Victory Cannon

Excellent Time-line Photos of the Vimy Gun! Adding to the story!

We have recently received some amazing photos of the Guns in Hopewell Cape which really helps in the guns timeline! One in particular from the photo collection of Verna Beaumont shows the Vimy Gun on May 9, 1943 sporting its green coat of paint. So we know from two dated photos the cannon was painted between 1935 and 1943 from the original camouflage colors to an army green. The cannons would stay green until they were refurbished at Gagetown in 1989 when they were painted grey.  

Cyril Cook in Seaman's Uniform, May 9, 1943 with unidentified man in Air Force uniform. 

Hopewell Vimy Gun Circa 1935  - Cyril Cook is in this Photo

Early Photos Circa 1920 of the Vimy Cannon in Hopewell Cape.

Special thanks to Justin Raworth who shared the images of the cannon from 1920 and Terry Smith, who shared  the pictures of Cyril Cook from his Mother's photo collection (Verna Beaumont). Cyril Cook was her uncle. Both pictures are dated 9 May 1943.

Amazing Photo Collection of Vimy Gun in Hopewell Cape - Circa 1935

We have just received some amazing photos of the Hopewell Cape Vimy Gun from the family photo collection of Susan Richardson. With special thanks to Kevin Snair of Creative Imagery for scanning and sending them to us! Five are from the 1930s and one from the 1960s. The photo of the five boys on the Hopewell Cape Vimy Ridge Gun is from 1935 and shows Douglas Higgins, Burton Fownes, Vernon Fownes, Cyril Cook and Harold Bishop on the gun. Isn't the camouflage paint job amazing!

Douglas Higgins, Burton Fownes, Vernon Fownes, Cyril Cook and Harold Bishop Circa 1935

Douglas Higgins, Burton Fownes, Vernon Fownes, Cyril Cook and Harold Bishop Circa 1935

The 2016 Victory Cannon Campaign Fundraiser

 

We are very pleased to introduce our 2016 fundraising effort for the Victory Cannon Campaign. Our goal is to raise the remaining $5000.00 of the total goal of $15,000.00. The Victory Cannon Campaign is raising funds to restore the First World War cannons located in the Square in Hopewell Cape. The two cannons were captured by Canadians during the First World War and awarded to the people of Albert County. The large cannon was won in the Victory Loans Campaign of 1919, for raising the greatest percentage over our set goal. The second cannon was awarded for Albert County having the largest number of men per capita enlist in the CEF in Canada. 

We were fortunate to have noted local artist, Norm Bradford agree to paint an original painting depicting our cannons, which we will be raffling off. Tickets will be $10.00 each with a limit of 600 tickets sold, and will go on sale Opening Day at the Museum (May 21), with sales continuing until all are sold or the draw date at our at our Annual General Meeting in October. The odds of winning are fantastic! (1 in 600 if all the tickets sell). 

Here is Norm's amazing painting, and below it are his comments on it. Please be generous and buy tickets!

The Spoils of War

As an artist who needs to convey a message and emotion through his art, I had to take my time to study how we got to have these cannons, why they’re here in Hopewell Cape Museum and how much it cost us. I was overwhelmed by the cost and the bravery of our local boys who captured these cannons. Below is a description of some of the symbolism in my creation. It took me a long time to plan this painting. I took lots of pictures, visits and composition planning to bring this painting to fruition.

The Cannons: As a realist, the cannons are recognizable, detailed and are central to this work. They are angled in such a way that your eye is drawn to the ghostly young WW1 soldier leaning on a strong maple tree, blowing taps in recognition of the of brave Albert County boys who gave their lives in the First World War, where these German Cannons were captured. The cannons were given to Albert County by Canada in recognition of those who fought, and from the 1919 Victory Loans Campaign.

The ghost: The young man is depicted as half ghost and half solid. He casts a shadow and the light reflects off his clothing. His uniform is what he would have worn at the time of the capture of these cannons. He is gone, but he is still here “lest we forget” the cost in human lives it took to have these “spoils”. He is standing straight and proud against a straight and proud maple tree (a symbolism for Canada).

The dramatic sky: The dark purple, threatening, ominous clouds of war are broken by a ray of hope lighting up the landscape and separating the foreground from the darker background. This ray in a small patch of blue sky signifies victory, hope, pride, freedom, and a brighter future thanks to our young men’s sacrificed and triumph. This light is of utmost importance in this painting. This sky was captured in a picture taken by Doran Milton recently just after a terrible downpour that flooded roads and fields. The light that it cast on the foreground (cows) helped me bring this whole painting together. It was central to bringing the emotion, the drama and the story together.

