Artillery in Canada (5) Ontario: Kingston, Fort Frontenac
Artillery in Ontario, Kingston, Fort Frontenac
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:
According to the 1974 edition of ACP 125 Cansupp 1A, "Sheldrake" was the appointment title for the artillery representative in a headquarters. "GOLF" was the arms indicator to be used by artillery callsigns on nets other than their own, especially those of the supported arms.
Fort Frontenac, Kingston
Cast Iron 8-inch 9-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Land Service Mortar, weight 8-1-18 (942 lbs), (S BOWLING) on the left trunnion, (Serial No. 199) on the right trunnion, 1 foot 10 inches long, ca. 18th C, in front of the flagpole facing North West.
Cast Iron 8-inch 9-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Land Service Mortar, weight 8-1-20 (944 lbs), (S BOWLING) on left trunnion, (Serial No. 201) on right trunnion, 1 foot 11 inches long, ca. 18th C, located in front of the flagpole facing South West.
Cast Iron 10-inch 18-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Land Service Mortar, weight 18-1-0 (2,044 lbs), 1856, Samuel Walker & Company of Rotherham, England (WCo) on left trunnion, (Serial No. 54) on right trunnion, 2 feet 8 inches long, forward of the flagpole facing South West.
One of many possibly 10-inch mortar rounds lining the riverfront pathway at Fort Frontenac.
Blomefield Cast Iron 24-pounder 50-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 50-3-25 (5,709 lbs), The Carron Company of Falkirk, Scotland (Serial No. 60898, CARRON, 1796), on left trunnion, (24P) on right trunnion, King George III cypher, broad arrow mark, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage. No. 1 of 4 Guns facing the water.
Blomefield Cast Iron 32-pounder 56-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 56-0-21 (6,293 lbs), The Carron Company of Falkirk, Scotland (Serial No. 59493, CARRON, 1799), on left trunnion, (32P) on right trunnion, King George III cypher, broad arrow mark, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage. No. 2 of 4 guns facing the water.
Blomefield Cast Iron 32-pounder 56-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 55-0-14 (6,174 lbs), Samuel Walker & Company of Rotherham, England (WCo) on left trunnion, (Serial No. 165) on right trunnion, King George III cypher, broad arrow mark, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage. No. 3 of 4 guns facing the water.
(Doug Knight Photo)
Blomefield Cast Iron 32-pounder 56-cwt Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, weight 55-1-0 (6,188 lbs), Samuel Walker & Company of Rotherham, England (WCo) on left trunnion, (Serial No. 920) on right trunnion, King George III cypher, broad arrow mark, mounted on a wood naval gun carriage. No. 4 of 4 guns facing the water.
Broadwell 65-mm Rifled Breech Loading Mountain Gun, Model 1873, mounted on an 1890 Nordenfelt 3-pounder Carriage. Fort Frontenac, Kingston, Ontario. Known locally as "the Kirby Gun" because it was rescued from Petawawa by then Colonel “Kip” C de L Kirby after being sent there for the ranges from storage at Fort Henry. It was presented to the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College at Fort Frontenac, Kingston by Brigadier-General Kirby in 1979 when he was the Commandant of the college (1977-1979). (BGen C de L Kirby, PPCLI, born 16 Oct 1924, died on 17 Mar 2011 in Kingston). The gun is probably a war trophy allocated to Canada after the Boer War. (Note: There is no QF 3Pdr Nordenfelt in Kingston, although the 65-mm Broadwell has a plaque on it identifying it as a 3Pdr Nordenfeldt).
In the 18702, four breech loading guns were purchased in Germany for the Boers. On 15 July 1873 these four guns and some other equipment were shipped from Hamburg, Germany to the Transvaal, South Africa. The guns that were supplied carried the inscription “Patent von Broadwell & Co.” and “Carlsruhe” engraved on their breeches. Broadwell & Co. was founded by the American/Russian inventor of the Broadwell ring, Lewis Wells Broadwell, in Karlsruhe in 1866 to manufacture breech loading guns with his own patented expanding ring gas check. Krupp may have supplied the steel for these guns. They were the first rifled breech loading guns imported by the Transvaal and they formed the backbone of its first official artillery unit, the Batterij Dingaan.
