HMS Calypso’s gun
The gun that sits outside the Grand Falls-Windsor Legion was salvaged off the HMS Calypso in the 1960s.
Her keel laid in the 1880s, she was the last commissioned sailing boat of the British Navy, though she never saw action. Instead, she was used as a training vessel in St. John’s in the First World War, and later moved to Embree.
When the ship began to fall apart, the Naval Association active at the time salvaged one of the guns and brought it to the Legion in 1965. While installing it outside, they found a shell still inside, but stuck after so many years of disuse. With much effort, they got the four-inch shell out and put it on a shelf inside to be part of the growing collection of military memorabilia.
More than 50 years later, someone noticed the shell on the shelf and suspected it might still be live. After much back and forth with the base in Gander and the police, on the Friday of the May long-weekend, local RCMP arrived to take the shell away. It first went to St. John’s and then finally on to Halifax, where it was decided it was safest to destroy it entirely instead of attempting to disarm it. The Legion now has no live ordinance in the building.