One of the artillery shells remaining in the Stevenson family collection. The one that is missing has distinctive German script stamped on the base and is believed to have been fired from a massive naval or siege gun. (Contributed)

One of the artillery shells remaining in the Stevenson family collection. The one that is missing has distinctive German script stamped on the base and is believed to have been fired from a massive naval or siege gun. (Contributed)

Family seeks historical artillery shell casing missing from late father’s Shuswap home

The shell was once fired out of an uncommonly large German artillery gun during the First World War

A Salmon Arm family is seeking the return of a historical artifact once belonging to their great-grandfather which might have been missing for as long as a year.

When Brent Stevenson and his siblings were settling their late father’s estate recently, they found at least one prized piece of military memorabilia glaringly absent from his Silver Creek home.

The item in question is the shell casing from an enormous artillery round which they believe was once fired from a German naval gun or “Big Bertha” siege howitzer during the First World War.

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The shell casing was brought home from the European battlefield by Stevenson’s great-grandfather Colonel H.I. Stevenson who served in the Boer War and the First World War.

The large brass casing was passed down to Stevenson’s grandfather and then to his father. No one in the family recalls seeing it for about a year prior to Stevenson’s father’s death.

Theories on the shell’s disappearance include theft or an unreturned loan to a community group or historical society. Whatever its whereabouts, Stevenson said he and his family are willing to pay a reward for its return, no questions asked.

Stevenson said the shell in question is unmistakable and its historical value should be obvious to anyone who sees it.

He described the brass shell as between three and three-and-a-half feet tall and 12 to 16 inches in diameter.

It also has German script stamped onto the base. Stevenson said the shell has important sentimental value to his family as it is one of a handful of artifacts linking them to the family’s history of military service.

Stevenson is eager to receive any information which might lead to the recovery of the shell. He can be reached by phone at 250-549-0023 or by email at brentstevenson@shaw.ca.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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