Two historic cannons gifted to South Australia in 1900 will soon be returned to their rightful home at Adelaide’s Torrens Parade Ground.
On the eve of Remembrance Day, Minister for Defence Robert Hill today announced the guns would be returned to the Parade Ground following a planned $3.8 million upgrade of the Ground which is expected to be completed next year.
Senator Hill said the guns were transferred to Keswick Barracks when Defence vacated the Parade Ground Drill Hall last year. Their removal was to prevent them being stolen or damaged when left unattended.
"Member for Adelaide Trish Worth and the South Australian branch of the Returned & Services League of Australia both lobbied hard for the guns to be returned and located in an area that is freely accessible by war veterans and the public," Senator Hill said.
"Considering the guns were a gift from Britain to South Australia and have spent more than a century at Torrens Parade Ground there is a clear historical link connecting the guns with the city, and I am pleased to announce they will soon be returned."
The Army History Unit investigated the history of the guns. It was discovered that after the end of the Crimean War in the 19th Century the British Government gave certain Australian colonies six guns captured during the war.
The gift of the guns was in response to a considerable sum of money that was raised by the colonies for the Widows of the Crimean War fund. Of the six guns, two were given to the colony of South Australia. It is believed the guns were captured at Sebastapol.
Ownership of the guns was vested in the colony of South Australia and they were used for ceremonial purposes including firing salutes for visiting British royalty. In 1886 the guns were transferred to the army in South Australia.
In 1900 the guns were positioned at Torrens Parade Ground in Adelaide and were among the defence assets transferred to the new Australian Army at Federation in 1901. They remained at Torrens Parade Ground until last year when they were moved to Keswick Barracks in Adelaide.
Minister’s office Sascha Meldrum 08 8237 7920 or 0409 034 241