The historic guns were deployed on the Rock in 1941 and 1942 / sur

One of Gibraltar’s last 25-pounder QF Field Guns, transferred to new home

Eight of these guns were retained in Gibraltar after WW2 and now there are only two left on the Rock

DEBBIE BARTLETT

One of Gibraltar’s last 25-pounder QF Field Guns has been transferred to a new location from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, and can now be seen at the 100 Ton Gun visitor facility at the south end of Rosia Road.

The 25-pounder QF was the major type of British field gun and howitzer used during WW2, and was introduced into service just before the war started, combining both high-angle and direct-fire abilities. The first 25-pounders arrived in Gibraltar in 1941 and were operated by the 18th Defence Regiment RA. In total, ten were deployed on the Rock by 1942.This remained the British Army's primary artillery field piece well into the 1960s, with smaller numbers being used with training units until the 1980s.

After WW2, eight 25-pounder Field Guns were retained by Gibraltar and these took over the saluting duties formerly performed by 18-pounder QF Field Guns, firing from King’s Bastion. These duties were later transferred to the Gibraltar Regiment, who used the Devil’s Gap Saluting Battery for this purpose until the 1990s, when they were finally decommissioned. Six were returned to the UK, one transferred to the Gibraltar government for display at Hay’s Level and one was retained by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment to be adapted for use for military and state funerals.

The coffin platform, which was still mounted when the gun was transferred to the Ministry has been retained. The funeral gun carriage has been used for three funerals in Gibraltar: that of Captain Frank Galliano on 24 February 1992, Sir Joshua Hassan on 1 July 1997 and, most recently, for the funeral of Col. Arthur John Ferrary OBE on 4 October 2006.

Meanwhile, the second 25-pounder field gun inside the WWII tunnels in Hay’s Level, which has suffered from considerable deterioration due to dampness and humidity, has now been transferred to the Gibdock facilities for a complete water blasting treatment of all the metal surfaces, followed by re-priming and re-painting of the entire gun. The restored piece will also be displayed at the 100 Ton Gun. Volunteers from the Gibraltar Army Cadets will participate in restoring both guns to their former glory, under the supervision of Pete Jackson of the Gibraltar Heritage Trust.