WW1 18 Pounder Shell Casing

Tonight we are looking at an eighteen pounder shell casing from the Great War:imageThe eighteen pounder was the standard British field gun of WW1 and served from its introduction in 1904 until 1945. It was horse drawn throughout the First World War, but had pneumatic tyres fitted in time for WW2. The gun can be seen here being manned by Australians at Ypres in 1917:18pounders3rdYpres1917The huge number of casings lined up next to the gun indicate the voracious appetite for shells on the Western Front. My example has a wealth of markings stamped on its base:FullSizeRenderThe ‘C’ surrounding a /|\ indicates the shell casing was manufactured in Canada:FullSizeRender - CopyThe type ’18 pdr’ is also clearly marked:FullSizeRender - Copy (4)Across the top are letter codes ‘D.C.P.C. B.A.’:FullSizeRender - Copy (3)This stands for the ‘Dominion Copper Products Company’ of Canada. These shell casings were produced in the colonies and sent to the UK and France for filling with explosives before being dispatched to the front. The filling date can be seen stamped here as 22nd November 1917:FullSizeRender - Copy (2)

Casings were often refilled many times, but this one has relatively few markings so I believe it was only used once. Sadly the primer for my case is missing, but after nearly 100 years, the case is still in excellent condition.  These casings were made in the millions by factories all over the Empire, mainly by women, as in this photograph from Vickers in England in 1915:fb8bf6eb9615e47379c14e62951840fe

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