The Royal New Zealand Artillery
Our Wellington Gunners Day event will be held at the Southern Cross Hotel Able Smith St
From 1700. The evening will be informal - drinks from 1700 and then dinner from 1800
It will be an enjoyable evening and a good chance to tell a few stories amongst old friends
Here is an extract from the unit history which I will present on the night
Hope to see you there...
The most enduring memorial to the efforts of D. Battery in Wellington is undoubtedly the 24 Pdr Signal gun now at the top of Mount Victoria. It is understood that the gun was acquired from Auckland, and the Wellington City Council arranged for a contractor to deliver it from the wharf side to the top of Mount Victoria, its final resting place. However, the contractor, having taken the gun, which according to a stamp on the carriage itself, weighs over 21 cwt, as far as the top of Majoribanks Street, was unable or unwilling to take it any further. D. Battery then stepped in and offered to take the gun on the remainder of its journey. The City Council gratefully accepted the offer. Over the following few days, the Battery, led by Lieutenant Mathew M. M’Credie (in civilian life the proprietor of an ironmonger’s shop) worked furiously to drag the gun up the steep hill. They had the use only of anchors and blocks and tackle, and manpower. The only time that they had available was before and after work. After two or three days, when the gun had risen perhaps two or three hundred yards up the side of Mount Victoria, the work was allowed to lapse for a short time, perhaps because of Battery parades, or perhaps because the edge of keenness needed whetting. However, after a further two days, the Battery recommenced its task, and by the seventh day, had raised the gun to the very top of Mount Victoria.
And finally on the 1st December 1877, one week after the commencement of it, the Battery achieved its object, and mounted the gun successfully on its present site. In honour of the occasion the Battery fired a salute of seven guns at sunset. “A large crowd of spectators assembled to witness the conclusion of the work, and the Artillery Corps, especially those members who suggested the means by which the enterprise was carried out so well and successfully, were cheered vociferously. The Bank of the Corps was in attendance and played jubilant strains, as victorious company descended the Mountain”. It is understood that the City Council, without having to drastically increase the Rates that year, voted the Battery a gratuity of £25.
For many years after the noon time gun was fired by a member of D Battery each day, until the practice finally petered out shortly before the turn of the century.
Wellington District Coordinator, The RNZA Association
email@example.com Ph 0274 899 103