There were hundreds of young men who came to Brockville for part of their military training. Some with recognized leadership skills were made sergeants and did their courses as non-commissioned officers at the Officers Training Centre here during the war years.
One of the numerous buildings at the camp was the Sergeants’ Mess which served as the social and recreational centre for this body of sergeants who were continually moving in and going out. This was their “home on the road” and was located in the north-west side of the large camp, building number A14 according to a map of the OTC grounds.
The Sergeants’ Mess was a means of organizing social activities for the off-hours, and they enjoyed special dances and picnics where members guests and family were invited to help relieve the monotony of camp life. These events were conducted under the auspices of the Regimental Sergeant-Major.
A few of the local Brockville sergeants who were trained here that we are aware of were: Harold E. Monger, Stan J. Leslie, Melvin J. Ladouceur, Chester L. Roode, and Jack Tye.
[click on any photograph to enlarge it]
Among photographs kept after WWII by Jack Tye of Brockville is this picture of about ninety-six sergeants awaiting their evening meal. The location is assumed to be the dining room in the Sergeant’s Mess at the Brockville Officers Training Centre. The year appears to be 1942, before the majority of these non-commissioned officers were transferred to England.
Brockville’s Sgt. Jack Tye, March 1942
Source: All of the pictorial materials and details for this page have been loaned to me by Florence (Tye) Boisvert of Brockville. These were collected and saved by her father, John “Jack” Tye (1911-1983) who trained here at the Officers Training Centre, and served his country in Europe during World War Two. Following the war, he returned to Brockville, and with his wife Lillian, bought a farm property on the old California Rd., north of the present day Laurier Ave. This is where Florence Tye grew up, before marrying John P. Boisvert in 1957.