The background: Although the background is dark and treed, the buildings of the shire are recognizable although not to scale, not in the proper disposition. This an artist can do and no photographer can. The buildings have the light of the illusive sun also separating them from the dark green background. Bennett’s monument and plaques are also in view and centrally located.

The red poppies: although, there are no poppies in reality, they are in the painting to again remind the visitors that these cannons were not easy spoil, but won by many sacrifices.

Respectfully,

Norm Bradford

On the 99th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge - April 9, 1917 - An Update

It was 99 years ago today, (April 9, 1917)  that the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) fought the Battle of Vimy Ridge. It was the first time the Canadian Corps fought together as a single unit and achieved the first Allied Victory of the War.  It was also the day the 27th Battalion captured the K14 10.5cm Cannon (s/n 590) that sits in Hopewell Cape Square. The people of Albert County won the cannon in the 1919 Victory Loans Competition for raising the greatest percentage over their target anywhere in New Brunswick. The County raised three times their goal of $110,000.00 with a realized sum of $347,600.00 (6.92 million in today's dollars). 

The capture of the K14 cannon is a story legends are made of, fighting in the third wave of the attack, the men of the 27th Battalion stormed the enemy lines, while Bandsman Paddy Smith played the regimental march on his piccolo. In the words of the company commander, "The battalion charged the last 50 yards with a cheer and leaped into the gun pits, where the gunners put up a stout fight. Our line lead by Captain Lane seized the guns, put out of action those of the crew who resisted and took the remainder prisoners, and prevented the guns from being dismantled." What a story of courage and sacrifice, it sends shivers down my spine every time I read it. 

Two days later on the 11th, these guns were turned on the enemy under direction of officers from the Canadian 6th ARTILLERY Brigade, and sent back several thousand rounds captured with them. So not only did our cannon fight for the enemy, the Canadians turned the cannon back on them and returned the favour. It's amazing, that the cannon which sits in Hopewell Cape not only fought against our troops, but then fought with them. What a story!

That's not all though, through the detailed notes of the 27th Battalion, we can pinpoint on a map the exact location where the cannon was on the battlefield. Which we can view on Google maps, what was 99 years ago a battlefield, is now happily, a family's backyard complete with a swing set and slide. 

So today while we pause and remember the sacrifices of the Canadians 99 years ago, it's fitting to give an update on our own campaign to restore their captured trophy. The Victory Cannon Campaign has raised over $10000.00 to date of a goal of $15000.00, we are on the last stretch of our campaign. So please donate. CLICK TO DONATE

The cannon wheels of the K14 are in the process of being restored, our Wheelwright Mike Hartigan is currently working on them. What is left to do on the project, is to complete the restoration of the cement pads the cannons sit on. Then to give the cannons a good primer coat and paint them in their original camouflage markings. Then we need to develop a fitting way to tell their exciting story. The Museum is researching ways to best tell the cannons' story; from their capture on Vimy Ridge, to their being turned and firing back on the enemy, and then being won by Albert County in the 1919 Victory Loans Campaign. 

Now that's a story worth saving!

The Victory Cannon Campaign is raising funds to restore the two captured World War One cannons that sit in Hopewell Cape. These cannons were captured by Canadians during the Great War, and were awarded to the people of Albert County. You can donate online to the Victory Cannon Campaign here, and best of all you'll be sent a tax receipt!  Click Here to Donate!

Victory Cannon Update & New Brunswickers and the World Wars This Sat., March 19 @ Resurgo Place

Our Wheelwright has been busy over the winter months working on the set of wheels for the large cannon that Albert County won in the Victory Loans Competition of 1919. The K14 105mm was captured by Canadians at the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917, and was awarded to Albert County in 1919 for raising the greatest percentage over their set goal of $110,000.00 anywhere in the province. Albert County raised a total of $347,600.00, tripling their goal and this was with a population just shy of 9000 people. To bring this into perspective in today's dollars this would be $6.2 million! 

In case you haven't heard, the Gregg Centre from UNB along with the Provincial Archives is putting on a presentation called Sharing Our History, New Brunswickers and the World Wars this Saturday, March 19 from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm at Resurgo Place in Moncton. Bring your artefacts - letters, diaries, photos - for show and tell and learn more about how your history fits within the greater New Brunswick and Canadian story!

