The Royal Navy, Ruler of the Seas

The Gold Rush and the Royal Engineers

Royal Engineers Build BC Infrastructure

A second detachment of Royal Engineers was later dispatched to build the colony's infrastructures. These consisted of 165 officers and soldiers, accompanied by 37 women and 38 children, who arrived in British Columbia between October 1858 and June 1859. They founded the town of New Westminster, built schools, churches, the first theatre, a library, and roads and bridges, drew maps of the region, designed the coat of arms and the first postage stamp of the colony, published an official gazette, and even printed a newspaper. Finally, in 1862-63 they supervised the building of the famous Cariboo Road, some 700 kilometres long, which opened the interior to colonization. After completing all this work, the detachment was disbanded in November 1863 and the vast majority of its members took up the offer to settle in British Columbia. 121