Bringing History Alive: Niagara Vimy Memorial Project

What is the NVM Project?
The creation of a Vimy Memorial in Niagara, through the Restoration and Preservation of a battlefield artifact, known simply as ‘The Vimy Gun’.

Garrison Community Council of Niagara, in support of The Lincoln & Welland Regiment Foundation, is committed to the restoration of the gun as a permanent reminder of, and monument to the bravery, commitment, and sacrifice of the Men, Women and families who served Canada during the ‘Great War’. The Lincoln & Welland Regiment Foundation has been designated as official custodian of this wartime artifact on behalf of the people of Canada.

Volunteers have commenced the process:

Removing the plate.

Removing the plate.

The Vimy Gun has been disassembled prior to repair and restoration. It is our plan to have the gun completely restored and unveiled by November 11, 2014. The Vimy Gun will then be displayed throughout Niagara prior to its formal dedication on the 100th Anniversary of its capture, April 16, 2017.

A commemorative cairn with the story of the gun and a list of all Canadians who have contributed to this project will be installed at the site of the future home of the Memorial – ‘Niagara Military Heritage Centre – Home of the Lincoln and Welland Regimental Museum”.

Wheel - before and after

Wheel – before and after

Some of the restoration crew.

Some of the restoration crew.

The Citizen’s role in preserving their own history and heritage:

The Garrison Community Council believes that as citizens we have an obligation to preserve our history in such a way as to engage future generations in acts of remembrance and gratitude for the freedoms we all share.

We invite every Citizen of Niagara to take ownership of this project and honour the memory of family members, friends and loved ones who served. Become part of the ‘Vimy Gun Crew’!

Please download and complete the Donation Form and return it with your cheque to the address indicated. Tax receipts will be issued. Contribution levels have been established at modest levels to accord every citizen an opportunity to become a partner in this most important project.

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Become a ‘Member of the Vimy Gun Crew’ receive a Commemorative Certificate, recognition on the Commemorative Cairn and a tax receipt in the amounts specified on the attached donation form.

For further information contact the Garrison Community Council at
gcc-niagara@bell.net.

THE VIMY GUN – A Short History

old-pic-vimy-gunA little known piece of Canadian Heritage once sat quietly outside the Lincoln and Welland Regiment Museum on Butler’s Barracks National Historic Site in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

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

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.

Post War:

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.

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More About The Battle of Vimy Ridge

Article on the Battle of Vimy Ridge Canadian War Museum http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/vimy/index_e.shtml

Govenor General marks the anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2014/04/09/governor-general-marks-the-anniversary-of-the-battle-of-vimy-ridge/

How many Canadians know which war the Battle of Vimy Ridge was in?http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/04/07/less-than-half-of-canadians-know-which-war-the-battle-of-vimy-ridge-was-fought-in-new-poll/

HMCS Prevost News

This article was first published in the GCC London Newsletter. You can access it at the following link http://www.gcclondon.ca/images/APRIL-2014-GCC-Newsletter.pdf

HMCS PREVOST sends congratulations to shipmate and Public Affairs Officer Lieutenant (Navy) David Lewis for his award on February 18th, 2014 of the Meritorious Service Medal. Shown with David is his wife, Sherrie, and Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall in Ottawa after the Ceremony. The Meritorious Service
Medal recognizes a military deed or activity performed in a highly professional manner, according to a very high standard that brings benefit or honour to the Canadian Forces. David was recognized for his efforts at the design, creation and dedication of the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial at HMCS PREVOST, preserving the memories and legacy of our Royal Canadian Navy and its efforts during this long fought battle on the North Atlantic from 1939-1945.

Lieutenant (Navy) David Lewis shown with David is his wife, Sherrie, and Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall on February 18th, 2014.

Lieutenant (Navy) David Lewis shown with David is his wife, Sherrie, and Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall on February 18th, 2014.

 

Randy Warden Receives Lieutenant Governor’s Military Service Pin

This article was first published in the GCC London Newsletter. You can access it at the following link http://www.gcclondon.ca/images/APRIL-2014-GCC-Newsletter.pdf

As background to this recognition of Randy Warden, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor (Saskatchewan) indicates the following about the military service pin.

mspThroughout our history, men and women have served in wars, dangerous peacekeeping missions, and vital domestic operations. They have made enormous sacrifices to represent our nation and to defend the principles of peace, freedom, and justice. The Lieutenant Governor’s Military Service Pin symbolizes the gratitude of the Crown and the people of Saskatchewan for those who have served with honour and valour.

The pin is intended to be worn on civilian clothing, so that we might recognize those who serve when they are not in uniform.

Randy Warden’s military service took him to Saskatchewan a number of times, both to Regina and to Canadian Forces Base Dundurn. After his military service, he lived in Saskatoon in 1984 and 1985.

Randy served in the regular force with 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and achieved the rank of Sergeant. He then served for more than ten years with the supplementary reserve followed by two years as a reservist with 4th Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment here in London. Congratulations Randy!

lgmsp