Lieutenant-Colonel Charles W. Drury (1856-1913)
Commanding Officer, Brigade Division, Royal Canadian Field Artillery
A popular and efficient officer, Drury was known as the "Father of Modern Field Artillery in Canada" for his many innovations. After service in the militia artillery in New Brunswick, he joined the permanent force artillery in 1877, and served in the Northwest Campaign in 1885. At the outbreak of the South African War he was in command of the Permanent Force artillery at Kingston. He was one of the officers who accompanied the first Canadian contingent to study military developments during the war. He saw action with British forces and was present at the battle of Magersfontein.
Drury took command of the Canadian artillery when it arrived in South Africa in early 1900. After initial operations in March and April 1900, however, the Canadian artillery was split up and its component batteries served independently with different British forces. Drury and his headquarters, along with "C" Battery, formed part of Major-General Robert Baden Powell's operations in the western Transvaal. The artillery proved its efficiency, although the batteries were mostly employed in the frustrating task of pursuing the Boers in remote areas.
After his return to Canada, Drury became military commander of the Maritime Provinces region. In 1905-06, his command took over the large fortress at Halifax from the departing British garrison, and Drury thus became responsible for the largest military establishment in the country.