||24 May 1866
||Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario
|was injured in cannon fire |
- According to a contemporary account of Victoria Day, May 24, 1866 "dawned must auspiciously. The weather was delightful and everything betokened a day of amusement such as Galt never before witnessed". The Town bells began pealing at 6:00 a.m. and soon people were gathering for the day's activities. Quoits began at 9:00 a.m. and the boat and horse races went off well.
As noon approached final preparations were made for the firing of the cannon which had been moved from Queen's Square to the Cricket Ground "near the face of the hill overlooking the dam". The firing of the cannon had been delegated by the Gun Committee to Mr. William Boge who had served for several years as an infantry soldier in the British Army. He lacked direct experience in the use of field artillery but felt himself to be fully acquainted with artillery practice and had convinced the authorities that he had sufficient knowledge to manage to the cannon properly.
Mr. Boge was assisted by Mr. James Armstrong, who attended to the ramming of the muzzle loading the gun, and by Mr. David Galletly who was working the vent of the gun. Three rounds had been safely fired when the powder for the fourth round was placed in the muzzle. Next came the wadding, which consisted of sod, with Mr. Boge and Mr. Armstrong ramming it home. Suddenly and unexpectedly a fearful roar rent the holiday air as the powder exploded prematurely. Perhaps the report of the contemporary press best expresses the shock and horror which descended upon the spectators as the smoke cleared. "The body of Boge had been driven about seven yards to the front and a little to the right. Armstrong's body was blown about the same distance to the left side close up to the fence. Both were rightfully disfigured, The upper portions of the bodies were entirely denuded of clothing and blackened an charred almost out of human resemblance. From Mr. Boge's body one arm had been blown off at the elbow and the other hand was missing. Armstrong's right arm was torn out at the shoulder blade and the left hand was also gone".
Mr. Galletly who had been attending to his duties at the vent when the accident occurred had his thumb badly lacerated and his hand burned. The only other injuries were to two boys who had been watching the firing of the gun. One unnamed boy suffered a slightly scratched cheek from the flying splinter. Another boy, John Lapraik, 7 years of age, received an ugly cut on the cheek when he was struck by a small piece of ramrod. His wound was speedily treated and soon healed.
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada - About Cambridge History: The Queen's Square Cannon. (2016). Cambridgeweb.net. Retrieved 12 November 2016, from http://cambridgeweb.net/historical/cannon.html
||Yes, date unknown
||15 Mar 2017 |
|Misfortune - was injured in cannon fire - 24 May 1866 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario