Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

The German Field Gun

old school

gun hidden

The School and the German Field Gun

from Mr. T.J. Evans

The photograph on the left, taken from inside Aberdare Park, shows The School, the statue of Lord Merthyr and a relic of the First World War that was probably presented to the town in recognition of the sacrifices made by the locality during the Great War, and of the town’s success in raising money for the war effort, for example as War Loans on behalf of the British government.


At one time, the gun had pride of place in front of the statue of Lord Merthyr as shown in the picture below, which featured on a popular postcard published during the inter-war period. We do not know whether Mr. Evans’ picture shows the gun before or after it was placed nearer the Park Gates. However, it probably disappeared in WW2 when there was an urgent need for scrap metal, which also accounted for the loss of metal railings in various parts of the town.

We believe that the gun is a German Field Gun, a 10 cm Kanone m/04 L30. It entered service with the German army in 1905 and was for a long time the main long range gun of the German Corps Artillery. It would have been quite possible that Mr. T.B. Reynolds, then a senior member of staff, faced this gun in action when he fought in the First World War in the Machine Gun Corps. I wonder how he felt about it being placed outside his classroom windows!

For further details of this gun, and photographs of it being deployed during the war, click here.

gun postcard

The chimney stack, visible at the top of the playground, was needed by the Mining Laboratory, which is the building next to it. This building was converted to the Biology Lab and Room 10 in the late 1940s. The three poles in Hirwaun Road carried the electricity overhead cable for the A.U.D.C. trams which ran up to the bottom of Cwmdare Hill.