|Artillery preserved in Canada 9f: Nova Scotia, Halifax, York Redoubt
Artillery preserved in Nova Scotia, Halifax, York Redoubt
Data current to 17 July 2018.
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 email@example.com.
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)
The web page for Nova Scotia has become too big for all the guns to be listed on one page, therefore the guns on display within Annapolis Royal including Fort Anne, the City of Halifax including York Redoubt, the Fort George Citadel, the Maritime Command Museum and Royal Artillery Park etc., are listed on separate pages for Nova Scotia.
There are five 9-inch 12-ton Muzzleloading Rifles and one 10-inch 18-ton Muzzleloading Rifle mounted and well preserved in the coastal battery at York Redoubt National Historic Site near Halifax. The 9-inch guns fired a projectile of 256 pounds (116 kg.) at an effective range of 2,000 yards (1829 m.). Great guns such as these were installed in major Canadian forts from the 1860s. During the 1880s, the eight forts defending Halifax had thirty-eight 9-inch (22.8 cm.) guns as well as fifteen 10-inch (25.4 cm.), fifteen 7-inch (17.7 cm.) and nine 64-pounder (29 kg.) Muzzleloading Rifles set in place to defend the city against enemy warships. The mountings and the concrete ‘Moncrieff’ emplacement pit, named after its designer, were a refinement of the 1890s which allowed the gunners to fire the gun over a high parapet while being well protected from enemy fire. (Parks Canada)
The five 9-inch 12-ton Muzzleloading Rifles and one 10-inch 18-ton Muzzleloading Rifle mounted on the ramparts of York Redoubt are numbered from one to six, right to left, standing behind them facing North:
No. 1. 9-inch 12-ton Mk III Muzzleloading Rifle, weight 12-13-0-0, (28,336 lbs), (RGF No. 374, III, 1869) on left trunnion, blank on the right trunnion, Queen Victoria cypher, mounted on an iron traversing carriage.
No. 2. 10-inch 18-ton Mk II Muzzleloading Rifle (Serial No. 75), 1870, weight 17-17-0-0, Queen Victoria cypher, mounted on an iron traversing carriage. An English ton is 2,240 lbs, therefore the weight for this gun is (17 X 2,240 lbs = 38,080 lbs) + (17 X 112 lbs =1904) = 39,984 lbs or close to 20 tons in Canadian weight.
No. 3. 9-inch 12-ton Mk III Muzzleloading Rifle (Serial No. 361), 1869, weight 12-13-3-0, (28,420 lbs), Queen Victoria cypher, mounted on an iron traversing carriage.
No. 4. 9-inch 12-ton Mk III Muzzleloading Rifle (Serial No. 380), weight 12-13-2-0, (28,392 lbs), 1869, Queen Victoria cypher, mounted on an iron traversing carriage.
No. 5. 9-inch 12-ton Mk III Muzzleloading Rifle (Serial No. 354), weight 12-12-3-0, (28,308 lbs), 1869, Queen Victoria cypher, mounted on an iron traversing carriage.
No. 6. 9-inch 12-ton Mk III Muzzleloading Rifle (Serial No. 298), weight 12-13-2-0, (28,392 lbs), 1869, Queen Victoria cypher, mounted on an iron traversing carriage.
There are 17 unmounted Guns, with one row of nine in large calibres, a second row of seven in smaller calibres and one Cast Iron 9-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun with broken trunnions beside one of the park signs, all resting on wood blocks inside York Redoubt. Most of these guns are heavily corroded with only partial details and serial numbers discernible
Cast Iron 12-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 29-0-2 (3,270 lbs), 7-feet, 6-inches long, cast during the reign of King George III (1760-1820). This gun has broken trunnions and rests on wood blocks near the line of six mounted RML Guns on the ramparts. David McConnell, British Smooth-Bore Artillery: A Technological Study, (Ottawa, Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1988), p. 83.
Large Row of nine guns, right to left:
No. 1. 10-inch 18-ton Mk. II Muzzleloading Rifle, weight 17-18-2-0 (40,152 lbs), RGF No. 46, 1870 on the left trunnion, Queen Victoria cypher, Firths Steel (Serial No. 1921) on the muzzle face.
