Witley, February 17, 1917

Saturday   Another Sat and alls [sic] well Routine same

That routine, we have seen, included plenty of gun drill to ensure that the crew was a highly efficient team.

A ten-man detachment attends each gun, six of whom do the firing; the others assist with the ammunition and provide replacements in case of casualties among the original six.(1) Each gunner is numbered, and specific tasks and responsibilities are assigned to each number to ensure that the gun is moved into place and fired with the greatest efficiency and least confusion.

gunners numbered.jpg

The general duties of each gunner when in action are spelled out:

“1 is responsible for the entire service of the gun. He commands, attends to the traversing lever, but will not touch it once the gun is layed. He orders deflection for difference in level of wheels. He assists in passing orders down the battery when necessary. He will occasionally examine the settings on the sight clinometer, range, and fuze indicators.
“2 attends to the breech mechanism, range indicator, clamping gear, and brake; lowers and raises the shield, and attends to the fuze indicator on the shield when required. When an order is given to ‘add,’ or ‘drop,’ the range for his gun he will make the necessary alterations on his range indicator and call out the new range loud enough for 6 to hear.
“3 lays, fires, attends to the releasing lever of the brake, and assists 2 to raise the shield. When laying direct he should level the sight clinometer as soon as possible.
“4 loads, assists in setting fuzes when required, and attends to aiming posts if in use.
“5 sets fuzes and supplies ammunition.
“6 attends to the fuze indicator, and assists in supplying ammunition.”(2)

 You may find it useful to consult the glossary.

The image is attributed to The Times History of the War, 7: 466, published 1916.

(1) Notes on Field Artillery Training compiled by the officers of the 34th Battery, CFA, CEF. 1916. 130.
(2) Notes on FAT. 143

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”
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