Excavation begins for Krupp Gun limber - 29/11/2011
Work is beginning on excavating the suspected site of the buried Krupp Gun limber, in the area close to the South African War Memorial at Cooks Gardens.
The Krupp Field Gun and its associated limber, New Zealand’s first overseas war trophy, were presented to Wanganui by the New Zealand Government in recognition of the service of local volunteers in the Anglo-Boer War. They were placed on display next to the South African War Memorial.
During the Second World War the gun and limber were buried, but the gun was later excavated and displayed outdoors for a number of years before being restored and placed on permanent display at the War Memorial Conference and Convention Centre.
However, the whereabouts of the limber remained unknown, but it was thought likely to be adjacent to the memorial. In order to complete the Krupp Gun project and build a replica limber a decision was reached to seek the burial site of the original limber
The Council contracted archaeologist Hans-Dietrich Bader to conduct a magnetometer survey of the area adjacent to the South African War memorial where the limber was thought to have been buried.
The survey was carried out on 26 August 2011 and indicated an object of the correct dimensions in the place where the limber is thought to have been buried.
“The survey has given us an indication of where to start excavating,” says Cr Philippa Baker-Hogan, Chair of the Community and Environment Committee.
“It’s possible that what’s buried in that area is nothing to do with the Krupp Gun, but we may find the limber which would be a great outcome.
“Wanganui has a significant number of war memorials and being able to reconstruct the limber, with measurements taken from the original, would be another historical object to add to our heritage collection.”
Dave Rudd, from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, will be in Wanganui for the excavation and will be helped by volunteers Martin Emerson and Geoff Lawson from the Wanganui Antiquities Trust and Cr Jack Bullock.
The excavation will begin at 9.00am on December 1. It is not known how long the excavation will take and how much of the object will be revealed during the initial stage of the dig.