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William "Bill Bogue
Male 1838 - 1866


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  • Birth  1838  , Roxboroughshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Misfortune  24 May 1866  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    killed 
    • 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
    Died  24 May 1866  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried  St. Andrews Church Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I128226  Generations
    Last Modified  30 Apr 2017 

  • Notes 
    • Queen's Square cannon has storied history

      Waterloo Region Record By rych mills

      Remembrance Day is still in the air '97 as it should be 365 days a year '97 and the words and pictures from yesterday's ceremonies will hopefully linger in our memories. Today, Flash from the Past stretches Canadian remembrance to a war with which has no actual Canadian connection. Cambridge/Galt's Russian cannon in Queen's Square last saw military action in the 1853-1856 Crimean War. ....

      Eight years after the end of the Crimean War, Galt council received a letter from the 4th Viscount Monck, Governor-General of British North America, saying that one of the guns captured from the Russians was being presented to the Town of Galt. When it arrived on December 2, 1864 via the Great Western Railway it was a mean-looking thing: the six-inch mouth, after being stuffed with seven pounds of gunpowder, could propel a 24-pound cannonball a couple thousand yards. Upon arrival in Galt, the cannon was immediately placed in Queen's Square on the west side of the Grand River. Its first call to action came on May 24, 1866 to celebrate Queen Victoria's 47th birthday. The cannon was hauled north a half mile to the top of the hill beside current-day Dickson Park.

      Firing a 21-round Royal Salute at noon was to have been the high point of the Victoria Day events. An experienced soldier, although having no artillery experience, William Boge, volunteered to oversee the firing. Two other men, James Armstrong and David Galletly, offered to help. Without going into details, only one of those three was destined to survive the day's events. The first two or three rounds went off as planned, thrilling the thousands watching. Jim Quantrell's essay goes into the gory details of the next attempted firing. Suffice to say that during the funerals that evening, parts of two men were buried at the old St. Andrew's cemetery. The remaining Victoria Day celebrations were cancelled...

      Queen's Square cannon has storied history. (2016). Therecord.com. Retrieved 12 November 2016, from http://www.therecord.com/living-story/6956627-queen-s-square-cannon-has-storied-history/

      _____________________

      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.

      Immediately following the accident the bodies of Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Boge were taken to the old school house on Dickson Street where an inquest was held at the direction of coroner, Dr. Phillips. Several witnesses were called, including David Galletly but none were able to give a satisfactory explanation of the direct cause of the premature firing of the gun. It was speculated however, that the firing was too rapid and that the cannon muzzle had not been adequately sponged after the third round was fired. It was though that burning embers remained in the cannon and had ignited the powder charge too soon. The jury ruled "that said William Boge and James Armstrong came to their deaths through accident caused by inexperience of the parties to whom the firing of the 24 pound gun was entrusted."

      The games that had been scheduled for the afternoon were canceled as the Town's joy turned to sorrow and Galt prepared to bury its two sons. The coroner ordered that the bodies by buried without undue delay so the funeral was held at 8:00 p.m. that same evening at the old School House. Both deceased men had been members of the Galt Fire Brigade which turned out in force to honour their fallen comrades. The bodies were placed on Fire Engine No. 1 and, after a short service conducted by the Rev. Mr. Campbell, were taken for burial to St. Andrew's Cemetery.

      William Boge was 27 years old when he was killed, a native of Roxboroughshire, Scotland. He and his wife had immigrated to Canada two years previously and for some time he had worked for Turnbull and Deans, the predecessor of Charles Turnbull Co. Ltd. Mrs. Boge was a well known local vocalist and a women of frail health. She was in the crowd watching the cannon and witnessed the accident. The shock was such that she fainted "and it was only by the most unremitting attention that she was brought out of the heavy swoons that rapidly succeeded one another". She was taken home and remained in serious condition. For some time it was feared that she might not survive but eventually she came around and "strong hopes" were held for her full recovery.

      James Armstrong had been born in Havick in Scotland and was about 32 years of age. He was not married, had lived in Canada for about nine years and was employed as a wool sorter in the Robinson and Howell Woollen Mill. Both men were described as "steady and industrious and much respected by their acquaintances."

      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

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 1838 - , Roxboroughshire, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMisfortune - killed - 24 May 1866 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 24 May 1866 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - St. Andrews Church Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
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