WW1 Machine Gunner’s Handbook C.E.F. Capt. Van Wart c.1916

$169.00 USD

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Manual owned by mysterious Canadian military officer Horace H. Van Wart c. 1916, who after WW1 went to Russia with C.E.F. (Siberia) supporting the White Russians during the Revolution (see below)

     Including the
Vickers Light Gun
Arranged by 2nd Lieut. J. BOSCTOCK K.O Yorkshire L.I
Fourth Edition

Inside front cover is a sleeve with 3 removable cardboard cards:

  • Graticule card for MARK VI AMM. and on reverse for MARK VII AMM.
  • The Machine Gunner’s Range & Trajectory Card (printed “Van Wart Capn. XII Batt.”)
  • MARK VII AMMUNITIION (printed on back “H. H. Van Wart Cap. XII Batt.”)

First page signed “Cpt. Van Wart” as well as printed “Capt. H,H, Van Wart C.E.F.”

At back, last 3 blank pages filled with handwritten notes by Capt. Van Wart, topics “Points to be noted in mounting guns”, “Stripping Lock”…

Photos and diagrams.

Hardcover. Cover has some wear spots. Old scotch tape first page.  Binding bit loose

278 pages

16 x 10 cm


… a  Frederictonian who served in Russia as a signals officer, but who later made claim to being a much more important figure in the Allied effort to support the White Russian regime.  That man was  Horace H. Van Wart, a forgotten figure who is now only referenced for his writing a small book on the United Empire Loyalists. Fragments and threads of his life blow through the Internet like tumbleweeds in a ghost town, but nobody has ever examined the record he was trying to create for himself.

How big was Captain Van Wart's  claim to fame?  BIG!  Take a moment to read the biographical profile he submitted to a New Brunswick who's who in 1922.  In reality he went quietly to Vladivostok as a Signalling Officer with the 259th Battalion CSEF,  but a year after Demobilization he was broadcasting himself as "Intelligence Observer II" [sic] with a string of accomplishments that would rival the exploits of a deep-cover British S.I.S. officer…. He sailed from Quebec with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and when the 12th Reserve Infantry Battalion C.E.F.** went under canvas, he was the Signaling Officer…was invalided to Canada in October of 1917.

…. The Canadian office of the Associated Press in London distributed a promotions list on February 16, 1916. The news article lead with "Lieut. Vanwart, General Staff, Canadian Training Division, is promoted captain".

.. Van Wart sailed with the 259 Battalion Canadian Rifles from Victoria, B.C.  in December of 1918….

…. If we take Van Wart at his word, he was one of the more important figures in the Allied intervention in Siberia:
"Signalling Officer, 259th Canadian Rifles (Siberia), Vladivostock, 1918; attached British Military Mission to Siberia, May, 1919; Military Attache to the Kolchak Forces at Samara (Russia); Technical Officer with British Military Mission at Ekaterinburg, and Omsk, Siberia, July, 1919; commanded Jugu Slav Echelon during the evacuation and retreat from Omsk, Nov., 1919- Jan. 1920; commanded Echelon 26 at surrender of Admiral Kolchak, Irkutsk, Jan. 1920; captured by Social Revolutionary Forces, Irkutsk, Jan. 1920; crossed Gobi Desert, commanding caravan, via Verkne-Udinsk, Kyakhta, Urga and Kalgan, Yokahama, Aug. 1920;  [decorations] St. Stanislaus II Class, St. Ann IV Class, etc.  [etcetera?!]