A Royal Field Artillery 18-pounder battery, 1914 (c).

A Royal Field Artillery 18-pounder battery towed into position on the Western Front, 1914 (c). Photograph: A battery of British field artillery taking up a position. Shows an 18 pdr field gun and its crew being pulled by horses across a field in France or Belgium, 1914 (c)-1915 (c). One of 193 British and Allied Official photographs taken on the Western Front during World War One.Mounted on card, some with their original captions. Associated with World War One, Western Front (1914-1918). The 18-pounder was the main British artillery weapon of the First World War. With a crew of ten men, it could fire 18-pound shrapnel, high explosive or smoke shells up to six kilometres (over 6,500 yards). In August 1914 the British Army was equipped with 1226 of these guns. During the Battle of the Somme (1916) the British fired over 15 million shells. Of those, some 10 million were fired by 18-pounders. With an experienced crew and in good conditions, the 18-pounder could fire at a remarkable 30 rounds a minute.