|Artillery (4) Manitoba, Darlingford, Douglas, Neepawa, Pilot Mound, Selkirk, Seven Sisters, Shilo, Upper Fort Garry and York Factory
Artillery in Manitoba, Darlingford, Douglas, Neepawa, Pilot Mound, Selkirk, Seven Sisters, Shilo, Upper Fort Garry and York Factory
Data current to 27 Jan 2021.
The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document every historical piece of artillery preserved in Canada. Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these guns to provide and update the data found on these web pages. Photos are by the author unless otherwise credited. Any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Guns and Artillery in Canada would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all official data concerning the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, please click on the link to their website:
Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery Website
Note: Back in the day, artillery in Canada was referred to by its radio call sign "Sheldrake". It is now referred to by its "Golf" call sign. (Acorn sends)
German First World War 7.92-mm Maxim Spandau MG 08 Machinegun (Serial Nr. TBC), on the left in front of the town War Memorial.
German First World War 9.15-cm leichtes Minenwerfer System Lanz, being examined by Canadians in France, May 1917. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397824)
German First World War 9.15-cm leichtes Minenwerfer System Lanz (Serial Nr. TBC), on the right in front of the town War Memorial. This trench mortar was likely captured by a Canadian Battalion within an Infantry Brigade of a Canadian Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF).
The 9.15 cm leichtes Minenwerfer System Lanz (Trench mortar) was a light mortar used by Germany and Austria-Hungary in the First World War. It was a smooth-bore, breech-loading design that used smokeless propellant. It was chosen by the Austrians as an interim replacement for their 9 cm Minenwerfer M 14, pending development of a superior domestic design, which eventually turned out to be the 9 cm Minenwerfer M 17. The older Austrian design had a prominent firing signature, a less effective bomb and shorter range than the Lanz. Over 500 were ordered with deliveries beginning in April 1917.
(Manitoba Historical Society Photo)
German First World War 7.92-mm Maxim Spandau MG08, (Serial Nr. 5821), no data, mounted on a stone cairn war memorial next to the Douglas Community Hall.
German First World War 15-cm schwere Feldhaubitze 13, (15-cm sFH 13), (Serial Nr. 2790), Fried. Krupp. This gun was captured by 10th Battalion (Canadians) and 14th Battalion (Royal Montreal Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), at Cagnicourt, France, on 2 September 1918. It is on display in front of Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 23.
The 15 cm schwere Feldhaubitze 13 (15 cm sFH 13), was a German heavy field howitzer. The gun was a development of the previous standard howitzer, the 15 cm sFH 02. Improvements included a longer barrel resulting in better range and a gun shield to protect the crew. Variants were: the original "kurz" (L/14 – 14 calibre short barrel version), the lg. sFH13 with a longer barrel; and lg. sFH13/02 with minor modifications to simplify wartime manufacture of the lg. sFH weapons. Initially there were serious issues of weak recoil spring mechanisms that would break, and gun barrel explosions. The problems were solved with the upgrades. The British referred to these and their shells as "5 point 9"s or "5 9"s as the bore was 5.9 inches (150 mm). The ability of these guns to deliver mobile heavy firepower close to the frontline gave the Germans a major firepower advantage on the Western Front early in the First World War, as the French and British lacked an equivalent. It was not until late 1915 that the British began to deploy their own 6 inch 26 cwt howitzer. About 3,500 of these guns were produced from 1913 to 1918.
Portage la Prairie, 26th Field Artillery Regiment, 13th Field Battery
(Photos courtesy of Jeannette Greaves)
(Photos courtesy of Terry Honour)
German First World War 7.58-cm leichtes Minenwerfer neuer Art, (7.58-cm leMW n.A.). (Serial Nr. 18043), no data, 1451. This trench mortar was likely captured by a Canadian Battalion within an Infantry Brigade of a Canadian Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). It is currently located at the Manitoba First World War Military Museum outside La Riviere, where the wheels have been removed and it is undergoing restoration.
