History of the Logistics museum

The museum was first stablished in March 1962 and opened to the public in November 1962.

The museum’s humble roots began in the RCOC School in the mid 1950s.  At first artefacts such as visual training aids, RCOC pennants and crests were placed in small display cases throughout the school to provide some context for the students.

By 1959, they had exceeded the school’s capacity for further growth.  Representations were made to the Director of Ordnance Services, Col E.G. Shannon, in 1959, who granted official approval to establish anRCOCMuseum.

The museum itself was officially opened on November 2, 1962 at Longue Pointe.  That the museum came about so quickly was entirely due to the tremendous amount of initiative, dedication and hard work by the Museum’s first volunteer curator, the LCol E.A. Durnford RCOC (Ret’d).

The 1960s were years of astounding growth.  LCol Durnford canvassed not only the RCOC associations, but cast his net more widely to bring in artefacts from Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, the RCAF and the RCN.  The logistics archives are very impressive, ranging from the blueprints for the 1942 Battle Jerkin, to Equipment Issue Scale lists from the First World War.

With Unification, the RCOC School relocated to Base Borden where it became CFSAL.  A lively debate surrounded the question of whether to move the museum to Borden where it could continue to serve the students or to keep it in what had always been the Home Station of Army supply and what was (and still is) the largest logistics base in the country? The decision was made at the highest echelons of the Ministry of Defence to leave the museum inMontreal.

The salad days of the 1960s did carry on for some time.   The museum moved to the old base chapel in 1972 and underwent considerable renovation.  The disbandment of the RCOC in 1974, and more importantly the death of LCol Durnford later that year, took considerable wind from the museum’s sails but by the late 1970s, the museum was back to expanding its logistic holdings.

The sudden death of the curator, Mr Maurice Brown in the early 1990s brought change again, this time in the form of MWO Phil Sippley (Ret’d), a Logistics man.  As curator, he continued the policy of acquiring a wide array of logistic items that shed light on the history of ammunition technicians and parachute riggers.  Later in the 1990s, the recently retired G4 Supply of the Canadian Army, LCol Al Truelove, became the new museum director.   Together they transformed the look of the museum into a more modern-looking, less-encumbered place.

The museum committee decided that as the museum always saw itself as “the Log Museum”, its name needed to better reflect its reality.  So, the museum petitioned the Logistics Branch Advisor to change the name to the Canadian Forces Logistics Museum.  In September 2011, the LBA agreed.

The museum is in the middle of a multi-year process of reinterpretation of the museum exhibits so that the tasks performed by past tri-service logisticians are highlighted, followed by portrayal of the history of logistics to present.  We want logisticians to see themselves in their museum and to see the richness of our heritage.  We also want civilians, who may have no idea of what military logistics is all about, to come away with an understanding of what military logistics is and its amazing historical contribution.

Since 2008, the curator has been Dr Andrew Gregory, a military historian whose enthusiasm and knowledge has made the Canadian Forces Logistics Museum not only a tourist attraction but a must-visit item for our present –day military logisticians.

We celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2012.  Come visit us and learn more about our dynamic history!