NZ Artillery Athletics trophy

Time for something a little different. Picked this up a few years ago now and mainly picked it up because of the link with Bernard FREYBERG plus it is a cool looking little thing.

Originally a 25 pounder shell case that has been cut down and converted into a trophy. Also looks like it was an ashtray at some point before the cigarette holders were lost accidently, or removed on purpose.

25 pdr ft

The New Zealanders crossed the Izonso River on 1 May 1945 and reached Trieste the next day just as the German forces in Italy surrendered unconditionally. It should have been a final moment of glory in the Italian campaign – a chance to savour the end of the war in Europe on 8 May and relax before a speedy return home. Instead, it proved a ‘helluva way to end a war’, as one soldier recorded in his diary. The fortunes of war had pitched the NZ Division into an international hot spot, as Trieste became the setting for the first inter-Allied clash of the post-war era in Europe (start of the Cold War). The city was the focal point of a bitter territorial dispute between Italy and Yugoslavia. Only after the problem was resolved diplomatically at the highest Allied levels, with the Yugoslavs reluctantly withdrawing from the city in mid-June, were the New Zealand soldiers able to relax.

25 pdr sde

25 pdr bse

I am not a ammo/shell case collector so this is what I have managed to locate online with regard to the markings:

25 PR = Ordnance Quick Firing 25 pounder (field gun)

II = Mark two

RM/C = Robert Mitchell and Co., St Laurent, Quebec, Canada (manufacturer)

CF = either Cordite Full Charge or Charge Full (does seem to be conflicting info about this)

1944 = Year manufactured

Lot 26 = Lot number

On the primer have only managed to decipher the 7/44 = July 1944 (date of manufacture)

25 pdr inside

This cup was awarded to Leslie Anthony MCPHEE. Leslie served in both the Pacific and Italy. In the Pacific he took part in the 3rd NZ Division’s actions on Treasury and Green Islands, in the Solomon Islands chain. He returned to NZ in June 1944 and was posted to the 14th Reinforcements of the 2nd NZEF in December entering Egypt in January 1945. In March 1945 he arrived in Italy and was posted to the 4th Field Regiment, NZ Artillery. He arrived back in NZ in January 1946 and was discharged 21 February 1946. He died in July 1984.The medals he was awarded for his service were: 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45 and NZ War Service Medal.

 

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