Operation Normandy Gunner 2019

On 08 June 2019, marking the 75th anniversary of the battles to liberate Normandy, the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery unveiled and dedicated a QF 25-pounder gun at Point 67, known locally as Côte de Cindais, to commemorate, in perpetuity, the contribution of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery in the operations and battles in Normandy, France in the summer of 1944.

The Normandy Artillery Memorial located at Point 67 consists of a 25-pounder QF Gun, (S.I.C 9-42) which was manufactured in Canada by Sorel Industries in 1942.  The 25-pounder QF Gun was extensively deployed by the Royal Canadian Artillery during the Second World War..

In 1949, the Defence Forces acquired forty-eight 25-pounders, some of which were used by Commonwealth forces during the Second World War.  Whereas the 25-pounder was fired for the first time in March 1949 at the Seskin gun position, the first regimental shoot took place, involving three batteries and 24 guns, on 21 June 1949.

The Artillery Corps final shoot of the 25-pounder took place on 30 July 2009.  The Director of Artillery Col Ray Quinn was the Gun Commander, the Layer was RSM John (Mingy) Morris, the Loader was Sgt Callery and the Rammer was Lt Col Eamonn Fogarty.

During the past six years, under the auspices of Col Ray Yorke, Lt Col Eamonn Fogarty (Retd) and RSM John Morris (Retd), the Artillery Corps presented six 25-pounder guns to The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery.  In addition to Point 67, one is located as a monument at Juno Beach, one is display in the town Heerenberg, The Netherlands where the Canadian Army crossed the Rhine and began the final push north to liberate Holland in 1945.  Finally, three 25-pounders are located in Canada: Toronto (Limber Gunners), Montreal (3BAM) and the other in Lévis Quebec (6 RAC).

Photographs of Operation Normandy Gunner 2019 courtesy of Major Richard Gratton, Royal Regiment Canadian Artillery.

For slide show, please click on any photograph.