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The 1917 would be fine with me. My initial thinking was that 1915 might be better for early war, but I suspect that for the true "early war" fan that means only 1914. I guess the 120 would be a necessity for you after all. As I understand it the main difference between the 1915 and 1917 models was that the former fired a brass cartridge shell so there are minor breach differences.
Oh and I agree with RCD-we must have a French crew.
Does anyone know a good website for the organization of French artillery in the late war period? French language ok
A french site only about artillery. The link above directs you to the 1st World War chapter. A very good site for research