Visiting Officer’s Quarters

Artist's rendition of the Officer's complex of buildings at Fort Willow, based on the archaeology of Wilfred Jury in the 1950s
Artist’s reconstruction of the Officer’s Quarters, Visiting Officer’s Quarters, and Officer’s Cookhouse at Fort Willow
Interior of reconstructed Officer's quarters, Fort Henry
Interior of reconstructed Officer’s Quarters, Fort Henry

Researcher: Brent DiFebo, Grade 12

Based on the 1950s archaeological work of archaeologist Wilfred Jury, the Visiting Officer’s Quarters was built at Fort Willow around 1814, made to attach to the Officer’s Quarters.

A officer is part of the armed forces, and holds the right to give orders, with his position of authority. Officers are in charge of the well-being of his soldiers on and off the battlefield, and give them commands during battles and when at the fort.

British nobles could purchase their officer position from the British Army. The role of the Officer could be awarded to those that graduated from a course at the Royal Military Academy. The majority of Officers were from the middle and upper class of society. Being an Officer could be expensive as Officers needed to buy their own equipment and food.

Researcher: Theurn Campbell, Grade 12

The Visiting Officer’s Quarters was a building where British officers would rest. The officers who stayed at the officer’s quarters were not always stationed at the fort, as travelling officers would also spend their nights at the quarters. The overall goal of the officer’s quarters is to house officers and their families comfortably. Unlike regular soldiers, officers with wives were allowed to be accommodated with their family, hence the need for separate quarters for each officer. Based on Jury’s findings it is believed that the officer’s quarters actually had a separate building for its kitchen.

References:

  1. “Fort Willow and the Nine Mile Portage” by Keith HJ Bacon / Fort Willow Improvement Group March 2000.
  2. Historic places.ca Officers Quarters – http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=2976
  3. Military History Online.com Officers and Gentlemen – http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/general/articles/officersandgentlemen.aspx
  4. Parks of St. Lawerence No.2 Officers Quarters – http://www.forthenry.com/index.cfm/en/about-the-fort1/tour-the-fort/no-2-officers-quarters/
  5. Willow Depot (BcGw-38) Stage 4 Excavations – 2007 “Archaeology at the Commandant’s House or Officer’s Quarters”, Trevor Carter, Licensed Archaeologist P063

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