No. 2. 10-inch 18-ton Mk. II Muzzleloading Rifle, weight 17-19-1-0 (40,236 lbs), RGF No. 38, 1870 on the left trunnion, Queen Victoria cypher, Firths Steel (Serial No. corroded) on the muzzle face.
No. 3. 10-inch 18-ton Mk. II Muzzleloading Rifle, weight 18-0-0-0 (40,320 lbs), RGF No. 72, 1870 on the left trunnion, Queen Victoria cypher, Firths Steel (Serial No. 1901) on the muzzle face.
No. 4. 9-inch 12-ton Mk V Muzzleloading Rifle, weight 12-0-0-0 (26,880 lbs), RGF No. 650, 1877. Firths Steel 46. A three foot long portion of approximately ¼ of the gun barrel has been cut from this gun. 47 stamped on the side of the gun.
No. 5. 9-inch 12-ton Mk III Muzzleloading Rifle, weight corroded (>26,000 lbs), RGF No. corroded. Firths Steel (Serial No. corroded) on the muzzle face.
No. 6. 7-inch 7-ton Mk. I Muzzleloading Rifle, weight 7-2-1-18 (15,950 lbs), corroded, RGF No. 29, 1866, Firths Steel (Serial No. 205) on the muzzle face. Queen Victoria cypher.
No. 7. 7-inch 7-ton Mk. I Muzzleloading Rifle, weight 7-2-1-0 (15,932), RGF No. 12, 1866, Queen Victoria cypher, Firths Steel (Serial No. 207) on the muzzle face.
No. 8. 7-inch 7-ton Mk. I Muzzleloading Rifle, weight 7-2-3-0 (15,988 lbs), RGF No. 30, 1866, Queen Victoria cypher, Firths Steel (Serial No. 199) on the muzzle face.
No. 9. 7-inch 7-ton Mk. I Muzzleloading Rifle, weight corroded (>15,000 lbs), RGF No. corroded, Queen Victoria cypher, Firths Steel (Serial No. corroded) on the muzzle face.
Small Row of seven guns, right to left:
No. 1. Cast Iron 12-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight corroded, 5, King George III cypher, ca. 1780.
No. 2. Blomefield Cast Iron 12-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, King George III cypher, heavily corroded.
No. 3. Blomefield Cast Iron 12-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, King George III cypher, heavily corroded.
No. 4. Cast Iron 12-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, 8-feet, 6-inches long, weight 29-0-0 (3,248 lbs), King George III cypher, ca. 1780.
No. 5. Cast Iron 12-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, 8-feet, 6-inches long, weight 29-3-7 (3,339 lbs), King George III cypher, ca. 1780.
No. 6. Cast Iron 12-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 29-0-22 (3,270 lbs), 14, King George III cypher, ca. 1780, cascable portion has been cut off.
No. 7. 6-inch 30-cwt Breechloading Mk. I Howitzer. The number 90 is stamped on the barrel, remaining data is too heavily corroded to decipher. There were six of these howitzers on record in Canada, including Serial Nos. 132, 134, 138, 141, 106 and 107. Canada ordered two of these howitzers from Vickers in 1901 and four were taken over from the British in 1906. Four were shipped back to the UK in 1915, the remaining two were to be scrapped in 1922. This is the only one remaining.
(Imperial War Museum, David Holt Photos)
(RC Butcher Photo)
(British Government Photos)
6-inch 30-cwt Breechloading Mk. I Howitzer.
Parks Canada records seven 18-pounder Smoothbore Guns, one with weight 42-1-4 (4,736 lbs), ca. 1800 to 1820, and two 24-pounder Smoothbore Carronades, no markings, on site. The author did not observe these guns in this location.
Range of Halifax smooth bore ordnance ca. 1860s.
Range of Halifax rifled ordnance ca. 1905. This plan locates the ten fortifications tghat mounted BL and QF guns at the end of the British garrison period. The Citadel was not part of these forts and batteries. The ranges are not shown as by this time theyu were in the tens of thousands of yards.
Boom defence between York Redoubt and McNabs Island, ca 1945. (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4950968)
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 seprate pages on this website.