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WWII gun pulled out of a paddock

The gun was pulled out from a paddock in Greytown. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

GEORGE SHIERS
[email protected]

A World War II gun has been pulled out of a Greytown paddock after sitting abandoned for about 16 years.

The gun is a 1942 25-pounder, the likes of which served in World War II.

Restoration work will be carried out by Group Op Ubique, an organisation that was started about six years ago and now consists of about 60 people, many ex-military, who travel up and down the country refurbishing artillery.

“The gun apparently used to be positioned on a playground in Greytown, but was considered too dangerous for the children, so it was put into a contractor’s paddock and abandoned,” Paul Weldrand, national co-ordinator of the Group Op Ubique, said.

“I find it sad we’re finding guns like that.”

The gun will be taken down to bare metal to rust and proof prime it, and then further restoration will begin to return it to display quality.

“I was contacted by Greytown RSA, so I got hold of a driver and a crane and took it across to Porirua Steam and Sand Blasting, where it will be blasted down to bare iron.

“My team will then go in and do some engineering work and get it looking pretty again.”

Weldrand, an ex-British infantry soldier, said he hoped the gun would be returned to Greytown.

“I’m hoping it’s going to go to the South Wairarapa Working Man’s Club, but there’s a lot of ongoing discussion.”

A final location had not yet been confirmed.

Weldrand said a timeline for the restoration of the gun could not yet be given, due to covid-19 related delays meaning the gun was still waiting to be blasted down.

He hoped further investigation could reveal more about its past, including where it had served.

“But that information is very hard to research,” he said.

Group Op Ubique work closely with the New Zealand Defence Force and are their preferred restoration team. They are made up of veterans, predominantly ex-artillery soldiers and officers, and work on a voluntary basis.

“We work hard, and we play hard as well.”

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