“The targets in the lake have been completed and Toronto will be within the roar of the cannon,” reported the Globe, as the batteries at Exhibition Camp, including the 48th, began artillery practice today. (1) There was nothing more than the bare announcement, but the same even thirteen months earlier had elicited breathless anticipation from the newspaper, and John Brody had taken his camera to the Camp to record the practice.
Western Toronto will have the novel experience of hearing the thunder of big guns “‘crost the bay” at Exhibition Camp this morning at 10 o’clock. The targets were completed yesterday, and will be towed out a distance of 2,500 yards from the shore. At that distance they will be bombarded with shrapnel form the guns of two batteries.(2)
Two-wheeled limbers (ammunition wagons) are connected to the guns before the they are hitched to the horses.
The skeletons of fairground rides always look sad out of season, but are a particularly incongruous sight when weapons of war are lined up in the slush and snow where fairgoers usually form their queues. Note the limber just behind the horses, with two gunners seated on it, and the gun itself at the rear, with another two gunners aboard, facing backward. Percy was identified as a “limber gunner,” so he was usually one of those in whose face the horses would be kicking up snow or mud or dust.
(1) The Globe (1844-1936). Archive available from ProQuest Historical Newspapers. April 4, 1916. 6
(2) The Globe (1844-1936). Archive available from ProQuest Historical Newspapers.February 20, 1915. 8
The images and the descriptions are from John Boyd’s First World War Photographs, City of Toronto Archives.