The 7.58 cm Minenwerfer a.A. (alter Art or old model) (7.58 cm leMW). The Germans fielded a whole series of mortars before the beginning of the First World War. Their term for them was Minenwerfer, literally mine-thrower; they were initially assigned to engineer units in their siege warfare role. By the Winter of 1916-17, they were transferred to infantry units where the leMW's light weight permitted them to accompany the foot-soldiers in the advance. In common with Rheinmetall's other Minenwerfer designs, the leMW was a rifled muzzle-loader that had hydraulic cylinders on each side of the tube to absorb the recoil forces and spring recuperators to return the tube to the firing position. It had a rectangular firing platform with limited traverse and elevation. Wheels could be added to ease transportation or it could be carried by at least six men. In 1916, a new version, designated as the n.A. or neuer Art, was fielded that included a circular firing platform, giving a turntable effect, which permitted a full 360 degree traverse. It also had a longer 16 inches (410 mm) barrel and could be used for direct fire between 0° and 27° elevation if the new 90 kg (200 lb) trail was fitted to absorb the recoil forces. In this mode it was pressed into service as an anti-tank gun. Internet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.58_cm_Minenwerfer.
Selkirk, Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site of Canada,
Bronze 3-pounder 3-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 3-0-1 (337 lbs), J & H (John & Henry) King, 1807. No. 1 of 5.
Bronze 3-pounder 3-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 3-0-3 (309 lbs), J & H King, 1809. No. 2 of 5.
Bronze 3-pounder 3-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 3-0-6 (332 lbs), J & H King, 1810. No. 3 of 5.
Bronze 3-pounder 3-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 3-0-7 (333 lbs), J & H King, 1810. No. 4 of 5.
Bronze 3-pounder 3-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 2-0-14 (238 lbs), F. Kinman, 1812. No. 5 of 5.
Bronze 3-pounder 3-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 6---1, (>673 lbs), J & H King, 1797.
Cast Iron ½-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, 2-feet, 6-inches long. No. 1 of 2.
Cast Iron ½-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, 2-feet, 6-inches long. No. 2 of 2.
Cast Iron 3-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 4-3-8 (540 lbs), Queen Ann (1702-1714) cypher.
Cast Iron 3-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, 3-feet, 6-inches long, ca. 1800, stamped S & Co. No. 1 of 3.
Cast Iron 3-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, 3-feet, 6-inches long, ca. 1800, stamped S & Co. No. 2 of 3.
Cast Iron 3-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, 3-feet, 6-inches long, ca. 1800, stamped S & Co. No. 3 of 3.
Cast Iron 6-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Carronade with trunnion. The carronade is a short smoothbore, cast iron cannon, which was used by the Royal Navy and first produced by the Carron Company, an ironworks in Falkirk, Scotland. It was used from the 1770s to the 1850s. Its main function was to serve as a powerful, short-range anti-ship and anti-crew weapon. While considered very successful early on, carronades eventually disappeared as rifled naval artillery changed the shape of the shell and led to fewer and fewer close-range engagements.
155-mm M109 Self-propelled Howitzer, (CFR unknown).
(Photo courtesy of Maxwell Toms)
American 90-mm M1A1 Anti-Aircraft Gun, private collector.
CFB Shilo, Royal Canadian Artillery Museum. The artillery on display at CFB Shilo is listed on a separate web page on this website.
Upper Fort Garry
Cast Iron possible 1-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun mounted on a wood wheeled carriage and two small Bronze Coehorn Smoothbore Smoothbore Muzzleloading Mortars mounted on wood carrying boxes, ca. 1899, Upper Fort Garry, Manitoba. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3304159)
Winnipeg artillery is listed on a separate page on this web site.
(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3394425)
Bronze 6-pounder 6-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading cannon, weight, W. North Company in 1843, and Serial Nos. unknown, Queen Victoria cypher, mounted on wood wheeled gun carriages, York Factory, Hayes River, Manitoba, 1925.
