The Royal Horse Artillery’s armament in WW1 was the 13-pounder Quick Firing Gun. This gun, modified from its original form as a naval gun, was designed to be deployed at speed in support of cavalry engagements. An RHA Battery consisted of 3 pairs of guns - Sections – each gun with an ammunition limber, and supporting ammunition carts. Each gun was pulled by 6 horses controlled by 3 gunners.
The salvos fired by ‘E’ Battery did not reach the German gun batteries some 3 miles/5kms away, though the German artillery, with help from a spotter biplane, was ranged on the battery and shells were falling on the battery position, forcing the British to withdraw, with no loss or wounds to men but two horses wounded which subsequently recovered to take part in the withdrawal.
Number 4 Gun, which fired the first two rounds, in now on display in the Imperial War Museum, Manchester.
The gun used for the commemorative firing is from King's Troop R.H.A., regularly used in ceremonial firings in salute on occasions such as state visits, royal births, weddings and deaths.
The R.H.A.'s current armament is the AS90 Self-Propelled Gun, an armoured, tracked artillery weapon weighing 45 tons, capable of 35mph/55kph. The 155mm gun has a range of up to 18 miles/30kms, depending on the ammunition used.