P R O F I L E
Wrexham today is the largest town in the north of Wales and an administrative, commercial, retail and educational centre. Wrexham is situated between the Welsh mountains and the lower Dee Valley alongside the border with England. When a Russian cannon captured in the Crimean War was brought to Wrexham in 1857, the celebrations were held at the Lion in Hope Street.
The World War II resulted in many Crimean Cannon being scrapped for their metal. The Crimean trophies at Bath, Cheltenham, Derby, Glasgow, Lichfield, Portsmouth, Wootton Bassett, to name just a few, were lost in this way; the same fate befell the prize cannon at Hereford, Leominster, Bridgnorth and Wrexham.
However the following article appeared in the Tameside Advertiser 7 Sept. 2005, detailing two brass barrelled cannons removed from Wrexham.
'When it comes to calling the shots, Clive Williams is definitely your man. As a military arms enthusiast, local engineer Clive has been gunning for a once-in-a-life time restoration opportunity and this was certainly something special. The Museum of the Manchesters and Tameside Council had been desperate to replace a pair of Crimean War cannons which once stood on the steps of the town hall. They were brought to the borough in the mid 1800s by Ashton MP Hugh Mason after they were seized during the battle with the Russians but disappeared during the war effort in the 1940s.
With Remembrance day and Prince Charles' visit in the not too distant future the powers that be thought if anyone could help them out it was Audenshaw engineer and inventor Clive. He managed to track down a pair in Wrexham and even though they were a little worse for wear Clive took on the challenge like a real trooper.
'The wheels were completely written off so I was very worried I wouldn't be able to get anyone to do the job right but I managed to find a wheelwright in Lincoln, one of only 20 left in the country, and his workmanship was superb, Clive told us. The rest was all done by local firms. They had to be hot zinc sprayed, etch primed and then given two coats of primer to protect them. They wanted them in time for 11am on November 11 and the lorry that brought them to the steps left at exactly 10.30am that day. It was all precision timing. I've restored hundreds of guns over the years but this is definitely the biggest and my proudest restoration.
Clive has since found out the original cannons were cast in 1760 under the orders of Count Peter Ivanov Shuvalor, Master General of the Russian Artillery. They were seized from the Turks in 1898 during the occupation of Crete by the Second Battalion of the Welsh and mounted as trophy pieces at their Wrexham base.'
And so Wrexham yet again looses its heritage artefacts in the form of memorial and decorative Russian cannons. The first time for scrap during WWII and the second time to cities elsewhere who seek these irreplaceable trophies.
THE FEATURES PRESENT
Crimean Cannon Location, past or present