Medina will rededicate WWI cannon on Memorial Day
Press Release, Orleans Renaissance Group
MEDINA – Since 1935, a B.L. 60 Pounder British field gun has been the centerpiece of not only the World War I memorial in Medina, but also of the village’s annual Memorial Day observances.
This year’s observance will be a historic occasion as the British field gun has undergone 14 months of extensive restoration and arrived back home in Medina just a few weeks ago. The local landmark was removed in March 2018 to Seed Artillery Reproduction & Restoration in Altoona, PA, where it was completely stripped, disassembled, and rebuilt using newly repaired and remanufactured parts.
Local benefactor and businessman, George Bidleman, covered the entire cost of the work to the cannon, donating $40,000 for the job. Additional site improvements were made possible through donations to the Orleans Renaissance Group, Inc. Concrete for the project was donated by Orleans Ready Mix LLC. Beauman’s Garage, Inc. of Lockport donated services to hoist the huge cannon onto its new concrete pad.
The rare and historic artillery piece was manufactured by the Elswick Ordnance Company, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, in 1916 and saw extensive service on the Western Front during World War I, firing a total of 4,342 rounds in combat action. It weighs six tons and is a 5 inch/127mm caliber gun. There are few left in the world today.
Three new flagpoles have recently been installed on site – one for an American Flag, signifying the soldiers of Medina who served and gave their lives in France during the Great War; one for a British flag, signifying the gun’s heritage; and one for a French flag, signifying the theater of service for the big gun and our local soldiers.
A new granite slant was installed, featuring a refurbished bronze plaque that was originally with the monument in 1935. New lighting to up-light both the cannon and flags will also be installed before Memorial Day.
The memorial will be re-dedicated as part of special expanded Memorial Day observance at noon in State Street Park, Medina, following the conclusion of the annual parade.