WWI machine gun found in New Mills

editorial image

New Mills Town Council has uncovered a World War One machine gun in its storeroom and is putting it on display for the public.

The German relic, worth £1,500, was found in a the authority’s strong room, after officials instigated a clear out of the archives.

The MG 08/15 was acquired by the then Urban District Council in 1919, together with a wheeled field mortar gun, in a government scheme to redistribute captured enemy arms to towns and villages across Britain.

New Mills was presented with the two war trophies, which were displayed at the town hall, in recognition for the high percentage of men enlisted to serve, more than 1,000 out of a population of less than 8,000.

Parks manager Stephen Lewis explained: “By the 1920s, people had had enough of war and the field gun was sadly sent for scrap. The machine gun was displayed at the library for a time, before it was decided that it too should be scrapped.

Fortunately, that never happened and it was found in the archive. It’s a nice piece of memorabilia and it belongs in the town hall, where it will always be reminder of those who lost their lives. ”

The gun, which was made in Berlin in 1917 and has since been decommissioned, will be available for residents to touch and hold, at the town hall, on Springbank, on the centenary anniversary of the Great War on Monday, August 4 between 1.30pm and 3.30pm. It will then go on display in a case permanently in the town hall foyer.