1⁄1105mm Deck Gun – U19
BackgroundThe gun now resides in Ward Park in Bangor, Co Down, Northern Ireland, just below the War Memorial. It was installed there in 1920. The gun was presented to the town to mark the award of the Victoria Cross to Commander Barry Bingham RN:
His citation reads:
For the extremely gallant way in which he led his division in their attack, first on enemy destroyers and then on their battlecruisers.
He finally sighted the enemy battle-fleet, and, followed by the one remaining destroyer of his division (Nicator), with dauntless courage he closed to within 3,000 yards of the enemy in order to attain a favourable position for firing the torpedoes.
While making this attack, Nestor and Nicator were under concentrated fire of the secondary batteries of the High Sea Fleet. Nestor was subsequently sunk.
Further details on Barry Bingham VC can be found here:
Barry Bingham VC
U 19 surrendered with the rest of the German fleet at the end of the 1st World War and further details about the boat can be found here:
The breech block carries a 1916 date although the submarine U19 was commissioned into the German Navy several years earlier.
In the 1980’s the gun was vandalised and painted pink for a short period. Countless generations of children will have swung on the barrel and climbed over the gun and I seem to recall a seat being attached to the left hand side in a very distant memory although I could be wrong.
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