HOPEWELL CAPE, N.B. – A small New Brunswick community is working to save two German guns captured during the battle of Vimy Ridge.
The guns have been on display in Albert County, N.B. since 1920, but time and weather have taken their toll on the large weapons. They need new steel, wheels and paint, a restoration project that could cost $15,000.
Donald Alward, the Albert County Museum’s curator, says the county has strong ties to World War One. The small community sent over 300 people to join the war movement, now 100 years ago.
Residents from Albert County fought in the 26th Battalion – the same battalion historians believe captured the 7.7-cm field cannon that’s now on display.
“It was awarded to Albert County as a war trophy because we had the highest percentage of population to enlist for service in World War One,” Alward said.
The other, larger gun is a 10-cm K14 cannon.
It was captured by the 27th Battalion, representing the city of Winnipeg, during the same historic battle. Alward says the guns are significant reminders of the Great War.
“They are significant in that we have two war trophies in the same location and the larger one is quite rare,” he said. “There are only seven of them that we’re aware of left in the world.”
Dawne McLean’s uncle was one of the Albert County residents who joined the call to fight in World War One. She says they are important reminders of the horrors of war and need to be preserved.
“They aren’t just the cannons,” she said. “They represent the sacrifice of Albert County men and women.”