- The 15 pound guns were uncovered in an army training ground in Wiltshire
- Historians found the pair while looking for wreckage of a German bomber
- One of the two was unsafe to handle as it was near an unexploded shell
- Rare metal maker's mark shows they were made in 1910
Remarkable discovery: Two First World War field guns were found on Salisbury Plain in the middle of a military training ground
The historians stumbled upon the two partially buried guns while they were looking for the wreckage of a Second World War German bomber. After reporting their findings to the Ministry of Defence, the history enthusiasts were given the go-ahead to dig up the guns. One of the guns was recovered and will be restored. The second was deemed unsafe to handle as there was an unexploded artillery shell nearby. The part of the gun which was recovered was the carriage, on which the barrel would have rested. When it was used during the First World War the gun would have been attached to two large wooden wheels so it could be pulled into position before being fired at the enemy. The guns needed crews of up to 12 men to work them and the shells weighed up to 900lb, making firing the field guns a laborious process.
Partially buried: A group of amateur historians found the First World War guns while they were looking for the wreckage of a Second World War German bomber
Rare: As the two field guns would have looked in the First World War, resting on two large wooden wheels to manoeuvre them about
A metal maker's plate on one of the guns identified it as being produced in Woolwich in 1910. The recovered gun is now likely to go to a military museum for restoration. Mark Khan, one of the military historians leading the project, said: 'We were hoping to do a crashed aircraft recovery and found out about a possible Ju-188 German plane shot down by a night fighter group in the Second World War.'
Piece of history: The field gun will be restored at the Museum of the Royal Artillery in Woolwich, or at the Honourable Artillery Company in London
'We got a grid reference for the plane on Salisbury Plain but could only find what we think was the impact crater. 'We were a bit dejected and were heading back to our vehicles when we spotted one of the two guns. The second gun was located about 30 feet away, also partially buried. Mr Khan said: 'The second was less intact and more buried than the first one but it also had the maker's plate on, which is very rare.'
Identity mark: This metal plate shows that one of the guns was made in Woolich, London over a hundred years ago
'These guns were the critical link between single cannons and the modern artillery of today.' 'A lot of redundant military equipment was put out on military ranges so they were probably put out there to be used as targets.' The gun will now either go to Firepower, the Museum of the Royal Artillery in Woolwich, or to the Honourable Artillery Company in the City of London. Source: DailyMail By OLIVIA WILLIAMS Via Forces War Records Blog.