The Cannons of War

During World War II, most of the men were away in the service leaving mothers at home to raise the children. Certain resources were at a premium and were being used in the war effort. Scrap metal would be melted down and used in military products, so there was a collection point where people would donate their items.

Wally, mistakenly thought that if he were to donate an item, he could take another off the pile that weighed the same. There were two Civil War cannons that he thought were pretty neat. He got an old heavy water heater and exchanged it for the cannons.

325 Riverview Ave, Drexel Hill, PA, n.d. courtesy of Colin DuncanWally’s bedroom at 325 Riverview Cove [Avenue] in Drexel Hill, a suburb of Philadelphia, was way up on the third floor. He mounted the cannons pointed from his window in the front to the sidewalk below.

It wasn’t long afterwards, when there was a knock on the door. A policeman confronted Virginia as to why she had the cannons.

“Wally!” yelled Mother.

Needless to say, Wally had to surrender the two cannons.

written memories of Wally, contributed by Barbara (Wally’s wife), December 12, 2012

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you remember this story? What other details can you add?
  • Was Wally punished in any way by Grandma or the police?
  • What year of the war (1939–1942) do you think this was?
  • Did any of the rest of the kids know he had those cannons? Lee, Betty? Steve was extremely young or possibly in utero.

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