Lieutenant Colonel D.V. Currie, VC, Armoury

Located in Moose Jaw, the Lieutenant Colonel D.V. Currie, VC, Armoury was constructed during the building boom of 1912–13 at a cost of $150,000. It was officially opened on July 3, 1913, on a ten-acre site fronting Main Street on the north end of Moose Jaw. The site was donated by the city, after some considerable discussion and prodding from the Minister of Militia, Sir Sam Hughes. The initial impetus for building the armoury came from several prominent local businessmen, including Walter E. Seaborn (insurance and property broker and later Lieutenant Colonel Commanding, 210th Battalion, CEF), Herbert Snell (City Counselor and Major, later Lieutenant Colonel Commanding, 46th Battalion, CEF) and Richard Loney (real estate developer and Captain, 95th Saskatchewan Rifles). Walter Seaborn had stated that no self-respecting city could call itself a city without having an armoury. Originally conceived as an armoury building with an outdoor drill square, the final design included space for several military and Cadet units as well as the Boy Scouts, and an enclosed drill hall 30 x 60 metres (100 x 200 feet). The design of the armoury was developed by one of the staff architects in the Department of Public Works under the direction of Chief Architect David Ewart, and was intended to suggest a medieval castle in its use of buttressing along the walls and a crenellated roofline on the main entrance. The castellated style had been applied to armoury designs in Canada since the 1880s.

During its 92-year history, the armoury has had many uses. It has been the home of the 95th Saskatchewan Rifles, the 60th Rifles, the King’s Own Rifles of Canada, the 77th Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery, the 19th Medical Company, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, and the 142nd Transport Company, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. It is currently the home of the Saskatchewan Dragoons. The armoury has been pressed into service as an isolation hospital during the influenza outbreak in 1919, a command centre during several major floods, and a morgue during the Trans-Canada Airline crash in 1954. The north end of the armoury was completely destroyed by fire on February 17, 1937. On June 13, 1988, the armoury was named the Lieutenant Colonel D.V. Currie, VC, Armoury in honour of David Vivian Currie, of Moose Jaw, who had won the Victoria Cross at Saint Lambert-sur-Dives, France during the Battle of the Falaise Gap in August 1944.

Gerry Carline