Muzzle flash and blast

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by andrewgfrench, May 13, 2014.

  1. andrewgfrench

    andrewgfrench Member

    I am trying to verify facts as to what type of guns used by the Berkshire Yeomanry to fire a Royal Salute for Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953. Three separete salute were fire simultaneously as the archbishop place the crown on the sovereign's head. By the RHA (Hyde Park?), the HAC at the Tower of London and by the Berkshire Yeomanry in Windsor Great Park.

    It was said by the then C.O., Lt Colonel DA Campbell, that the battery were initally sited by the Head Ranger (an ex infantry officer) between saplings and he warned him that if they fired that position, the trees would be destroyed. It was also said by this CO that the Bty borrowed 25 pounders to fire instead of their issued 5.5" guns

    My question is this. Is a sideways muzzle blast indicitive of either type of these guns ?

    My confusion is cause as I have seen a contemporary press cuttings saying at the Berks Yeomanry would be firing the salute with 5.5"s and that this was the first time that a royal salute had been fired with a medium gun.

  2. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    You can fire a salute with medium or field guns. A salute uses a gunpowder charge to make a bang rather than a more modern propellent cartridge. I suspect the procedure will be slightly different for a medium gun as the breech will need to be swabbed between each charge, not necessary when using the 25 Pdr which has the charge in a brass cartridge case. Swabbing the breech is a little harder to undertake as a swift smart drill movement. However failure to do this properly could be fatal, as it was for a gun detachment in BAOR using an M109. .

    Saplings are more likely to be destroyed by clumsy Gunners manoeuvring guns than by the muzzle blast from a gunpowder saluting charge!
  3. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    The sideways blast is caused by the 25-pr muzzle brake, the propelling gases behind the shell escaping sideways, unless the Berks Yeo were planning a coup they would not be firing shell or shot so the would be no cause for any significant amount of muzzle blast escaping sideways, and as has been pointed out, with blank ammo there is very little blast anyway.
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    What was the local newspaper for Windsor back then ?
    If still going is it worth contacting them, they may have some photos of it on file.
  5. andrewgfrench

    andrewgfrench Member

    Hi Thanks for replys

    I have been looking at TA Association scrapbook for the post WW2 period at the BRO. The salute was one of several subjects I was looking into regarding the Berks Yeo.

    I will have to take another look at the cutting next time i'm over there but I dont think they included a picture of the salute.

    In the meantime for you interest here are a couple of pictures take in Windosr Gt Park at the time of GVIR Coronation in 1937. The salute is being fired by 395 (Berks Yeo) Field Bty.

    395 Bty fire Coronation Salute in Windsor Great Park 1937 (2).JPG 395 Bty fire Coronation Salute in Windsor Great Park 1937 (1).JPG
  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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