P R O F I L E
Right - the Crimean Cannon visible on the left located near the King Alfred Statue.
The following is a precis of the Winchester Riot 1908 published on alresfordmemories web site accessible by clicking website below. The site contains contemporary pictures also.
Since 1858 a Russian Cannon had stood in the Broadway, at its junction with East Street. Captured at Sebastopol, it was seen as a monument to the Winchester-based Rifle Brigade soldiers who had fought in the Crimean War (1853-1856). To the townspeople, it became a symbolic soapbox, where meetings were held and bands played.
In May 1908, anticipating the city's National Pageant, the Mayor, Alderman Billy Forder, and City Council decided on a face-lift for the gun and carriage. They planned to remove the railings around the gun, to display it better, and to re-gravel the site and re-paint the gun and carriage.
However there were many townspeople who felt that removing the railings would mean the gun would become a 'nuisance' with children. A protest meeting was rapidly convened. Before a petition was considered however, the railings were removed. Another public meeting was held, and quickly got out of control. It turned into a riot. The Rioters used ropes to pull the gun from its carriage, and then embarked on an orgy of destruction, breaking street lamps and windows of shops and homes owned by councillors.
To defuse the crisis, the authorities quickly enrolled the riot leaders as special constables and peace was restored. The gun and its railings were replaced and survived until melted down during the Second World War.
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England - Southern
THE GROTTO GRADING FEATURES PRESENT
Crimean Cannon Location