This book is Volume 5 of author and military historian Harold Skaarup's continuing series on historic cannon preserved in Canada. The book should stand as a detailed reference work describing the use of these weapons of war in Canada. The book is divided into ten chapters. Each chapter focuses on different aspects of the history of cannon and warfare associated with British Columbia from before its entry into Confederation to the present day. The introduction describes how the first historic cannon were introduced to British Columbia. The book also includes an epigraph.
The nature of war and its effects on the Canadian soldiers and their families who supported them, particularly through the terrible losses suffered during the Great War, is commemorated by cannon captured in that conflict. For this reason, a full chapter is dedicated to the disposition of German First World War trophies in British Columbia. The author continues with the extensive historical record of cannon that were distributed in defence of British Columbia’s seaports, coastal defences and strategic harbours, primarily under the direction of the Royal Navy. Chapter 3 describes the history of the deployment of these cannon in detail.
Gradually, the chapters proceed with the details of how, as time and the threat to the province evolved, the cannon were placed and replaced as technology advanced. A number of cannon have been preserved at several different sites, standing as iron markers in the record of the military history of the province. Surviving cannon are described with information on their origin, technical data and present locations at various war memorials, museums, and Canadian Forces Bases, as well as the cities of Vancouver, Victoria, and New Westminster. The final chapter tells the Second World War story of decorated British Columbia native Sergeant James Alton Thrasher of The Westminster Regiment.
The book includes an appendix of the abbreviations used in each chapter to ensure that the readers can decipher the commonly used military acronyms throughout the story. The author was asked to describe his feelings about the publication of the book. He said he is very pleased with the collaboration of so many of his friends, colleagues, and fellow veterans of the Canadian Forces. Many of them contributed data, photos, and professional expertise to ensure the material in the book is accurate and does justice in preserving the history of artillery in British Columbia. He also thanked Global Summit House for their support and co-operation in ensuring the book is a high-quality product, like their publication of the author’s previous book, “Siegecraft II”.
The book includes a bibliography which serves as a guide to the reference material Harold used to write the book. A brief history of the author’s military service at home and overseas in Germany, Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colorado, and Afghanistan is also included.