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The Field Artillery Unit

Heroes Remember

The Field Artillery Unit

Well the first thing we did when we became a field regiment, we went from Norfolk down to Salisbury Plains for our initial firing camp. In order to, well to know what the guns sounded like for one thing and to note the accuracy of where the shells, how good you were laying the guns. A good gun layer, with a twenty five pounder, once they fired the first shell, a good gun crew could put the next shell in the same hole. Now in the First World War, it was a fantasy they had that if you saw a shell hole, jump in that one because another one will never pitch there. But, that's not so with good artillery. Or at least it may have been in the First War but in the Second World War it wasn't because we could do that.

Mr. Baggs describes the training and abilities of a gun crew.

Eric Thomson Baggs

Eric Thomson Baggs was born in St. John's, Newfoundland on March 3rd, 1918. He grew up in a fishing family and worked with his father at Royal Stores in St. John's filling fixtures and looking after wholesales. He joined the boy scouts when he was twelve. Mr. Baggs was accepted into the Royal Air Force in 1937 at seventeen but his father wouldn't let him go. He then tried for the Royal Navy but was refused because he was too young. When he was twenty-one he enlisted in the Army's Heavy Artillery Branch. He was trained in St. John's and then escorted to Liverpool in 1940. At first, Mr. Baggs was primarily on costal defense. Later his battalion became the 166th Field Artillery which became known as the best artillery regiment in all of the Allied Forces. When Mr. Baggs returned home to Newfoundland, he went on with life as usual, continuing work at his fathers store.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Eric Thomson Baggs
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
166 Field Artillery Regiment
Heavy Artillery, Field Artillery

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