From Russia to Leeds - The story of Woodhouse Moor's Sevastapol cannons

These war trophies were hauled all the way from Russia to Leeds at the end of the Crimean War.

Sunday, 16th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Sunday, 16th February 2020, 10:06 am
Children playing on Woodhouse Moors Sevastapol cannons in 1928.
Children playing on Woodhouse Moors Sevastapol cannons in 1928.

The famous Sevastapol Cannons were sited on Woodhouse Moor as a celebration of the sacrifices made by local men.

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The cannons were captured at great cost from the port of Sevastapol, after the 11 month long siege on the city during the Crimean War.

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The cannons on Woodhouse Moor.

However, they disappeared from the Moor and were melted down as part of the war effort in the 1940s.

What happened to the cannons was recorded in your YEP in April 1975.

Reginald Rivers, of Middleton, said: “I fed them into the furnace at Greenwood & Batley’s, Armley Road, during the Second World War. They were smashed to fragments when I got them. I do not know which firm removed them but it was ours that melted them down.

“Everyone had to sacrifice scrap metal at that time for the war effort.”

Mr Rivers admitted he was saddened by the task: “I was brought up in Woodhouse and many were the times I played on those guns.”

Mr Rivers said as he was feeding the guns into the furnace, he abstracted a souvenir - an oval plate telling the story of the cannons.

He added: “I put it in a place of safety but before I could retrieve it, a bomb fell on the foundry and the plaque was never seen again.”