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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Shell and fuze identification please


Flakdodger

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Hello,

attached are images of a shell and fuze - now a garden curio - unearthed by a householder in their garden some years ago. The area, during the Great War, was the site of the Canadian Trench Warfare School, where live firing was known to have taken place.

The shell is hollow.

Is it possible to offer a guide as to what sort of shell and calibre it might be? Approximate dimensions are height 20 inches, diameter 8 inches.

Can anything be deduced from the serial number on the fuze?

Many thanks

Dave

post-61946-0-54004700-1398070166_thumb.j

post-61946-0-57038000-1398070276_thumb.j

post-61946-0-91620000-1398070353_thumb.j

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Can't help but looks live ?

TT

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I wouldn't touch it if I found it in a field!

I think the key here is that it's hollow (empty) so I guess the fuse is removable. I still wouldn't touch it if I dug it up in my garden though.

Andy

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Thank you TT and Andy,

I will pass your cautions onto the householder. At the least it is not handled or played with.

Thanks

Dave

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It looks fired (Driving band) and "live", this should be reported and properly disposed of by the authorities, the only responsible course of action. Unless there is evidence that the shell is empty in which case a photo would help.

Norman

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The more I look at this (I have zoomed in to the pictures) the less I would want to touch it.

I would get EOD to pop round & unlike France, where it would be left on the grass verge outside your house, they can come and evacuate the whole street.

Andy

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Hello Norman and Andy,

Norman, the inside of the shell casing is empty.which made me think [in my ignorance] that it might have been a smoke shell.

Andy, the response from yourself and other forumites is sufficiently alarming for me to advise the householder to contact the EOD boys and girls, and I will do so.

Dave

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From the ogive, I'd guess this shell is later than WW1, and, from the comparison with a human foot, smaller than 8" calibre. Is that a date of 46 or 48 I can see on the fuze? Perhaps it's a post-WW2155mm round?

If the casing is empty, it's still theoretically possible the fuze is live - though I'd think this unlikely unless the deactivation of the round was criminally sloppy. As well to get it looked by someone who can dismantle it safely.

Regards,

MikB

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A fired WWII or postwar 25 pounder base ejecting smoke shell. Probably completely inert. Have a read round on the BOCN forum for further info.

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Indeed. Rather like a fired 18 pounder shrapnel shell casing and fuse; if it functioned correctly when it was fired then it is unlikely any significant quantity of explosive material will still remain. You can see a cutaway here:

http://nigelef.tripod.com/cutsmk.jpg

Or to put it another way, if I could personally visually verify that the casing is empty then I wouldn't have any significant concerns about possessing it. The OP must of course make his own judgement.

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If it is as described by the BOCN, and I wont disagree, the problem is going to be the fuze, the exploding burster charge is quite large and in the base of the fuze, unlike 18pdr shrapnel for eexample. But apart from all that, nice garden feature.

Ohhh, proved right by previous posters link.

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Gentlemen,

most interesting observations, thank you. The householder is now aware of this thread and must make their judgement on the viability of the fuze of his piece of garden furniture.

The "last two" of the fuze serial is 4? [possibly 43]. I wondered if it was a year designator. If so the plot thickens our end as by WW2 the area was built up and the only action would have been bofors and oerlikons to counter tip and run raiders, with heavier guns coming in on the seafront in 1944 to counter V-1s.

The BOCN forums look to be as thorough as this one. Ah well, that is this evening allocated!

Dave

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The offending object has been taken away. The Police stated that is was a 25 pounder of WW2 vintage.

Thanks to all who offered guidance.

Regards

Dave

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