Like many other towns after World War 1, Penrith submitted a request for the allotment of a war trophy. Penrith, whose population was then around 3,500 was entitled to one gun. When requesting the war trophy for Penrith, the committee originally stated that the allotment would left in the hands of the NSW State Trophy Committee as the town of Penrith was represented in almost every NSW unit. However, in May 1920, Mr Orth the Town Clerk of the Penrith Municipality submitted a request that Penrith should be allocated the large gun (now known as the Amiens Gun) on view at the Central Railway Station as it was a Penrith lad, Lieutenant Burrows, who led the party that captured the gun. This request was refused and the gun was allocated to the Australian War Memorial.
The three trustees nominated for Penrith were:
- Arthur Judges
- T M Masters (believed to be Thomas Matthew Masters)
- Arthur Oswald Thompson who had served as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 53rd Battalion.
Penrith was allocated a 105 mm Howitzer (no 6446), captured by the 3rd Battalion on the Western Front, on 14 March 1921. The existing records do not give details of the date or place of capture. It is believed that this gun was captured between August and October 1918 when the 3rd Battalion took place in major allied offensives at Proyart-Chuignies (23-24 August) and Hargicourt (18 September). Guns of this calibre were normally positioned behind the front line, indicating that the gun could only be captured after a considerable advance. I
Additionally, in September 1921, Penrith was also allocated a 75mm trench mortar (28768) which had been captured by the 19th Battalion. Two machine guns were later allocated to the town. The guns were removed from Memory Park at a later date.
One of the guns from Memory Park came to be in the possession of Mervyn Hunter. After his death it was donated to the Nepean District Historical Society who still have it to this day.
Nepean Times 2 April 1921,
Penrith Howitzer. Located on the Green: Penrith’s war trophy arrived on Wednesday, and is now on view on the High Street green. It is a 105 mm howitzer – a formidable weapon of the type that did much destruction in the Great War.
Mr A Judges, one of the trustees for the gun (the others are Messrs T M Masters and A Thompson) was apprised by the State War Trophy Committee of the dispatch of the gun on Wednesday and the Mayor (Ald J Adams) also received word.
It is intended to place the trophy on the Soldiers’ Memorial site in front of the bandstand, which will be 100 feet back from the roadway.
Billett, R S (1999). War Trophies From the First World War: 1914-1918. Kangaroo: East Roseville, NSW.
Australian War Memorial Military Heraldry and Technology Section
AWM194 Allotment of 1914-1918 War Trophies