Early Training 2

Early days of battery training did not differ greatly from one location to another. Percy would have recognized the experience of both the 55th Battery and the 23rd.

ten-pocket bandolier

Ten-pocket bandolier, as modelled by one of Percy’s pals, 1916

[The artillery depot at Guelph was] full of activity, bringing Batteries up to strength, and giving the men what training they could before the big artillery camp should open at Petawawa. The streets resounded to the jingling spurs of natty young artillerymen, whose sharply pegged breeches, tailored tunics and clean-shaven features caught many a bright eye, and betrayed their pride in their new profession — that of serving his Majesty’s Guns… Every ambitious gunner had a budding moustache in those happy days; he twirled a riding crop in his gloved hand, and he wore the ten-pocket bandolier and heavy jack-spurs as though he really believed they meant something.

Such was the rookie, proud in the depth of his ignorance, stern in his notions of military duty.

A slightly less enthusiastic description of early days of training comes from the history of the 23rd, a howitzer battery:

Work was the order of the day. Horses, howitzers, signalling and other equipment soon arrived, and grooming, breaking-in of horses, driving drill, riding, gunlaying, signalling and other forms of training kept all ranks busy from dawn till dark.

(1) D.C. MacArthur. The History of the Fifty-Fifth Battery, CFA. 1919. 1
(2) J.D. McKeown and R.S. Gillespie. From Otterpool to the Rhine with the 23rd Battery CFA. [1919]. 5.

Copyright 2016. See “About this Project.”

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