Restored WWI cannon coming back to Medina on May 1

Staff Reports Posted 24 April 2019 at 4:09 pm

Provided photos: Parts on the cannon from World War I looks like new after more than a year of restoration work.

MEDINA – A World War I cannon will be going back to Medina on May 1 following 14 months of restoration work.

Seed Artillery Reproduction and Restoration stripped and disassembled the field gun, and created new parts. The gun was then reassembled and painted with historic accuracy.

The B.L. 60 Pounder British field gun was a fixture at State Street Park since 1935. It was hauled away on March 12, 2018 for its restoration work.

The cannon was falling apart. George Bidleman, owner of Orleans Ford, paid the $40,000 cost to have the cannon restored by Dave Seedenberg of Seed Artillery Reproduction and Restoration in Altoona, Pa.

The field gun was completely stripped and disassembled, new parts were fabricated, and the gun was reassembled and painted with historic accuracy.

The cannon is expected to arrive back in Medina at State Street Park at 10 a.m. on May 1. The cannon will be placed on a new concrete pad with new flagpoles, lighting, and a new granite slate for the original plaque. Those were paid for with donations through the Orleans Renaissance Group with the concrete donated by Orleans Ready Mix.

The cannon, manufactured in 1916, was fired during World War I. There are few of these cannons left in the world.

Every Memorial Day for about 80 years, the Medina community has gathered by the cannon for the solemn ceremony. The cannon wasn’t there for Memorial Day last year. It will be back for the observance this Memorial Day, May 27.

The cannon is a British Heavy Field Gun known as a B.L. 60 Pounder, manufactured in 1916 by Elswick Ordnance Company, Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

It weighs 6 tons, is a 5 inch/127mm caliber, 21 feet in length and 6 feet in width. The gun was originally issued to battery in France, April 1917, and fired 2,871 rounds during its first tour. It was returned to England in 1917 for repairs and reissued to battery in France, September 1918, firing an additional 1,471 rounds.

Photo by Tom Rivers: Veterans watch a World War I cannon be loaded up on a trailer on march 12, 2018. The cannon was taken to Altoona, Pa., the location of Seed Artillery Reproduction and Restoration. George Bidleman, Orleans Ford owner, is second from right.

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