Camp Norway memorial, looking toward downtown Lunenburg
In 1940 Norway had the third largest ocean going merchant fleet in the world, with about 1100 ships. When Nazi Germany invaded the country on the 9th of April of that year, 1024 of those ships were at sea. The King immediately ordered them all to proceed to allied ports.
At the same time, the German-backed government that had been set up in Oslo under Vidkun Quisling, was broadcasting orders for the ships to return home. Not a single one did, and Norway’s great merchant fleet was now at the disposal of the Allies.
One of the remaining barracks
During the spring and summer of 1940, seven factory ships and 23 whale catchers with upwards of 2,000 men on board arrived in Halifax and anchored in Bedford Basin. After much negotiation, the ships were allowed to proceed to Lunenburg, and the Norwegian government was allowed to establish Camp Norway.
Camp Norway opened on Friday, Nov 29th, 1940, and consisted of barracks to house about 800 men. After the war ended, Camp Norway closed in 1945.