Canadian 18 pounder coming home from Mons
More than 10,000 Ordnance QF 18-pounder MkI&II field guns were made by Armstrong, Vickers and the Royal Arsenal between 1903 and 1940 until they were phased out by the 25-pounder, though they remained in operation throughout WWII and in far-flung Commonwealth countries as late as the 1970s. The 2,800-pound light gun, with its 84mm 18.5-pound shell, could be fired 20 rounds per minute by a very well-trained crew out to about 6,500-yards and could be towed by a limber and six vanner draft horses.
Each British and Canadian division had 54 guns in 1914, but this one is special.
From the Canadian Army:
The City of Mons, in collaboration with the Government of Belgium, is sending an irreplaceable military artifact back to Canada in a gesture aimed at commemorating Canada’s role in the First World War.
The artifact is an 18-pound field gun which fired the last shots of the First World War in the region of the City of Mons as Canadian troops that liberated that city on 11 November 1918.
The gun is one of two given by Canadians to the City of Mons following the 1918 armistice; the second remains on display at the Mons Memorial Museum.
It is a symbol of the sacrifices and victories of Canadians during the First World War; a legacy that continues today with Canada’s participation in NATO and peace and security in Europe. It will be transported to Ottawa where King Philippe of Belgium will present it to the people of Canada in March during a ceremony at its future home, the Canadian War Museum.
The gun took the first step of its transatlantic journey on Friday, January 26th when it was prepared for transport before departing a local casern.