The top image was taken in a gun pit at St. Pierre. Purple typeset on reverse side of the photograph indicates: “‘B’ Sub. Gun Pit Cite St. Pierre taken April 1919. W. J. Johnston.” William J. Johnston was a member of the 55th Battery.
The 55th Battery was recruited in Guelph in 1916. It was made up of men from widely scattered parts of the country, due in part to its peculiar formation of three sections, each from a different unit. Those three sections were: (1) the 48th, a Toronto battery of the old 12th Brigade, (2) the 55th, a Guelph unit, and (3) the 56th, which was called the “O. A. C.” Battery, and which was recruited mostly from students of the O. A. C. college and their friends. The brigade fought at all of the major battles during the static trench warfare of France.
Those interested in the experiences of the 55th Battery, may wish to review a blog by Susan Drain, Ph.D.: percyswar.wordpress.com. This is a publication in real-time-plus-100-years of the diary and ephemera of Percy Theobald, a gunner in the 55th Battery. He was not a Bruce County man, but came into the 55th when his Toronto Battery (the 48th) left him and dozens of others behind in Britain when they went to France. Percy and his mates were quarantined for mumps.
For more photographs and information about the 55th Battery, visit Bruce County Museum’s Online Collections Site: 55th Battery, Bruce County Museum Online Collections.