Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Scottish Officer's Campaign Table, 1917
Orig. folding campaign table - Size - 36 x 76 x 73h cm
Found - Niagara Falls, ON

Tea for One

A truly wonderful discovery is this World War I officer's campaign table. It is quick to put up and down, and folds flat for easy transport, or stowing in a tent. And it is light weight as well.

This table is more valuable because it comes with great provenance as well, a life history that gives it added punch.

It was in the possession of a Niagara Falls collector for 50 years. He got if from a dealer in 1945 who got it from a friend in Scotland who had been a batman for a Scottish Officer during World War I, and said the table had been his.

He ruefully recounted that, during the Battle of Cambrai, the officer insisted no matter how frenzied the action, that the batman set up the table and serve him tea at noon. This he did repeatedly regardless of how much shot and shell flew overhead.

So the table dates at least to World War I. Camp furniture, like this table, had been sed before the war for training, or by regular officers, during the wars in the colonies. So this table may have been used before in India or even during the Boer War a dozen or so years before the batman used it at Cambrai.

The Battle of Cambrai, in November, December 1917, was notable for the fact that tanks were used en masse for the first time. With 350 tanks the British advanced an astonishing 5 miles in the opening days of the battle. In the end they had to withdraw because they had outrun their support columns, and fell back under a German counter-attack. The cost, some 45,000 men for each side.

This table heard it all...

Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996-1999-2005

Campaign Table, Battle of Cambrai - 1917

Page 92v
Great Canadian Heritage Discoveries
More important Canadian antique memorabilia the Museum has recently preserved.