A Kisaragi Colour
Albert County's Victory Cannons
In honour of Remembrance Day I thought I'd write a little about New Brunswick military and royal history. Specifically I'd like to shine a light on the 1919 Victory Loans Campaign.
The Great War cost a lot of money. Various methods were used to raise the funds to pay for it (income taxes are one such temporary measure). Government-issued war bonds were another method eventually adopted. However, after the war was over there was still a substantial amount of debt to pay off. This led to the Victory Loan Campaign of 1919.
As part of the campaign a special flag featuring the coat of arms of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) could be won by communities that raised a certain amount of money. In addition a number of German howitzers were offered as rewards for significant contributions to the campaign.
The Prince of Wales, who was actually in Canada for his 1919 Royal Tour, presided over a ceremony where the first of 'The Prince's Flags' was unfurled. The campaign had begun.
The theme of this campaign unlike previous ones was rebuilding, cleanup, demobilizing, and a return to relative normalcy.
In New Brunswick each county had a target amount set based on ability to pay. Albert County's target was set at $110,000. By the end of the campaign the community had raised nearly triple that amount with a total of $317,600. Others raised higher total sums but only Albert County managed the feat of raising triple the target amount. In fact every New Brunswick county but one raised more than their target and was awarded a flag.
For raising such a staggering sum the people of Albert County were given one of the cannons captured at Vimy Ridge; a German 10-CM K14. They were given a second cannon for an even more impressive feat: Albert County had the highest number of volunteers per capita from anywheres in Canada. This second cannon was also from Vimy Ridge but was an older 7.7-CMFK96 N.A.model. A smaller weapon more akin to a field gun than the guns that would follow it. It bears the German imperial cypher (or coat of arms, it is somewhat worn away).
The two cannons were set up in the county's shiretown of Hopewell Cape. There they have stood against wind, rain, and picnic tables to the present day. Monuments to Canadian military achievement, the bravery of the men who went off to fight for king & country in the 'war to end all wars', and the hope that a lasting peace could be built.
There is currently a campaign underway to fix the inevitable decay of nearly 100 years. Donations can be made here. You can also learn more about the circumstances of the guns' capture at the same site.
A Kisaragi Colour
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