The Lost War Trophies of Canada – From Vimy to East Angus QC

This is the much-anticipated debut of a new series of posts! The extensive Warsearcher postcard archive has been mined to restore a visual record of military artifacts that have been lost from communities across Canada. Why? Because we can’t let the non-existence of an artifact hamper our interpretation of it!

Detail of postcard, East Angus QC Post Office and War Memorial. Warsearcher postcard collection

German 15 cm Howitzer no. 249 was captured by the 29th Canadian Infantry Battalion, at Station Wood, near Vimy. This gun was likely one of the four “5.9 inch” howitzers (the British name for these guns) captured by Lt. E.C. Corbett (service file hyperlinked) and a patrol of D company late in the day of 9 April 1917. This action, and accurate map references, appear in the War Diary.

29th Canadian Infantry Battalion War Diary entry for 9 April 1917. Library and Archives Canada RG9-III-D-3 Vol. 4936.

29th Canadian Infantry Battalion War Diary entry for 9 April 1917. Library and Archives Canada RG9-III-D-3 Vol. 4936.

Detail from sheet 51B 1:10,000 scale, McMaster University Trench Map collection. Map reference 51B.1.d.9.6., near Station Wood, Farbus, France, indicated.

Rough location using Google maps.

One of a vast collection of captured German trophies sent by the government to Canada, It was shipped to East Angus via Grand Trunk Railways 10 December 1920;

Extract of War Trophies Allocation Ledger, War Trophis Commission, Library and Archives Canada, RG37D vol.388

Here is a late 1950s postcard view of the East Angus Post Office and War Memorial, which shows what looks like the 15cm schwere Feldhaubitze model 13:

Warsearcher postcard collection

Though it seems to have survived the scrap drives of the Second World War, its later fate is unknown. Any readers with information on this trophy are welcome to comment!

2018 Google street view of same location.

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4 thoughts on “The Lost War Trophies of Canada – From Vimy to East Angus QC

  1. According some people of East Angus, these howitzer has been sent to scrap yard many years ago, because the cost of maintenance has been too high for the town, the howitzer had too much rust. The council of the town had considered its low historic value for citizens before the decision.

    • Thanks Alain. Yes, unless the battlefield provenance of these pieces is kept secure and linked to the gun, then the value can be lost. It is costly to maintain these outdoors, and the wooden wheels deteriorating can introduce the risk of collapse.

  2. I live in East Angus and i dont exactly remember when the cannon was remove from the post office lawn. I think it was the late 80 s or early 90 s. I dont know exactly why either. But theres one thing i m sure of and it s that the person who took that decision did nt care about history and what it meant for the soldier and their family. They probably wanted to save a gallon of paint once a year.

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