the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. Suffering defeat at Dieppe in August 1942, the regiment would re-form in time to land in Normandy in July 1944 and fight valiantly until the conclusion of the war. The Highlanders returned to their city in 1945 to a warm welcome. This modern regiment is one of two from Alberta recognized for holding battle honours at both Vimy and Normandy.


Calgary Rifles.

Credit: The Calgary Highlanders, Photos - 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles) 1910-1921​/

Located on Flanders Avenue, The Military Museums of Calgary houses artifacts and displays the city’s military history – and that of the province more generally. In addition to the Naval, Army and Air Force Museums, the facility also contains four Calgarian regimental museums, including one dedicated to The Calgary Highlanders.  The facility dates to 2006, but former variations have been open to the public since 1990.


1. Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1384).

2. DND publication on The Calgary Highlanders – October 2010. 

3. The Military Museums website.

Featured Image: Credit: The Calgary Highlanders, Photos - 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles)/

Recent News

Sign up to receive updates about the program, the exhibit and more