Camp Utopia, A-30 Canadian Infantry Training Centre, New Brunswick

Camp Utopia, A-30 Canadian Infantry Training Centre, New Brunswick

Camp Utopia, 1953. (E.T. Fraser Photo)

The construction of Camp Utopia, the largest military facility in New Brunswick at the time, located a few miles away from RCAF Station Pennfield Ridge, began in July 1942.  It was opened as an advanced infantry training centre on 1 August 1942 and served as a training base for members of the Carleton & York Regiment and the North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment.  Canadian soldiers began training at this site in 1943, in preparation for the invasions of Italy and northwest Europe.  Facilities at the Camp included a supply depot, a commissary (including a bakery), two cook houses with the capacity to fee 500 men, a drill hall, a canteen, an auxiliary service hut, a barber shop, a modern dental clinic, a fire station, and a modern hospital.

The training area held two rifle ranges, a “fighting in built up area” (FIBUA) model village representing Ortona in Italy, a field firing range, a battle inoculation range, two Sten sub-machine gun ranges (one for qualification certification) and one for fighting in the woods), portable infantry anti-tank (PIAT) firing ranges (both for inert and high explosive (HE) bombs), a modern grenade range, a 6-pounder anti-tank range, a skeet shooting range, 2-inch and 3-inch mortar ranges, a cross-country obstacle course, a bayonet assault course, simulated mine fields and mines, and a booby trap hut.  

Over 300 officers and 12,000 rank and file soldiers trained at Camp Utopia before it was officially closed on 30 April 1946.  Post-war, Camp Utopia continued to be used as a summer camp by the Carleton & York Regiment and the Royal Newfound Land Regiment.  The 8th NB Hussars (Princess Louise’s), accompanied by their mascot Princess Louise, conducted their annual summer camp at Camp Utopia in 1954.  

The 4th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, re-located to the camp in May 1954.  The regiment occupied the H-huts and used the drill hall to store their guns, along with using some of the Married Quarters built in Pennfield and some temporary PMQs at the camp.  In 1955, the majority of 4 RCHA left Camp Utopia for Germany, but “W” Battery, a light battery, remained behind to act as the Regimental Depot.  In 1957, “W” Battery re-located to Petawawa to join the rest of 4 RCHA, who had been rotated back to Canada.  The camp closed in 1958.  (NBMHM)

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