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Remembered Today:

British heavy houwitser, called 'Mother'


Cnock
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Hi,

Does anyone has more info concerning heavy British houwitser called 'Mother' and in action near Ypres in 1915?.

regards,

Cnock

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In the early autumn of 1914, three 9.2" naval guns were mounted on railway carriages in a Belgian railway yard. Two of these were later sent further south, but one remained on the Belgian Coast with the Royal Naval Siege Guns. It 'lived' on a rail spur at Coxyde (Koksijde), but was also occasionally 'lent out' for use on the northern end of the Ypres front. It too was named 'Mother'.

The narrative accompanying the photo of the IWM 9.2" howitzer (which I think has now been exiled to Duxford) does mention that it was used in the Ypres sector in late 1914/early 1915, when it was evidently the only gun of its type in France .... so it is quite likely to be the one you are looking for, Eddy, but the railway-mounted 9.2" naval gun may also be a contender.

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My notes on artillery equipments include:

BL 9.2” Mk 1 Siege How 1914 – prototype to France in 1914 (Mother) - 233 delivered by end 1916 – carried as 3 sections ordnance 5 ton 5 cwt, cradle and recoil 5 ton 10 cwt and platform or bedplate 4 ton 5 cwt – stabilised by box in front with 9 ton of earth (filled on assembly and emptied before move) – hydro pneumatic with floating piston (first use)

– 290 lb HE 10,060 yds 1187 f/s

My system has failed, I think this note was based on 'British Artillery Weapons & Ammunition 14-18 Hogg and Thruston'

Old Tom

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Yes, the prototype 9.2-in How. The project was initiated pre-war, pretty much of his own bat, by the then MGO General Von Donop. Not forgetting the handful of Skoda's of the same configuration and ordered during the Boer War, albeit too late for action in that theatre.

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Gentlemen,

thanks for the replies

regards,

Cnock

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From The Journal of the Royal Artillery, Vol. 50, p 176-177 (July 1923):

The 9.2" Howitzer - "Mother"

Carried out first trial firings at Rhayader, July 1914

It was then left at Rhayader railway station in care of the local police until being sent by rail to Woolwich.

Went to France with 8th Siege Battery, RGA in mid-October and went to the front on 29 October 1914.

First brought into action behind an orchard east of Lacouture at 12:45pm on 1 November 1914 against an enemy heavy battery near Lorgies at a range of 7,500 yards assisted by aerial observation. Eight rounds were fired with two reported as 'hits' and the enemy battery was enveloped in smoke and put out of action.

The next day 'Mother' left for Merville. She then attached to the 4th Division near Nieppe on 4 November 1914 and went into action in an orchard near Le Rossignoi (two miles NE of Armentieres.

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From The Journal of the Royal Artillery, Vol. 50, p 176-177 (July 1923):

The 9.2" Howitzer - "Mother"

Carried out first trial firings at Rhayader, July 1914

It was then left at Rhayader railway station in care of the local police until being sent by rail to Woolwich.

Very interesting. The area is documented by the Royal and Ancient Monuments Commission for Wales:

http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/502552/details/ESGAIR+RHIWLAN,+ARTILLERY+RANGE/

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