The guns were equipped with rectangular, horizontal sliding breech blocks, which opened to the left. Some of the guns have an inscription on the breech noting the guns make use of a Broadwell ring, probably manufactured from copper, to affect gas sealing. Ammunition consisted of lead coated shells, with bagged black powder cartridges and friction tubes to fire the gun. A centre mounted rear sight and a raised front sight at the muzzle, which was cast integral with the barrel, were used to lay the guns. Originally the guns were imported mounted on light steel carriages with small wooden wheels, but later the same guns also appeared on larger wooden field carriages.
When Britain annexed the Transvaal a year later all four guns were confiscated. In British hands one or more were used during the Sekukuni and other campaigns of 1878, while Col. Rowland’s No.5 column had one gun at the beginning of the Anglo-Zulu War, but it does not appear to have seen any action.
During the 1880-81 Transvaal War the four Batterij Dingaan guns were used against their former owners in defence of the British garrison besieged in Pretoria. One gun, mounted on a wooden carriage, was stationed at Fort Tullichewan, while the remaining three guns were used by other sections of the garrison to defend the Convent Redoubt, Fort Commeline and Fort Royal. After the Boer victory at Majuba the four guns were handed back to the Transvaal Government and became part of the newly formed Staatsartillerie.
Ammunition listed in the magazine book of the 1882-1883 Njabel campaign indicates that some of the 65mm guns were present in the Boer laager during this campaign. In March 1887, Zboril proposed that the guns should be converted to faster moving field guns by the addition of horse harnesses. Mounted on their small steel carriages they would have been liable to overturn when towed at higher speeds and this is another possible explanation for the appearance of the large-wheeled wooden field carriages. No mention of the 65-mm guns seeing action during any of the other native wars could be found, but annual defence reports of the 1890s stated that the republic still had the four guns and that common shells with percussion fuzes, shrapnel with time fuzes, incendiary shells and case shot were in use. After the Jameson Raid in 1896 two of the guns were stationed in Krugersdorp for use by the Krugersdorp Volunteer Corps.
A few weeks before the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War Capt. Thomas Kroon of the Staatsartillerie reported that two of the “old 65-mm Krupp guns” were standing in the Johannesburg Fort. On 31 May 1900 British forces advanced into the abandoned Johannesburg and found the two guns still standing in the fort. A list of “Guns, ammunition etc. in the Fort Johannesburg” compiled by General Marshall of the Royal Artillery in June 1900, identified them as: “Two 65mm (about 6 pdr) Krupp guns with old wooden carriages + limbers. Both guns are marked Patent Broadwell, Carlsruhe, 1873 on the face of the breech, and 1 and 3 respectively on the chase.” There were also “about 500 shells in very bad order for these”. At least one of the 65mm guns, mounted on the larger wooden field carriage, saw active service during the war and was photographed outside Mafeking.
After their capture, two Johannesburg guns (No. 1 & 3) were shipped to Woolwich, in May 1901 aboard the Templemore. No.4 was shipped from Durban aboard the SS Inyati on 10 October 1903. In 1904 No. 1 was donated to the Superintendent of Parks, Queens Park, Glasgow, while No. 4 went to the Chief Ordnance Officer in Belfast. No.3 was allotted to the “Minister of Militia and Defence” in Ottawa.
Source: Oranje Vrijstaat Artillerie Corps historical study and re-enactment group.
5-inch Breech-loading Mk. I Howitzer, weight 8-3-8 (988 lbs), RGF TBC, Reg. No. C. 4595, centre court.
25-pounder QF Field Gun, 1943, Sorel Industries Ltd, King George VI RI cypher, No. 1 of 2 facing the waterfront.
25-pounder QF Field Gun, 1942, Sorel Industries Ltd, King George VI RI cypher, No. 2 of 2 facing the waterfront.