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11
25 pdr gun being fired



For the last three months or so my daughter and I have been volunteering our free time maintaining and restoring Artillery guns that are in private hands and stored at the Royal School of Artillery, Larkhill. So far we have worked primarily on 25pdr guns Mk II and III and their limbers. The restoration of these guns involves stripping each gun down to its individual parts, cleaning off all the paint and corrosion and then slowly putting everything back together again. At various stages during the process the assemblies are under coated and painted depending on where it is going next each gun will either be shown in combat service or as a gate guard.

Guns that are going to be gate guardians look fantastic when wheeled out of the workshop for the last time before going to their new homes. The one that has been finished so far has been finished in high gloss green paint and the handles in a high gloss red, all the bare metal is polished and really is something you can be proud of being a part of. There are a few pictures on the next page of a new guardian getting its final inspection before going to a new home, and I have included a shot of some of the guns and vehicles there are to work on.

One of the benefits of volunteering to do work like this is the ability from time to time to fire the guns, and here you can see my daughter being initiated as a gunner (yes she loved it). The two guns shown here are both Mk IIs and have a manufacturing date of 1942 and have been updated, with the muzzle brake being the most obvious alteration.

Some of these guns and vehicles will be displaying in Normandy commemorating D-Day and the part they and their crews played in it. If you are attending I hope you enjoy your day and remember the sacrifices made by people during World War Two.
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About the Author

About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70s, I have had lots of opportunitie...


Comments

After a wink & a nod i was lucky to Fire 1 live round a few years ago on an exercise, I'll never forget the moment I pulled that kittle brass handle! I'm not an arty guy but i loved the buzz!!! Irish army have retired these altogether now, even from reserve! All the Indian produced ammo purchased some years ago finally ran out! Now it's just the 105mm Howitzers but I'll miss hearing that familiar thump from the 25 Pounders down in the Glen of Emal! Glad to see some folk taking the time to preserve a working gun, bravo!!
MAR 16, 2011 - 06:20 AM
It was still there when I last visited Edinburgh a few years ago, but sadly Tam the Gun wasn't, having shuffled off this mortal coil a few years earlier. Now there was a right old character! Tom
MAR 16, 2011 - 06:42 AM
Roy the gun we are working on at the moment was a Southern Irish gun I am told. Here is an image of the badge on the shield, does it ring any bells?
MAR 16, 2011 - 09:34 AM
I've seen this badge before, very very interesting!! I'll do my homework, have a chat with a few people & I'll get back to you tomorrow with an update! (friend of mind is working on an Irish Arty book soon to be released so will be very interested in this too) ..might I be as cheeky to aak how you acquired the gun, was it at auction? No pressure to answer, Most Irish equipment get destroyed after use but some items always turn up in the hands of reliable restorers & military collectors! (which I favour!)
MAR 16, 2011 - 10:58 AM
I'm back already after doing a little homework It appears the gun served with the 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Western Brigade, Renmore Barracks, based in Galway City. It was an FCA unit, or what is know today as the RDF, Reserve Defence Forces (Army) The gun would have been a front line artillery piece with a full time unit but likely got handed down to the reserve unit with the introduction of the first 105mm's in the late 70,s early 80's! It is said that a handful of these guns served in North Africa during WWII with British or Commonwealth forces. If you can send me the breech number (if that's the correct term) I'll try do some additional snooping to see if something turns up
MAR 16, 2011 - 11:45 AM
Roy I will get the number as soon as possible (Saturday). I do not know how the gun was aquired, it is currently being stripped down to bare metal before re-assembly and painting begins. I can tell you the gun will be repainted with its Southern Irish badge, and I should also tell you that the Irish gunners really looked after this gun.
MAR 16, 2011 - 12:08 PM
Thanks for the update Darren, keep up the good work! Thanks for your kind words, I've no doubt the gun was well maintained here as much as was possible considering its age, those gunners would have been well schooled and had pride in keeping they're equipment in top shape! The last batch I saw fire was around 2006 and they were still in great shape! 25pdr's were still used by artillery school up until recently to train & familiarise students in the Art of artillery before moving on to the 105's. I know the army celebrated the retirement of the 25's with a live battery fire only back in 2009, I'll post a photo tomorrow. I'm just as sure now though that this gun is once again in trusted & caring hands ..considering you guys are stripping and repainting this 25 pdr it's quite humbling to see you are refurbishing it again with it's Irish Markings, thank you
MAR 16, 2011 - 12:27 PM
As promissed earlier, photos of last Irish Army 25pdr shoot. Glen Of Emal 2009. photos courtesy of Defence Forces Flikr site
MAR 17, 2011 - 12:24 AM
Thank you for those pictures Roy.
MAR 17, 2011 - 12:56 AM
Wow Roy. Those photos are awesome. Talk about maintained. They look like they have just rolled off of the factory floor not firing their last mission. In the last BW photo, if wasn't for the modern uniforms, you could swear you were looking at a WW2 print. Lovely work and I'm sure the restored gun will look as just good going by the earlier photos of the teams work. Master Gunners and Articifers one and all. John
MAR 17, 2011 - 01:29 AM