Fundraising campaign launched for famed 'Holy Roller' Sherman tank
Damage can be seen to the 'Holly Roller' tank in Victoria Park in London, Ont. on Friday, May 17, 2019. (Source: Retired lieutenant-colonel Joe Murray)
LONDON, ONT. -- A fundraising campaign to preserve the Second World War 'Holy Roller' Sherman Tank is hoping to raise $250,000.
Money will not only help maintain the memorial, but will also be used to raise awareness of its historical significance and the 1st Hussars of London.
"London has local veterans and residents whose family members put themselves in harm’s way during the war," said 1st Hussars Commanding Officer Lt. Col., Allan Finney in a statement.
"By donating to the Holy Roller Memorial Preservation Project, Londoners can ensure future generations can visit the memorial to remember this piece of history and the people who were a part of it."
Since 1956, the tank, which sits in Victoria Park, has fallen into 'grave disrepair' due to time and the elements.
"It’s hard to put ourselves in the shoes of those who served; how frightened they were, missing their loved ones and uncertain about their own future," said Finney. "They were motivated by ensuring safety and freedom for all. This campaign is our way to honour those who participated in the war effort."
The Holy Roller landed with the 1st Hussars on France's Juno Beach on D-Day – June 6, 1944.
Descendants of the 1st Hussars have deep roots in London.
Due to the current pandemic, a digital campaign has launched and will continue to run until June 2022.
In 2021, the tank will be removed and taken to a workshop to be disassembled, parts will be repaired and refurbished with modern techniques.
While out of the park, the base will be refurbished with a new pad, gardens, benches and a plaque to identify the towns and villages liberated by the 1st Hussars in WWII.
You can visit the 1st Hussars website for more information.