P R O F I L E
Our text on the Seaham Cannon starts with the family photograph on the right. It was taken at around the time of the start of World War II and shows a son, mother and aunt on Terrace Green with the cannon in the background. Shortly afterwards, in 1940, the vintage weapon ended up in the Seaham Urban Council yard to augment the collection of scrap metal for the war effort.
The above removal took place after the cannon had resided on its plinth for about 80 years, since 1858 when this Russian cannon was presented to the town by Queen Victoria. It was originally placed on the plinth by Lady Francis Anne, Marchioness of Londonderry, following the conclusion of the Crimean War. After removal, one gun replaces another! In its place was erected a pub with no beer. “The Green Man” pub was in fact, an observation post with a false front designed to confuse the enemy during the war. Supposed to look like a pub, the observation post controlled 6 inch guns and a searchlight unit built into the cliffs nearby. It did not fool the enemy however as Lord Haw Haw apparently made comment about the Green Man in his regular radio broadcasts from Germany.
Captured during the Crimean War, this 36 pounder cannon was supposedly similar in size to the British 64-pdr. It was a muzzle loader and can be deduced to be a garrison gun, captured at Sebastopol.
We are grateful to Mick Balmer, younger brother of the lad in the picture for assistance in preparing the above review.
England - Northern
THE FEATURES PRESENT
Crimean Cannon Location, past or present