Brantford's Lost Gun of Vimy

BX June 1, 1917

Captured Gun May Come Here – 4th Battalion Would Like Trophy of Vimy Ridge Placed in Brantford

Mayor Bowlby stated this morning that he had not as yet written the military authorities at Ottawa in regard to securing the gun which was captured by the 4th Battalion at Vimy Ridge and which the commanding officer, Lt.-Col. Rae, was anxious to see come to Brantford.  The mayor said that he proposed doing so and would accept the suggestions advanced by the commander of the 4th Battalion.   An effort was made at the city hall this morning to place Lt.-Col. Rae, who on the outside of his letter to the mayor put “Dear old Brantford.”  At one time in a local bank there was a man named Rae and another named Ray, but on enquiry this morning it was learned that one had been drowned in the West and that the other had died of typhoid fever.  In his letter to Mayor Bowlby, Lt.-Col. Rae said that he had asked that a gun captured at Vimy Ridge by his battalion be sent to the City of Brantford.  He suggested that Mayor Bowlby make representations to Ottawa to ensure the gun being forwarded here.  A plate, he said, had been riveted on the gun by the men, stating that it had been captured by the 4th Canadian Battalion on Vimy Ridge on April 9, and was presented by them to the City of Brantford.  The officer commanding also points out extra comforts could be provided for the men with a little money sent from Canada.  No financial assistance of any kind has been received by this battalion from Canada since it went to France.

BX September 28, 1917

Gift of Fourth Battalion Astray

A German 77 millimetre gun captured by the 4th Battalion of heroic fame at the Battle of Vimy Ridge was shipped to this City as a gift from the 4th Battalion some months ago, in time for the Canadian National Exhibition at Toronto.  No trace of it has since been found.  An effort is to be made to arouse City and military authorities here to have the shipment traced and the gun brought to this city, as many Brantford men were in the battle which affected the capture.
The capture of the gun was done by men under Lieut.’s Salsbury and Harrison.  The latter was in the city today, expecting to see the gun.  He was very much surprised to hear that it had never reached the city and that the only intimation the city had received had been from a letter received from Lieut.-Col. Rae, commander of the “Mad Fourth” that it had been shipped.

Further inquiries are being made as to its present location as the 4th Battalion members are anxious to have the gun returned to the city.

* Brantford's War Trophies

In 1920, the City of Brantford received two German Field Guns for its part played in the Great War.  At one time both rested on Jubilee Terrace.  Both guns were captured during Canada's last 100 days.

The gun currently sitting on Jubilee Terrace was captured by the 116th Battalion on August 8, 1918.  The other gun was moved to the Canadian Military Heritage Museum.  This gun was was captured on August 27, 1918 by the 2nd Division.