A 25-Pounder at Fort Siloso

25-Pounder Gun Howitzer

Two 25-Pounder at the Fort
Two 25-Pounders on Firing Platforms at Fort Siloso.

The British 25-Pounder Gun-Howitzer was originally designed as a weapon capable of taking on a dual role, that of a traditional field gun with its relatively flat trajectory, and that of a howitzer with its high angle of fire. The 25-Pounder was developed from the 18-Pounder which saw extensive service in the First World War.

A 25-Pounder at the FortThe gun fired a 3.45 inch (11.4Kg)25 pound (11.4 Kg) shell to a range of 11,500 yards (10515 metres), but with a supercharged propellant could achieve 13,400 yards (12,344 metres). Ammunition types included HE (High Explosive), AP (Armour Piercing), Smoke, Flare and Star-shell. A Gun Crew could fire 10 rounds per minute

A circular metal platform, the Firing Platform carried underneath the guns could be dropped to the ground and the wheels placed on it as shown in the photograph to the left. The gun could then be rapidly traversed through 360° instead of the 4° provided by the Carriage. The 25-Pounder was also an excellent anti-tank gun. The Gun was also adapted as a self-propelled gun using a Sherman tank chassis and named the ‘Sexton’.

The 18-Pounder at Pulau Hantu AMTB Emplacement in 1942 had a Firing Platform to enable rapid transversing of the Gun. It is probable that other 18-Pounders in Singapore and at Pengerang were similarly equipped.

The last use of the 25-Pounder by the British army was at the Battle for Mirbat in Oman on 19th July 1972. It was fired over open sights at attacking rebel forces. The gunner, SAS Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba was killed during the action. He was awarded a posthumous Mentioned in Dispatches. Some of his his comrades campaigned for him to be awarded a much higher award, The Victoria Cross - but without success.

The Gun Museum