What is a battery of the Canadian Field Artillery without its guns?
There are two in this panorama, one at each end. They are (I believe) twelve-pounders, guns not wanted on the battle-field in this war, but sufficient for training purposes.
They were breech-loaders [that is, not muzzle-loaders; their one-piece shell was loaded into a chamber behind the barrel]… and lacked the hydraulic recoil system of the 18-pounders, which meant they had to be pushed back into position and re-aimed after each shot.(1)
These men have laboured over them, learning their parts, their operation and their maintenance. The guns would have smelled of “machine oil, brass polish, and freshly applied dubbing on leather,” (2) though the wooden wheels of these pieces look a little worn.
And where is Percy? Fifth from the left in the middle row, in the middle of the group of nine below.
The panorama photograph of the 48th Battery, Canadian Expeditionary Force, was taken March 20, 1916 at the Exhibition Camp, Toronto, by the Panoramic Company, 239 Victoria Street, Toronto.
(1) Derek Grout. Thunder in the Skies: A Canadian Gunner in the Great War. 2015. 32
(2) Grout. 33
Copyright 2016. See “More about this project.”