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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winter Fun

All the staff at Clarington Museum and Archives are wishing you all a wonderful winter season. Winter is the time of year to have lots of fun outdoors and keeping active indoors. Remember to dress for the weather. It's also a great time to catch up on reading and research, and exploring new branches in our family trees and history. Contact our Archivist today at to book your research appointment. Keep in mind our education programs which include 'Exploring History', 'Hunting Grounds', 'Pioneering in the Past', 'Let's Play', and 'Soldiers Story', which meet many of our schools curriculum requirements. Book one program or plan to spend the day with us by enjoying two programs and using our on site lunch room. Lastly but most excitedly is our Robbie Burns Dinner and Dance! Hosted at the Orono Town Hall on January 23rd in support of the Preserve Kirby Church Fund.

Virtual Clarington Museums and Archives

Check us out online at 'Bowmanville: 150 Years of Celebrating Community!' was produced to complement the celebration of Bowmanville's Sesquicentennial as our first virtual exhibit. The exhibit can be found on the Virtual Museum of Canada website under the Community Memories section.

7th Annual Winter WonderLearn

Come visit us at the 7th annual
Winter WonderLearn on the Family Day weekend!
Saturday, February 13th, 2010
10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Clarington Museums and Archives is pleased to be part of this wonderful family event. Enjoy a day of free family fun, outside and in! Parents and children can move their bodies, exercise their minds and shake of the winter blahs at this interactive learning festival. Local organizations like ours will be offering demonstrations and workshops in arts, sports, science, and nature.

And don’t forget to bring some warm clothes so that you can join Charles Taws on a historic horse-drawn-wagon ride through the neighbourhood!
Visit the Clarington Public Library website ( ) for more details.
See you there!

Clarington Museum and Archives at Queen's Park!

Drop by and visit us at Queen's Park. For yet another year we've been invited to participate in the Community Exhibits Program at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Many are approached, but only few are accepted. This year we submitted an exhibit titled, 'Here's to Good Health: Fitness in the late 1800s' which focuses on the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Camp 30 Preservation

With the recent creation of a Clarington Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, issues concerning heritage landmarks in the region are coming to the fore. The Clarington Branch of the ACO has stated that: “One of the first priorities of our local branch is the preservation of Camp 30, the last remaining intact German POW camp in Canada.” To highlight this project, this post will focus on the history of the Bowmanville Boys’ Training School and Camp 30.

It all began in 1922, when John H.H. Jury, of Jury & Lovell Drugs, ventured to Toronto to hear Alex Edminson speak about the perils of juvenile delinquency. Jury was inspired by the speech, so much so, that he decided to donate his 150 acre Darch Farm. The land was used to establish a Training School for Boys, which opened in the summer of 1925. The property served as a school from 1925 to 1979, with the exception of four years during the Second World War, when it was utilized to intern German Prisoners of War.

From 1941 until 1944, the federal government took over the site of the Bowmanville Boys’ Training School to use as a POW camp. Camp 30 housed high ranking German officers captured by Allied Forces. Some of the more infamous of the inmates included: General Von Ravenstein (one of Rommel’s Generals in the African desert), and Otto Kretschmer (the famed UBoat 99 Captain).

Throughout this time, there were many escape attempts by the inmates of Camp 30. The most well-known of these has been called the “Battle of Bowmanville.” The battle, which lasted from October 11-13, 1942, occurred as a result of the shackling of Germans during the raid of Dieppe. A ripple effect forced the decision of the War Office in London to have the German POWs shackled. When the Camp 30 inmates refused to submit to the orders, they barricaded themselves inside several buildings and fought the Canadian Guards. It was during these events that the only recorded gun shots were fired inside the walls of Camp 30.

Camp 30 is no doubt an important facet of the history of Bowmanville, and should be celebrated as such. Sometimes, the purpose behind preserving this site comes into question; yet, it can be noted that by housing these POWs Bowmanville made a tremendous contribution to the Allied war effort.

If you would like more information about the efforts of the ACO in Clarington check out their website or contact the Clarington Branch President, Clark Morawetz @

For more information on Camp 30 or the Bowmanville Boys’ Training School come see our gift shop for a great selection of books!