Daily Life of Soldiers and Officers



Iron British Army folding barrack bed

Caption: Iron British Army folding barrack bed

British soldiers in garrison in Canada mostly lived in barracks. In Quebec City after the Conquest, for example, the Collège des Jésuites was transformed into an infantry barracks, while the Artillery and Engineers set up in the "New Barracks" of the French, which eventually became Artillery Park. The British authorities feared that the soldiers would be encouraged to desert and that their discipline would flag if they lodged with local civilians, so they avoided this practice as much as possible; it had been much more common under the French regime. Such practice also generally compromised relations with the people, whether French - who would no doubt have given them an icy reception - or English - who were always fiercely opposed to billeting soldiers with civilians. As soon as Canada fell to Great Britain, therefore, Governor Murray stated that barracking was the only way that "discipline and preservation of the troops will be ensured." 74

The British soldiers in Canada therefore lived in isolation. They had a kind of separate society, because their manner of lodging differed from that of the French in one major respect: the wives and children of the soldiers were allowed to live in the barracks, although in limited numbers.