UNIC Spider Crane helps put the fire back into Welsh Dragon at memorial site

A UNIC mini spider crane took a trip to a World War I battlefield to lift a sculpture of a miniature red Welsh dragon at an iconic war memorial in the village of Mametz in Picardy, France recently.

A 0.995 ton capacity UNIC URW-095 mini spider crane was hired by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to lift the Welsh national emblem which is the centerpiece of the Mametz Wood memorial. The memorial was built and dedicated in 1987 in honor of the 4,000 casualties from the 38th Welsh Division who were killed or wounded in the five day historic attack on Mametz Wood during the first Battle of the Somme in July 1916. The spider crane hired from French UNIC mini crane dealers CTE France was used as part of the refurbishment project to prepare the memorial for the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of the war in July 2014 and the battle’s centenary in 2016.

The UNIC mini crane first traveled to the former battleground in December 2013 to remove the dragon so it could be cleaned, repaired and repainted at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission workshop.  The compact UNIC URW-095 tracked spider crane is lightweight, portable and just 600mm wide in its stowed position, making it easy to transport to this remote location in the French countryside.

The crane’s multi-positionable outriggers were ideal for working safely on the uneven ground at the memorial as it carefully lifted the mythical creature off its podium and onto a trolley to be taken away for renovation. The mini crane then revisited the site on the 13th February 2014 to return the restored metal beast back to its original position on top of a 3 meter tall sandstone plinth.


Maarten Zijlmans

Passionate about Internet and cranes, Maarten Zijlmans founded He is the main editor with the goal of making CraneMag the #1 online cranes magazine.

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