Tutbury Trophy Guns
German “Trophy Guns” were apparently a common sight in towns and villages after the First World War.
The “Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War” HMSO 1922 records:
“The War Trophies Committee was formed in November, 1916, the terms of reference being “to deal with all questions in regard to the distribution of trophies and watch the interests of the Imperial War Museum.” ~
When a claim for a gun etc, had been substantiated, the unit in question was asked its views as to the destination of the trophy, with the proviso that it went to a Regimental Depot, a recognized public body, or museum; up to present some 3,595 guns, 15,044 machine guns, 75,824 small arms and 7,887 other trophies had been distributed.
Large numbers of applications were received for allotment from County Authorities, Mayors and Corporations of cities and towns, Urban and Parish Councils and other communities. The Committee decided that allotment of the trophies to which no claim had been substantiated, had to be recommended by the Lord Lieutenant of the County.
The Tutbury Parish Council Minutes for 7th June 1920 record that ‘the German Machine Gun be deposited at the Boys School if the managers consent’ and that ‘the German Field Gun be deposited at the Little Bridge on a site lent by Mr. Newton’.
In the Tutbury Village News of July 2010 it was reported how a machine gun was found in the cellar of the Charity House many years ago. This gun is on exhibition at the Museum now (7.92 Maxim, MG08/15 LMG). The Museum holds the original Carrier’s note showing that a case of machine guns was sent to the Parish Clerk, by rail (GNR) from ASC officer i/c Transport, Lichfield on 6th May 1920.
Various Tutbury people have memories of playing on a large gun and the Museum has pictures (see below) of children astride a gun in ‘Cannon Row’, as it was known, with Bridge Street houses clearly visible behind them. The fate of the Field Gun is unknown –
Trophy Field Gun
These pictures are courtesy of Tutbury Museum showing the Field Gun situated by the Little Bridge on lower Bridge Street. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Do you know what happened to the gun?
Do you know who these people are?
Please contact us if you have any information.