Good Target Work

“Good Target Work” was the heading over the report of the 48th Battery’s target practice on April 26, 1916. Firing at targets in the lake, Percy’s Battery scored “fifteen effective shots out of a total of eighteen. One of the targets was shattered with shrapnel.”

The reporter goes on to note:

Good horsemanship is a most important part of artillery work: the quick and efficient manner in which the guns were brought in and taken out of action was a very creditable and thrilling performance.

Military training was regularly seen as a performance, and April 26th was a particularly enjoyable entertainment, a very long way indeed from the realities of France:

A state of war existed yesterday at the Exhibition Camp. With the advent of bright spring weather, open air military training in all its departments was in full swing. Big guns were booming, bayonet fighting was in progress, machine guns rattled, transport cars whisked along the roadways, Lieut.-Col. Duncan Donald marched his kilties [the 92nd Battalion of the 48th Highlanders] up and marched them down again on the green sward in full view of the blue lake, shouting peremptory commands.

On this occasion, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the King’s representative himself, was “present at the [battery] practice and took a keen interest in the work.” Moreover, the mayor of Toronto brought a carload of visitors to watch for a while.1916 04 27 headline

The Lieutenant Governor, Sir John Hendrie, might well have taken a special interest in the 48th Battery with the news that his son, Captain W. Hendrie, had been appointed to take over the battery from its founder Major Richardson. The Captain was reported to have arrived home from Flanders “a few days” earlier, having been serving with the 4th Battery of Hamilton, Ontario. Major Richardson was giving up his command on account of poor health.

 

This account was published on page 8, April 27, 1916 in The Globe (1844-1936). Archive available from ProQuest Historical Newspapers.

Copyright 2016. Please see “More about this project.”
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