The 8th Hussars Museum and Camp Sussex
The Sussex Train Station itself has significant history. It was completed in 1913, just in time to see troops embark for the battlefields of Western Europe in the First World War.
The building also served as a telegraph office, as the wires followed along the train tracks
- In 1891, the area around what became Camp Sussex was thoroughly examined by military planners and became a potential candidate for the establishment of a military camp
- Prior to the formal establishment of Camp Sussex, much of the land in the area was rented out for military use
- In the Spring of 1893, the Dominion of Canada purchased Morrison Farm, a 344 acre site just east of the present-day Town of Sussex, to be used for militia training. This date marked the formal establishment of Camp Sussex
- 1894 - 1914 saw the greatest growth of the Canadian militia. In this time period, more men and horses were trained than ever before in the camp
- During both World Wars, the camp rose to prominence due to its easy rail access and proximity to Halifax. Troops could be transported by rail from Sussex to Halifax in a single night, under the cover of darkness to aid in secrecy
- During WWII, the camp was built to hold 10 000 men, so entire divisions could be moved in and out easily
- At the conclusion of the Second World War, a significant portion of Camp Sussex was soon decommissioned. This meant that a large portion of the Camp infrastructure was sold or else demolished
- Canada's oldest continually serving cavalry regiment, the 8th Hussars has a long and illustrious history that is intimately connected to Canadian military glory
- The regiment was officially founded in 1848
- Hussars in New Brunswick were mostly farm and factory workers from the small towns and river valleys of the southern half of the province
- In the earlier days of the regiment, the men brought their own horses from the farm to train at camp Sussex. The men were paid more for the upkeep of their horses than they were themselves.
- By the eve of the Second World War, however, horses were exchanged for motorcycles and ultimately tanks.
- The Hussars fought with distinction on the battlefields of Western Europe in WWI, and in Italy and the Netherlands in WWII.
- The 8th Hussars played a role in rebuilding the town of Eelde in the Netherlands after the end of the Second World War. These actions forged a relationship that endures to this day. On May 5th a special ceremony commemorating the liberation of the Netherlands is held in town.
- Later the Hussars were stationed in Germany as part of Canada's NATO commitments and took part in peacekeeping operations in the Middle East and Cyprus.
- Today the 8th Hussars are reserve soldiers, continuing to support the regular army. Some members served in the War in Afghanistan.
Lately, the 8th Hussars Museum has been focusing on highlighting the history of the First World War. 2018 marks 100 years since the last year of what was called "the War to End all Wars." We have a new display about WWI tanks and another about the last Canadian, and perhaps last Allied soldier, killed in the war, including some of his personal effects..
For Sussex Summerfest, the Museum will be presenting with a theme of homecoming, celebrating the soldiers who returned after a hard fought victory.