Author Topic: 1890's Canadian Artilleryman - Martini-Henry rifle  (Read 5020 times)

Offline RattlesnakeJack

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1890's Canadian Artilleryman - Martini-Henry rifle
« on: April 09, 2007, 11:55:12 am »
I have been updating my knowledge of Canada's quite limited use of the .577/.450 Martini-Henry rifle.

Canada never really adopted the Martini-Henry (nor the Martini-Metford or Martini-Enfield, for that matter).  The .577 Snider-Enfield rifle was retained as our primary military rifle action from 1866 through 1898 when the "Long" Lee-Enfield was adopted ... and it wasn't until well into the 20th Century that all units had their Sniders replaced.

However, Canada did acquire a total of 7,100 Martini-Henry rifles ... 2,100 Mark I rifles in 1874, and 5,000 Mark III rifles in 1885.  Although they never became general standard issue, the 2,000+ "Other Ranks" of the Militia Garrison Artillery Batteries were armed with them at some point during the 1890's.

Here is a period photo of a Canadian Artilleryman (the "ball" ornament, in lieu of a "spike", on his foreign service helmet confirms his branch of service) taken at Quebec City in 1896.  He carries a Martini-Henry rifle, and is wearing "Lewis Equipment" in heavy marching order.  As a Gunner, his tunic would be dark blue, not red.   Note that he is also a musician.



I am the fortunate owner of a very nice Mark III Canadian-purchase rifle, which is prominently stamped with the government ownership mark used back then ... the initials "D.C" (Dominion of Canada) enclosed in a diamond.  I've posted this image before, but thought I'd do so again to finish off this post.  (The background is an 1889 phoitograph of Riflemen of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada.)  Click on thumbnail to enlarge ...


Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/

Offline Ol Gabe

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Re: 1890's Canadian Artilleryman - Martini-Henry rifle
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2007, 05:07:26 pm »
Shabash, R.J.R., Shabash!
Best regards and thanks for the post!
'Ol Gabe
 

Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: 1890's Canadian Artilleryman - Martini-Henry rifle
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2007, 10:04:11 pm »
Jack;  Thanks for the info & pics.  I didn't actually know that we used the M-H.

I would like to portray a Canadian artillery officer of 1885, on campaign in Saskatchewan.  Do you have any source material?  I might even get motivated to join GAF!

NCOWS #1154, SCORRS, STORM, BROW, 1860 Henry, Dirty Rat 502, CHINOOK COUNTRY
THE SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)
Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Offline RattlesnakeJack

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Re: 1890's Canadian Artilleryman - Martini-Henry rifle
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2007, 02:10:52 am »
Sir Charles:

I have a bit of material which may help ...

The Garrison Artillery, consisting of two batteries (Quebec and Kingston), was formed in 1870;   in 1883 it was renamed "The Regiment of Canadian Artillery", and was the entire artillery complement of the the "Regular Army" in 1885.  Both Batteries went with the North West field force - here is a list (part of a listing of all Troops who served in the field published in a special edition of the Canadian Illustrated War News) of the officers and men of both Batteries:

(Click thumbnails to enlarge.)


These images depict an Officer in field uniform, and a Driver, circa 1885 (from "Canadian Military Heritage, Volume III") -

 

Front page of Illustrated War News, depicting "A" Battery struggling through snow in the Touchwood Hills, on the trail to Batoche (with related text)-


Illustrated War News engraving depicting "A" Battery in action at the Battle of  Fish Creek -


Members of "A" Battery -


A gun pit -


Shelling Batoche -
Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier
Old West ClipArt & History Website:  http://rattlesnakejacks.com/

Offline Sir Charles deMouton-Black

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Re: 1890's Canadian Artilleryman - Martini-Henry rifle
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2007, 09:26:40 pm »
Thanks Jack;  I have served in both "A" and "B" Batterys, but 82 to 85 years after the North West campaign.
NCOWS #1154, SCORRS, STORM, BROW, 1860 Henry, Dirty Rat 502, CHINOOK COUNTRY
THE SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)
Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”