My friend Nicoadded a useful piece of information about the stampings on the breech block. The "Fried." stands for Friedrich, as in Friedrich Krupp. "Friedrich Krupp" makes up the first part of the name of the manufacturing company. The three interlocking circles in a triangle pattern were part of the company's mark.
(There is a useful wikipedia article about the Krupp firm here, but itmay be subject to some bias from time to time since it deals with matters pertaining to War Crimes in World War Two. Such Wikipedia articles are prone to be hacked or subverted from time to time.)
War memorials and ex-service clubs around Australia can be found adorned with various artillery pieces and even naval guns, some formerly used by Australian forces, some used by our wartime enemies.
So, from where did this artillery piece come? Was it one of ours, or one of theirs?
I can't find any direct evidence at the moment, but a search of the holdings at the Australian War Memorial reveal just three items relating to Krupp during the Boer War. They are three photographs, two photograph show Krupp guns captured from the Boers, and the other photograph shows Krupp guns being used by the Boers.
The Australian War Memorial photographs are here, here, and here.
It seems likely then that Krupp supplied the Boer side in that conflict, and therefore the piece shown at the memorial on Observatory Hill was captured.
On Saturday we took a trip to the Sydney Observatory which is now a museum of astronomy and a division of the Powerhouse Museum . Edward's cousins went there for a tour last week and told him about looking at the Sun through the big telescope. He was keen. It would also give me the opportunity to take some photos for my Sydney then and now ... photographic project.
We went inside to the reception desk and booked ourselves into the 11am tour. Usually the fee is $7 for adults and $5 for children (from 4 to 15 years) but because we are members of a museum with reciprocal visiting rights at the Powerhouse Museum, for us it was FREE!
Then we entered and walked through the other parts of the Observatory viewing the range of exhibits. These included historic astronomical instruments including telescopes and orreries and explanations of some of the principles of optics.Here's the transit circle:
Ed got a lot out of pressing the buttons on the interactive exhibits. We also walked through the gardens and admired the outstanding views afforded by the position of Observatory Hill.
Then it was time for the 3-D movie show and the telescope viewing.
The old-school 3-D glasses were obligatory, and wearing them added to the fascination for Ed.
Movies over and our knowledge of some facets of astronomy enriched, it was off to some telescope viewing led by our guide, Lisa. We ascended the narrow stairs to the southern dome and saw the auspiciously named Meade LX200 EMC telescope. I think this one is a 16-inch model, which is actually the same as used in the Meade company's own observatory.
Lisa mounted a small ladder and started to manually turn the wheel to open the dome. You'll see here too a view of the cover on the end of the telescope. Whilst I'm sure it is of the highest quality, it does look as though it was made by Playschool presenters out of cardboard and sticky tape.
We did not actually use the 16- inch telescope, we used a parrallel smaller telescope fitted with a filter. The filter on the telescope permitted direct viewing of the Sun, which would otherwise cause blinding to the viewer. I can't show the view through the eyepiece, but I can give you a good view of the bridge framed by the dome aperture.
A tour of the grounds of the Observatory Hill reserve even revealed a war memorial of which I had been unaware. This one for the New South Wales contingent to the South African (Boer) War.
It includes this small artillery piece which was manufactured by Fried. Krupp in 1896 at Essen.
The visit to the Observatory sparked plenty of questions from Edward about black holes, pulsars and stars so today we borrowed some books on astronomy from the library. Edward got straight down to reading them when we got home.
The Australian Government's Bureau of Meteorology recently released its Annual Australian Climate Statement 2008. This gives in summary detail about our climate over the 2008 year regarding rainfall and temperature, especially in comparison to national averages, and in comparison to the period 1900 to 2008.
The national debate about climate change is so emotionally and politically charged that lest I be accused of quoting selectively to confirm my own biases on this, I simply encourage you to read it here for yourself.
Since the actions to be taken by the Commonwealth Government on our behalf regarding the matter of climate change is likely to be one of the two most significant things this government does in the present term, we really need to be very well informed about the facts of the matter on climate change.
The Heritage listing for the building can be found here, although it is out of date, as it does not include the recent complete redevelopment of the interior of the Church combined with the addition of an apartment development within, behind and above the Church which can be seen in this photograph behind the facade.
I have been to a service in this Church since the redevelopment, and it's really beautiful.