Guns from Norfolk’s Muckleburgh collection to be fired in Passchendaele Salute
Few battles encapsulate the First World War better than the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres.
And two guns from a north Norfolk military collection will be sent to France to commemorate the centenary of the end of the battle on November 10.
One 13-pounder and one 18-pounder field gun from the Muckleburgh collection at Weybourne will join 14 other rare Great War guns to fire a 100-round salute to mark this famous battle.
The guns will be drawn out by horses and manned by gun teams from each of the Allied nations. All participants will be volunteers from Combat Stress, the veterans’ mental health charity.
Michael Savory, managing partner at Muckleburgh, said: “This will be the first time in almost 100 years that these Muckleburgh field guns have been fired.
“They were recovered from Fort Kapper Kop in Pretoria, South Africa in 1997 in very poor condition and are being fully restored in Shropshire for this event.”
The Passchendaele Salute, under the patronage of Janice Charette, High Commissioner for Canada, will be held at Fort de Seclin, near Lille in France, on the morning of November 10.
A drumhead service of remembrance and a salute of 100 rounds will commemorate the centenary of the end of the battle, which took place from July 31 to November 10, 1917, and honour the gunners.
The guns will then return to Weybourne where they will be used to fire a salute in April 2018 to mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Muckleburgh collection.
Weybourne was the location of a Royal Artillery training camp during the First and Second World Wars until it closed in 1958.
Meanwhile, the main Norfolk event to commemorate the centenary of the battle will be held in Cromer.
The Cromer War Memorial Restoration Committee is holding an 18-hour vigil. During this time, committee members will stand as an honour guard at the war memorial in intervals of up to one hour.
This will start at 6pm on Sunday, July 30, continuing throughout the night, and ending at midday on Monday, July 31.
When the vigil ends, a service of remembrance will be held at the war memorial, led by the Rev Peter Herbert, the curate of Cromer church.