Top 10 Historical Events in Albert County in Review - #9 Winning the Victory Loans Competition of 1919

 

The Ninth Top 10 Historical Event in Albert County was Winning the Victory Loans Competition of 1919 by raising a greater percentage over their set goal than anywhere else in the Province. The county raised $347600.00 with a goal of $110000.00. That's triple the amount! (in today's dollars that is $6.2 million!).

  1. First European Settlers in 1699. 

  2. The Acadian Expulsion in 1755. Ending 57 years of Acadian colonies in Albert County, this includes the Battle of Petitcodiac, September 4, 1755. 

  3. Arrival of the Steeves family in 1766. 

  4. The founding of the county 1845. 

  5. Development of Commercially Viable Kerosene from Albertite by geologist Abraham Gesner in 1846 which led directly to the petroleum age and the modern world and indirectly to saving all the whales. Thanks Albert County! 

  6. The Saxby Gale of 1869, which brought untold destruction of property and the loss of a number of lives. 

  7. The Birthplace and Hometown of Canada's 11th Prime Minister RB Bennett (b1870), who founded the Bank of Canada, the CBC and numerous other important Canadian Institutions. 

  8. The Tom Collins Axe Murder Triple Trial which directly lead to Canada's Double Jeopardy laws. Double Jeopardy is a procedural defence that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction. 

  9. Winning the Victory Loans Competition of 1919 by raising a greater percentage over their set goal than anywhere else in the Province. The county raised $347,600.00 with a goal of $110,000.00. That's triple the amount! (In today's dollars that is $6.2 million and that's from less than 9000 people!). 

    The cost of fighting the First World War was enormous. To pay for it all, the Canadian government sought new ways to raise funds, such as taxing profits, incomes, and luxuries. Another method was borrowing from Canadians via the sale of war bonds. Between 1915 and 1919 five such campaigns raised a total of over $2 billion dollars. Initially, these drives were rather low-key affairs, but in 1917, with revenues stretched and foreign sources of funds drying up, the bonds became ‘Victory Loans,’ and the campaigns intensified. Canadians were inundated with a flood of publicity, posters, and volunteer canvassers. The campaigns linked buying bonds to the direct support and welfare of soldiers overseas and used a variety of messages to encourage contributions, from well-known poems to emotional imagery. Long-term interest rates of up to 5.5 per cent for terms of up to 20 years were also a powerful inducement.

    The 1919 Victory Loan campaign was slightly different in character; the war had now ended, but the government still needed to pay the consequent costs. The publicity put out by the government’s Victory Loan Committee emphasized that this loan would fund the ‘bridge between war and peace.’ A campaign pamphlet entitled ‘The Clean-Up,’ showed how the 1918 loan had been used and outlined some of the ways the money raised in 1919 would be spent (demobilization, civil re-establishment, land settlements, and so forth).

    As with previous loans, municipalities, private companies, and other groups would win a coveted ‘honour flag’ if they raised a certain amount of money. The flag for the 1919 campaign featured an extra detail – it was called ‘the Prince’s Flag,’ and it incorporated the coat of arms of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) into its design. The Prince himself, then in Canada for his 1919 Royal Tour, presided over a ceremony on Parliament Hill during which he unfurled the first Victory Loan honour flag. A quote from his speech: “I hope every city and district will win my flag,” was subsequently used in publicity campaigns and posters for the 1919 loan.

    Honour flags were not the only prizes available in the 1919 Victory Loan. War trophies – enemy armaments and war material captured during the war – were also distributed as rewards for significant contributions to the campaign. Eleven heavy artillery pieces – German Howitzers – were awarded to the following communities or groups across Canada: Kamloops, B.C.; Redcliffe, Alberta; Saltcoats, Saskatchewan; the Tuxedo Hospital Committee, Manitoba; South Oxford, Ontario; Temiskaming, Ontario; Argenteuil County, Quebec; Stanstead County, Quebec; Albert County, New Brunswick; Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; and Prince County, Prince Edward Island). 

    The Victory Loans Committee for New Brunswick set a goal of $110,000.00 for Albert County, which is a sizable sum for 1919. (This would be equivalent to $2.2 million today (According to Bank of Canada Inflation index)). Albert County not only raised the set goal but surpassed it by $237,600.00 for a final total of $347,600.00. (In today's dollars $6.2 million) This was with a population less than 9000 people! The people of Albert County surpassed their set goal by the largest percentage of any area in the province, and were awarded the War Trophy, the 110 mm K14 cannon! What a testament for the people of Albert County! You can read more about this fascinating cannon here.

