As a mark of acknowledgement for the sacrifices made by young South Africans on Youth Day in 1976 the 134 year old 9 inch cannon at Middle North Battery on the outskirts of Simon’s Town will be fired at exactly 12:00 noon on Saturday 16 June 2012.
The Simon’s Town Historical Society would like to advise the public that the gun will also be fired on other significant historical days and New Year’s Eve as follows:
24 September Heritage Day 12h00
11 November Remembrance Day 11h00
16 December Day of Reconciliation 12h00
31 December New Year’s Eve 24h00
The gun is a 9 inch Rifled Muzzle Loading Gun which was designed in 1865 as a broadside gun for ironclad ships and harbour defence. Only 190 guns of its type were ever made. It was not originally destined for South Africa, but was first mounted in Halifax Nova Scotia until 1878, then at Bermuda until 1881and then at Sheerness England until 1885. It was mounted at Middle North Battery Simon’s Town in 1896 where it still exists and was last fired in 1903. The gun, carriage, slide and mounting were restored in Simon’s Towns East Dockyard Gun Shop in 1984
The gun has a 9 inch (228.6mm) bore and is loaded from the barrel end – hence a muzzle loading gun. The cast steel barrel is rifled with 6 grooves, the only gun manufactured with this number of grooves. The 9 inch shells had 6 rectangular lead protrusions that engaged with the barrel grooves to impart spin and thus stabilise the shell during flight. For more information click here to email the Simon’s Town Historical Society.