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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Identification of shells and gun


Ultima

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Trying to identify the gun type here , two shells are visible. The type 15 or 18 lb should help date the photo, its the Bolton Artillery , the young lad kneeling on the left is my Great Uncle Robert Dixon . Also what is the wire or string that is being held is it fuse and are they setting delay of some sort? Help appreciated.

David

post-49846-0-73823300-1394991005_thumb.j

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The fuse would suggest a smoke round, the size of the round would suggest a 13 pounder, the carriage and limber (what one can see of them) would say either an 18 or a 13 pounder. The uniforms say either Palestine or Mesopotamia. Given that in Palestine 18 pounders were swapped for 13 pounders (the lighter guns allowed faster pursuit of the retreating Turks) I'd plump (good call my bluff term and after all I am Robert Robinson) for a 13 pounder in Palestine

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Looks like a fuze key or similar being held in the right hand of the man on the front right - it is on a piece of cord so it doesn't get lost.

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My guess is that the shell is a 15pdr shrapnel shell fitted with a No.65A time and percussion fuze, but the photograph is not clear enough to be

certain of the fuze.

If I am correct, the man kneeling on the right is holding the implement - key, No. 5 (Mark III) with lanyard attached - for fitting and adjusting the

setting of the fuze.

If it helps, Hogg/Thurston in British Artillery Weapons & Ammunition 1914-1918 mention that three territorial batteries were sent to Egypt with the 15 Pdr. QF Field Gun, but that the 15pdrs were replaced by 13 or 18pdrs by 1916.

Regards,

Michael.

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I thought 13- and 18-pounders used fixed ammunition - it would be more usual if not universal for the fuze setter to be handling a complete round, including cartridge.

I think probably 15-pounder too.

Regards,

MikB

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Thanks for the info. I know that 1/3 Bde RFA (Bolton Artillery) where equipped with 15pdr guns when sent to Egypt September 1914, these guns were taken to Gallipoli in July 1915. In the evacuation of Gallipoli January 1916 some guns were destroyed prior to departure . The Bde returned to Egypt and were issued with 18pdr guns February 1916, prior to being shipped to France February 1917.

OK if this is a 15pdr then the picture is most likely Egypt September 1914 to July 1915, if its an 18pdr then Egypt Jan 1916 to Feb 1917. It is noted that 3 15pdr guns came back from Gallipoli, and Robert looks like he has lost weight, he was noted as sick and in hospital when at Gallipoli, so I suspect 1916 but the Jury is out.

David

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David,

MikB makes a valid point. The 13pdr and 18pdrs both used fixed ammunition. The 15pdr used a separate cartridge containing a fixed weight charge

sealed in by a cardboard closing cup. Given this, and the fact that I cannot trace that the 13pdr and 18pdrs used the fuze type shown in your photo, I

am satisfied that your photo shows a 15pdr.

Regards,

Michael.

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