As we freely travel around this great country of ours we are reminded of the great sacrifices made by so many during the two world wars through the many memorials and monuments erected to commemorate these events.
There are also some far more obscure reminders that are slowly fading from memory, and their former physical presence torn down or naturally decaying.
Just back from a trip to northern Ontario I had the chance to visit one of these places.
One of the 40 Canadian prisoner of war camps was located In Red Rock, Ontario and operated between 1940-1941. This particular camp also had a satellite labour camp in the bush about 25 miles north of the town of Dorion on the Wolf River system. The camp was a logging camp and prisoners were sent here and put to work.
There was little chance of escape from these camps as they were so far in the bush there was no place to go and basic survival would have been a key issue. The other side of this is that they were treated and housed so well few or none wanted to escape, an interesting read about his here:
Little remains of the camp today, the buildings are all gone, the clearings slowly growing over. I found a few remains from the cookhouse, old tin cans, a piece of the an old cook stove, some broken bottles and dishes.
The camp itself was located on the top of an escarpment, a small tributary of the Wolf River flows over the escarpment at Talking Falls. A truly beautiful small waterfalls with a straight drop cascade of about 70 feet that you can actually walk behind. I was told that the remains of a log structure visible in the first photo was once a sauna. The stream then flows out in to a series of ponds which apparently holds some very nice brook trout.
Seems these POW’s were dropped in to a little bit of paradise.
A couple of alternate views of the falls:
In retrospect a far cry from how our POW’s were treated. (An uncle returned weighing only 75 pounds on being liberated and barely surviving after forced “death marches”)
So on this remembrance day I am very grateful to the greatest generation who fought for our freedom and have provided us with the opportunity to explore such beautiful places.
Lest we forget.