Souvenir of the Great War Trench Art British 18 Pounder Shell Casing

Souvenir of the Great War Trench Art British 18 Pounder Shell Casing


Measures: 12 inches

Inscriptions: ‘Souvenir of the Great War’ 1912-18

18 Pounder Shell and Cannon History during WWI:

The Ordnance QF 18 pounder, or simply 18-pounder Gun, was the standard British Empire field gun of the First World War-era. It formed the backbone of the Royal Field Artillery during the war, and was produced in large numbers. The 18-pounder shrapnel shell contained 374 small spherical bullets. A time fuze was set to initiate the shell in the air in front of the target. This blew off the shell nose and fired the bullets forward in a cone like a shotgun : they were effective up to 300 yards from the burst. For maximum effect from the cone of bullets the angle of descent of the shell had to be flat and not plunging. At a theoretical maximum 20 rounds per minute, it could deliver 7,480 bullets per minute at a far greater range than machine-guns. The gunners and officers of Regular Army field artillery batteries were expert at closely supporting the "fire and movement" tactics of the infantry with accurate shrapnel fire. Field artillery (both 18-pounder and 4.5 inch howitzer) was used successfully during the pre-Zero fire in the Battle of the Somme in late June-early July 1916, when the British heavy artillery damaged German defensive works and forced troops into the open to rebuild them they were successfully fired on with shrapnel

Marking identifications:


Charge loaded with cordite

Full charge


18PR marks the size of the round 18 Pounder

‘II’ means it is a mark II 18 lb. casing

The Broad Arrow within "C" is the Canadian government property mark.

Pole trail (Mk I & II) - A pole trail was sometimes used with early horse-drawn light artillery. The single trail resembled a pipe and was meant to be strong, light, easy to maneuver and easy to work around. After the First World War, pole trails became less common because light horse-drawn artillery was in decline. Some guns received new carriages to increase traverse, elevation and to make them suitable for motor traction.

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