Monday, September 15, 2014

Fort George and the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition or Canadian Combat Wheelbarrows!?

This past weekend (11-14 September 2014) I was at Fort George Ontario for the first annual Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition.  Apart from all the steampunk goodness, a real treat for me was being able to explore the fort and even spend several nights in the barracks.

I took a great many photos and some will certainly show up here in future posts. I did find traces of a little known part of Canadian military history: The Combat Wheelbarrow!

Now wheelbarrows are so generally useful it is to be expected that your standard wheelbarrow will see use by the military such as these cargo variants:

And a better shot of the model on the right. the slats seem to suggest this was used for fodder or other bulk material:

Then there is this model with adjustable sides:

Surely the mortar in front is just part of a general display of equipment under repair in the Artificer's Shop.   But no.  In the depot section of the barracks block, the ingenuity of Canadian (Ok early British Imperial) military thinking is revealed. An example of one of the earliest self-propelled (or should that read squaddie propelled) artillery pieces in North America the Combat Wheelbarrow!:

In loaded and deployed configuration:

Based on information in the display and accompanying markings on the equipment, this was not just an interesting way to pose equipment in the museum but a historical method of moving and deploying light mortars. A great vignette for any modeller or gamer. Forward the First Upper Canadian Barrowmen!

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