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Military History/ww1 shell made into cap


shell case markings
shell case markings  

shell case
shell case  
hi I have what I think is a ww1 shell that's been made into a cap
and I would like some history on it please
its approx. 28 cm around and has markings on it as follows
lot 588
thanks in advance

Royal Engineer Badge
Royal Engineer Badge  

Nice piece.  These are commonly called trench art, but seeing how this was probably made after the war, I don't know if it would qualify to actually have been made in the trenches, but more likely memorabilia for someone on retirement or discharge.

This 13 pounder cartridge case is part of a fixed round for a 13pounder (weight of the projectile).  It was a designation that was a holdover from the old smooth bore and sold shot days of classifying cannon by the weight of the shot they threw.  

The 13pounder as similar to the french 75 mm and was in fact 76.5 mm in caliber.  It was used up to 1940 as the mainstay of the light artillery.

Your item is meant to be a simulation of the service cap worn in WWI.  It is a bit stylized as you can see from the picture attached.  Click the link below and scroll down to see the large picture of the cap.

Your piece is a well executed item, and was done by the Royal Engineers as proven by the emblem on the front, which contains a stylized letters for Royal Engineers Corp..  The E and R are reversed probably due to the Latin phrasing of the motto.  I cannot tell in your photos, but there is usually a latin number between the letters indicating the regimental number in question.  The motto which is missing, probably too much work, is Ubique Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt, "Everywhere where duty and glory lead."

Now it is easy to see how such an ornate piece was made, probably in an engineer machine shop, and given to someone on retirement or discharge.  It looks like the badge and cap band were made separage and soldered on to the shell piece.

As to the markings, you have the date, 1916, the Caliber 13 pounder Mark II, Manufacturers lot numbers and a host of inspector's numbers and stamps.  Vickers Sons & Maxim made the cartridge.  The CF is Full Charge meaning the intial load was full driving charge, and would be reused again for a reload as a llesser charge before it had to be annealed to keep the brass from cracking.

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Keith H. Patton


I can answer questions pertaining to weapons and tactics, personalities, battles, and strategies in european and U.S. history.


I was a history major, and had done extensive research in the subject area. I have designed and tested numerous computer games for various
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B.A History M.S. Science
I have had the opportunity to live abroad and walk numerous battlefields both in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific.

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