(Archives of Manitoba Photo, John A. Campbell Collection #143, N26655)
These two cannon, made for the British army by the W. North Company in 1843, were intended for delivery to the Red River Settlement. Capable of firing 12-pound projectiles, these cannon, cast in bronze, weigh 693 pounds each. The cannon were initially meant to be transported by York boat with the 6th (Royal First Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot in 1846; however, the bulky equipment proved to be too heavy and difficult to manoeuvre. As a result, the cannon were left at York Factory, an important outpost of the Hudson’s Bay Company on the Hayes River. For years the guns were situated in front of the Depot Building and used to mark the arrival of supply ships coming from Britain. In the mid-20th century the cannon were moved to Churchill, and they remained in storage there until they were damaged by fire in the 1970s.
Conservators from the Department of Canadian Heritage carefully cleaned one fire damaged cannon in 1981, using gentle soap, solvents, and steel wool. They then applied a coating of microcrystalline wax to protect the surface from future rusting. Following conservation, the cannon were moved to Lower Fort Garry, where they remain on display in the Southwest Bastion. After a delay of nearly 150 years, the cannon have finally found their originally intended resting place on the banks of the Red River. (Parks Canada)
I would imagine that many of you who are reading this book are very likely familiar with the standard routine of military training exercises and the rigours of being in the field in all seasons, not to mention the conditions found on deployment these days. Whether or not you have experienced it, I am sure you can well imagine what it is like to train and work in the heat, the dust and the mosquitoes in summer, the wind, the rain and the mud in the spring and fall, the snow and the cold in the winter and of course the routine day-to-day challenges of combat exercises in the training areas of the Canadian Forces. For most in the Army, this includes CFB Gagetown, CFB Valcartier, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Shilo, CFB Edmonton, CFB Wainwright, CFB Suffield and all the fields and exercise areas of LFAATC Aldershot and LFCATC Meaford and their environs.
As an Army Officer in the Canadian Forces, it has been my privilege to have served alongside a tremendous number of highly professional military men and women of our nation while taking part in training in Germany, the UK and the USA and while on operational deployments to Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Afghanistan. During my training and military professional development, I have learned much about our long military history. My interest in our multi-faceted historical record has led me to write about it and to seek out the stories about Canada's military servicemen and women and the tools and equipment they used to preserve our security when warclouds darkened our horizons.
As a military history enthusiast, I have learned over the years that there are many with similar interests in preserving our story. We have all seen the odd old gun or retired tank placed on display outside a Militia Drill Hall, War Memorial, city park site or Royal Canadian Legion Hall, and many will have enjoyed visiting a number of our military Museums. The vast majority of retired wartime combat equipment used by members of the CF have dwindled in number, many being scrapped, others being shot up as targets, while a few have been sold to overseas operators and collectors. Fortunately, a handful of important examples of retired CF guns and war machines have been preserved and may be found in a wide variety of locations throughout Canada.
Curators, docents and volunteers working in Canada's military museums have been successful in preserving a good number of retired military weapons of war and many are still being sought after and in some cases, being restored to running condition again. As an artist, photographer and military history enthusiast, I have attempted to keep track of where historic Canadian military equipment has survived and is presently located and to make that information available to others with the same interest. For those of like mind, the purpose of this handbook is to provide a simple checklist of the classic Great War and WWII artillery that is part of our military heritage and a location guide to where they can be found in Canada. The book includes a number of photographs to illustrate an example of each gun wherever possible, and lists the locations of the survivors by province.
The numbers of restored Canadian guns is actually increasing as a few rare examples are being recovered from scrapyards and monument sites and salvaged for restoration. (Ultra rare items such as Skink AA gun turrets come to mind). One of the aims of this book is to help an enthusiast track down these monuments and museum artefacts and to have a simple reference book on hand with more detailed information about them such as a serial number, a Museum location and contact information which might be helpful in learning a bit of the history of a particular vehicle. The guns detailed in this handbook are listed alphabetically by manufacturer, number and type in the order that they came into service with the CF. The data is also appended with a list of most of the current guns found in the various collections and Museums in Canada. The book is also meant to serve as a companion volume to "Ironsides", Canadian Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicle Museums and Monuments, also available online.
It is my sincere hope that more of the guns and artillery found in this list will one day be added to the record of historically important military armament survivors that have been recovered and restored.
Shelldrake can be ordered online in softcover or e-book at these bookstores:
Photos and technical data on artillery preserved in Canada may be viewed by Province on separate pages on this website.