The British Army maintained a large garrison in Halifax during the 19th century to defend the city and naval dockyard from land and sea attack before departing in 1905-06. The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR), organized in 1883 to train the Canadian militia, served the garrison. Wellington Barracks included officers quarters and soldiers quarters, with the former constructed in the 1860s on what is today the Stadacona site of CFB Halifax. Both structures were damaged during the 1917 Halifax Explosion, with the officers quarters requiring extensive repairs. The RCR Gate fronting on Gottingen Street was the original entrance to the quarters and has been described as linking the city to its past. The Wellington Barracks property was turned over to the Royal Canadian Navy during WW ll and commissioned HMCS Stadacona.