  10. Founding of Fundy National Park in 1948.

98th Anniversary Update - Vimy Ridge and the Victory Cannon Campaign

It was 98 years ago today, (April 9, 1917)  that the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) fought the Battle of Vimy Ridge. It was the first time the Canadian Corp fought together as a single unit and achieved the first Allied Victory of the War. It was also the day the 27th Battalion captured the K14 10.5cm Cannon that sits in Hopewell Cape Square, which the people of Albert County won in the 1919 Victory Loans Competition for raising the greatest percentage over their target anywhere in New Brunswick. The County raised almost 3 times their goal of $110,000.00 with a realized sum of $317,000.00 (6.92 million in today's dollars). 

So today while we pause and remember the sacrifices of the Canadians on that day almost 100 years ago, it's fitting to give an update on our own campaign to restore their captured trophy. The Victory Cannon Campaign has raised $4704.40 to date of a goal of $15000.00, we are within arms reach of 1/3 of our goal. So please donate. CLICK TO DONATE

The cannon wheels are in the process of being restored, our Wheelwright Mike Hartigan has been kind enough to send some photos of his progress. 

Old spokes on new oak blanks, this is where we set the pattern for all the other spokes. One of the hubs and some felloe sockets are in the background.

Roughing out a spoke on the bandsaw removing excess wood.

Marking out the rough cuts for the cheeks on the hub end of the spoke.

Marking out the rough cuts for the cheeks on the hub end of the spoke.

Rough cut spokes laid out in front of their intended new home.

Rough cut spokes laid out in front of their intended new home.

Practice spoke blank mounted on the lathe.

Rough turned spoke ready for finishing.  Each of the 24 required spokes will be individually shaped by hand using a spoke shave.

Cracking the stud nuts on the hub.  Some of them are really on there! 

Cracking the stud nuts on the hub.  Some of them are really on there! 

Now that's a story worth saving!

The Victory Cannon Campaign is raising funds to restore the two captured World War One cannons that sit in Hopewell Cape. These cannons were captured by Canadians during the Great War, and were awarded to the people of Albert County. You can donate online to the Victory Cannon Campaign here, and best of all you'll be sent a tax receipt!  Click Here to Donate!

Did You See the Whiz Bang in Hopewell Cape?

That's right, smack dab in downtown Hopewell Cape, a real live Whiz Bang and you can see it today. If you don't know what a Whiz Bang is, or have never seen one before then you're in luck, because we have a live one. 

The term "whiz-bang" was used widely by Allied (most often British and Commonwealth) servicemen to describe any form of German field artillery shells, however the 'whiz bang' was originally attributed to the noise made by shells from German 77mm field guns. The guns that fired the shells were subsequently called Whiz Bang guns. (The smaller cannon in Hopewell Cape is a 77mm FK96 or a Whiz Bang!)  In all cases however the name was derived from the fact that shells fired from light or field artillery travelled faster than the speed of sound.

Thus soldiers heard the typical "whizz" noise of a travelling shell before the "bang" issued by the gun itself.  Whiz bangs were consequently much feared since the net result was that defending infantrymen were given virtually no warning of incoming high-velocity artillery fire as they were from enemy howitzers.

Now that's a story worth saving!

The Victory Cannon Campaign is raising funds to restore the two captured World War One cannons situated in the square in Hopewell Cape. These cannons were captured by Canadians during the Great War, and were awarded to the people of Albert County. You can donate online to the Victory Cannon Campaign here, and best of all you'll be sent a tax receipt!  Click Here to Donate!

Where have the Wheels Gone?

If you are driving through Hopewell Cape these days, and look at the cannons in front of the museum, you will see that they look rather naked without their wheels. The wheels have started their journey of rejuvenation, and have made the trip to Jordan Bay, Nova Scotia, to the workshop of Mike Hartigan, the Wheelwright by the Sea. 

How does someone become a master wheelwright in the 21st century? Mike's story is as interesting as any in our museum. 

Mike grew up in Point Edward, Cape Breton Island, and moved to Alberta in 1962, he graduated from the Alberta College of Art, majoring in illustration, in 1973 and worked at various jobs for several years, including carnival worker, truck driver, ceramic kiln operator, and custom RV builder.

