Rare WWI Mortar Reinstalled in Speers Point Park

Filed under Council, Heritage & Historical, News ~ by Press on  26 Feb 2019

A rare World War I German trench mortar has resumed pride of place in Speers Point Park following extensive restoration.

Crews used a crane last week to hoist the mortar from the back of a truck onto its plinth overlooking the park.

Pictured ~ Workmen lower the restored weapon onto its stone plinth (now there’s a word to look up) in Speers Point Park.

Lake Macquarie City Council sent the 25cm Minenwerfer to a specialist restoration company in Sydney last November due to significant corrosion to the artillery piece and its base.

The restoration project included removal of rust from the gun and other parts, treatment of the entire mortar with a protective coating and construction of a new support system to reinforce its badly corroded base.

Lake Macquarie City Council Integrated Planning Manager Wes Hain said restoration took longer than initially planned due to the complexity and extent of the work required.

Restoring such a rare artefact was a painstaking and challenging task, but the result is certainly worthwhile,” Mr Hain said.

Considering the fact this mortar has been outdoors, exposed to the elements for more than 100 years, it remains in excellent shape.”

Australian troops captured the mortar during the Battle of Amiens in France in 1918.

It was shipped back to Australia as a war trophy in 1920 and has been a landmark of Speers Point Park since then.

The restoration project was supported by the Boolaroo Speers Point RSL sub-branch and funded by Council, with supporting grants from the NSW Community War Memorials fund and the Commonwealth Saluting Their Service Commemorations program.

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