John Weir Foote V.C. Armouries

Tags: Beasley, Doors Open Hamilton 2013

Address: 200 James Street North
Date Built: 1888  

In 1862, the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry -- its roots notably in the 1st and 2nd Companies of Volunteer Rifles formed in 1855 and the Volunteer Highland Company formed in 1856 -- came together as the 13th Battalion, Volunteer Militia Canada. Its first combat action was locally against Fenian raiders in Niagara in 1866.

In 1887, a frame drill hall was erected on the site of the current armoury, but the hall proved inadequate to accommodate the militia units and their officers. In 1906 Joseph Michael Pigott was hired to design and construct the James Street Armoury. The imposing stone and brick building, erected entirely by Hamilton workmen, opened in 1908.

The James Street Armoury was later renamed to the "John W. Foote VC Armoury" in memory of Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel John Weir Foote, who was the only member of the Canadian Chaplains' Services ever to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Written by: Bill Manson
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Exterior Images:


John Foote Armoury South Drill Hall on James StreetArmoury South Drill Hall and Main EntrancePlaque on the North Drill Hall of hte Armoury