Then Mike started a full-time career as a woodworker and subsequently owned and operated The Village Woodsmith as a custom cabinet & furniture manufacturer, and later reconfigured the Company to manufacture wholesale wood mouldings and parts for the furniture & cabinet industries. The company motto was, “If it’s made of wood, we can make it”

Over the years Mike maintained an avid interest in history, old architecture and horse drawn vehicles, and other things. As a result the Village Woodsmith often took on unusual one of a kind projects, some of which were, two 13’ presentation models of a new space age dirigible design, the reproduction of historically accurate props for movie productions, and historically accurate reproductions of mouldings needed to rebuild the Lodge in Yellowstone Park after it burned down, to name a few.

In the year 2000, Mike took a course on wheel making offered by the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon. Intrigued by what he had learned, he repeated the course in 2001. In 2002 the museum asked Mike to become a junior instructor for the course, taking over from another instructor who retired. Mike taught wheel making & repair for the next three years.

During this time Mike established the “Lost Arts Workshop,” as a side business to the Village Woodsmith. From then till now all unusual projects, including wheel making have been produced under this banner, and there have been many. They include the building of over five hundred new wheels for various interests, reproductions of historic wagons & carriages and the supply of new lumber & parts for wagons & wheels to Museums. Again as much for the movie industry, these credits include Spielberg Productions, Smallville, and much work for John Scott Productions, horse master of the recent, “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Mike and the Lost Arts Workshop became noted for consistent attention to historic detail and the supply of quality work & materials on time and at affordable prices.

In 2012, Mike and his life and business partner Brenda, decided to semi retire, so closed the Village Woodsmith, with the intention of continuing the activities of the Lost Arts Workshop. On September 16, 2012, Mike, Brenda, their household and equipment arrived in Jordan Bay on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, taking over an abandoned house rotting away on an acre of land with the intent of becoming the ”Wheelwrights by the Sea”. After two years, the house is repaired and cosy, the new workshop is up, and the Lost Arts Work Shop is back at work.

Today, whether it is a new set of working wheels, or an accurate reproduction of a steam engine, you can get it at the Lost Arts Workshop. All you need is the information to describe it, a budget of some sorts to pay for it, and the desire to have it!  He can help you with the rest.

The wheel restoration is just one part of the Victory Cannon Campaign Restoration project, we are almost 1/4 of the way to our goal of $15000.00. Please DONATE! (You can donate online - click here)

 

We Will Remember Them: Victory Cannon Campaign

On this day of Remembrance when we honour the men and women who have defended our country, we stand and pause for a moment at the eleventh hour. We give thought to the lives lost and to those forever changed. It is a time of sombre reflection and gratitude for the sacrifices that brave men and women made on behalf of our country. At the same time, we should also remember that it wasn't just the soldiers who had to suffer through untold hardships, but also the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters who lost loved ones.  

The Albert County Remembers Exhibit at the museum helps capture these sentiments. The items pictured below help represent the sacrifice our ancestors gave for our country. 

In the white Remembrance binder in the centre of the photo, we have collected the photos, names, ranks, and time and place of death of the 52 citizens of Albert County who died in the Great War. Next to it, on the right, the poppy-covered cross:  the symbol of remembrance and of our continued thanks for their sacrifice.

The display case on the left contains medals from the Great War, including the Silver Cross medal. The Silver Cross was given to a mother of a soldier killed in the Great war. It represents the sacrifice of the family for their country. The cross on display was given to a mother in Albert County whose son is listed in the white Remembrance binder. 

Lastly, we see the large Prince of Wales Victory Loans Flag, which was given to the people of Albert County for reaching their assigned goal of $117,00.00 in the Victory Loans drive of 1919. It symbolizes the sacrifices of the people and their hopes for the future and is a poignant reminder of what we can do when we work together. The people of Albert County raised an additional $200,000.00, for a total of $317,000.00 in the Victory Loans campaign of 1919.  (In today's dollars that is equivalent to $3,920,000.00). 

The citizens of Albert County raised a greater percentage over their goal than any other county in the province, and were rewarded with the large 10cm cannon currently displayed at the entrance of the museum. Stationed next to it, the smaller 7.7cm field gun was awarded to the citizens for their unmatched enlistment in the war. Albert County had more volunteers per capita than anywhere else in Canada.

Both these war trophies symbolize the best of Albert County and the courage and self sacrifice of its people. Please help us to restore them so that future generations can learn of the heroism and sacrifices of the past. You can donate here.