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THE VIMY GUN PROJECT
A little known piece of Canadian Heritage sits quietly
outside the Regimental Museum in Butler’s Barracks in Historic Niagara-on-The-Lake.
The Gun:
A German Artillery piece, serial number 201 known simply as ‘The Vimy Gun’, has a storied past.

Manufactured by KRUPP Armaments, Germany in 1914, it was a Horse-drawn, 105 mm calibre, (diameter of the bore), weighed 1050 kilograms and fired a 15.5 kilogram shell.

The Canadian Acquisition:
Positioned as part of the German defensives on Vimy Ridge, the gun was used to counter attempts by the French and British to capture the ridge.

On April 16, 1917, the gun was captured by the soldiers of the 7th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, during the battle for Vimy Ridge. Given the muddy conditions and lack of horsepower the Germans abandoned the gun during their retreat. Fortunately, a stock of ammunition was also abandoned. Following its capture the gun was turned over to a Canadian Artillery unit and used in support of the continuation of the attack to seize the ridge and to defend against the inevitable German counter attack.

 

‘The Vimy Gun’ epitomizes Canadian Heroism and Sacrifice in a battle that has come to
symbolize Canada’s ‘coming of age’.
Post War:  

The Gun was returned to Canada and
positioned at Queenston (1920/21),
in front of the Village school. It was
subsequently relocated to the village
cenotaph in 1926.

During the re-alignment of the Niagara Parkway, the gun was deemed to be a hazard to traffic and relocated once more.
 
For decades it remained on a local farm under the care of a retired member of the 57th Field Artillery Association. With his death the gun was stored behind a Parks Canada storage shed until re-discovered by volunteers of the Lincoln & Welland Regimental Museum. The Gun was eventually placed at Butler’s Barracks, Niagara-on-the-Lake in conjunction with an agreement with Parks Canada. Custodianship of this important historical artefact has been entrusted to the custodial care of The Lincoln & Welland Regiment Foundation.
Bringing History Alive:
The Garrison Community Council of Niagara, in conjunction with, The Lincoln & Welland Regiment Foundation, is committed to the restoration of this significant monument to the bravery, commitment, and sacrifice of Canada’s Men and Women of the Armed Forces and the Home Front. A Parks Canada restoration expert has examined the gun and advised what work needs to be done, including new wooden wheel spokes and extensive iron work, followed by sandblasting and painting. The gun will have to be taken apart, restored and put back together. It is our plan to have the gun completely restored and unveiled by November 11, 2014. “The Vimy Gun” will then be displayed throughout the Niagara Region prior to its formal dedication celebrating the 100 th Anniversary of its capture during the Battle for Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

A commemorative cairn with the story of the gun and a list of all Canadians connected to the Niagara Region, who fought at Vimy Ridge, will be also be installed.

Get involved with YOUR History
The Garrison Community Council of Niagara solicits your support for this signature project. Donations may be made directly to The Lincoln & Welland Regiment Foundation, and specifically annotated “The Vimy Gun Project”.
Your financial donations will ensure the completion of this most worthwhile project – on time. Donations large or small are welcome. Donations of $20.00 or greater will receive a tax receipt.

For further information contact the Garrison Community Council of Niagara at
gcc-niagara@bell.net or by contacting john.richmond@sympatico.ca