CRIMEAN CANNONS - WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Picture right - today historic cannons at the Nelson Monument at Castle Green.
The following is an extract from: Britain's Crimean War Trophy Guns: The Case of Ludlow and the Marches (2014)
ROGER BARTLETT University College London, ROY PAYNE Ludlow History Research Group.
'The civic leaders of Ludlow, a small but historic market town, felt in 1857 that it should have a Crimean trophy. However, the first applicant for a gun in the Marches area appears to have been not Ludlow, but Hereford. On 20 June 1857 the Hereford Times carried an article which asked:
And why should not Hereford, the metropolis of a county which contributed so largely to the Crimean army, and many of whose gallant sons
now sleep in that war-desolated peninsular [sic], receive the honour of a trophy? We indeed saw no 'reason why'; and our worthy Mayor took the same view. His Worship therefore made the necessary application to Lord Panmure; and his Lordship, in complying with the request, intimates that he relies on the public spirit and intelligence of the inhabitants of Hereford,
that the gun will be correctly mounted and carefully preserved. A subscription has, therefore, been commenced to defray the expense of the mounting, and any contributions of citizens, willing to promote the same, will be received by the Town Clerk. It is calculated that about twenty five pounds will enable the Corporation to meet all the expenses, if the Great Western
Railway Company (as we have no doubt they will) accommodate the city by conveying the gun gratuitously from London to Hereford, as they
have done in the instance of other places.
On 21 August 1857 Hereford shops closed for a half-holiday, and a civic procession headed by the mayor, local MP and city councillors moved
from the Guildhall to the railway station to collect the newly arrived trophy. From there they progressed, to the music of the Herefordshire Militia Band, around the city and onto the Castle Green, where 'several
thousands of persons' watched the cannon's installation in 'the southeast
corner of the Green - the muzzle of the gun being pointed over the Castle Mill garden and the river'. The gun was fired three times - the
relatively faint report disappointed the crowd; a 'very elegant and wellmade' tricoloured balloon was released; and the city worthies gathered later in the Council Chamber for a celebratory dinner.
The event received an almost full-page spread in the Hereford Times, including a poem written for the occasion. Many towns and cities elsewhere in the country which acquired Crimean trophies celebrated their arrival with similar pomp and ceremony.'
What happened to Hereford's Crimean
trophy cannon? A Hereford Times report
in 1940 says the Council approved
scrapping all the Castle Green guns except Roaring Meg and the Sevastopol gun. Metal railings were scrapped at the same time for the war effort.
Above: Cannon around the Nelson Monument circa 1930.
'Two historic cannon coming home' was the subject of a subsequent BBC news editorial in 2005. 'A pair of historic cannon are being returned to their original Hereford home on Friday. The weapons are thought to have been taken from the Nelson Monument in Castle Green and originated from the Crimean War in 1854. A transporter will hoist the cannon back to the foot of the monument. Herefordshire Council spokesman Noel Knight said the monument had been cleaned and he was delighted the cannon were being returned.'
Picture above - There is some doubt about the replacement guns however. The two guns currently by the Nelson Memorial appear to be earlier weapons; their origin awaits verification.
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