MAS-D100115: MAS-100115; Kent; Cartridge; Image 1 of 1

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Unique ID: MAS-D100115

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Images of this find were sent to Trevor Parker of the Ordnance Society. He confirmed that these three shell cases belong to a six-pounder Hotchkiss gun. This particular type of gun was introduced in 1884 for use against torpedo boats. They were used during First World War on the Arethusa and early 'C' class cruisers and a few submarines as well as on Monitors M.15 through M.33. Originally French in origin, they were introduced to Britain in 1886 (Tucker 2013). Many were subsequently used as sub-calibre and saluting guns which meant that they were still available in 1939 (Naval Weapons, Naval Technology and Naval reunions webpage, accessed September 2017).

Although these cartridges are empty, there is a good chance that their primers are live.The evidence for this is that they all have their primer protectors in place.These are three-legged covers that clip over the base and have a domed area in the middle that sits over the primer in the middle of the case bottom, to prevent accidental striking of the primer before it's loaded (War Office 2003). The edges of these clips are visible on all three cases and would have been removed before firing. This raises the question of where the shells have gone if they were not fired. The shells would have been held firmly in place therefore it has been suggested that these shell cases are of some age, dating back to the early 1900s, shortly after this type of gun appeared and that the actual shells have rusted away completely.


These items were recovered from the wreck of SS Unity, a British transport steamship built in 1902 by Murdoch & Murray, Glasgow. On 2 May 1918, whilst on a voyage from Newhaven to Calais with a cargo of ordnance, SS Unity was sunk by the German submarine UB57, with the loss of 12 lives.

NRHE and Kent HER reference numbers cited in this record refer to the wreck of SS Unity.

The location of SS Unity was taken from the British National Grid co-ordinate from the National Record of the Historic Environment.

Class: Armour and weapons
Sub class: Ammunition

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: With finder
Subsequent action after recording: Submitted as wreck to the Receiver of Wreck

Wreck details

Droit number: 236/17


Period to: MODERN

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 3
Length: 340 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 26th August 2017

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: L R
Identified by: Mr Trevor Parker
Secondary identifier: V L

Other reference numbers

NRHE monument number: 901741
Other reference: Kent HER Number: TR 21 NE 1
Droit ID: 236/17

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

County or Unitary authority: Kent (County)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TR2617
Four figure Latitude: 50.90820741
Four figure longitude: 1.21330846
1:25K map: TR2617
1:10K map: TR21NE
Display four figure position on What3Words
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Diving
Discovery circumstances: Diving
Current location: With finder

References cited

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Audit data

Recording Institution: MAS
Created: Friday 8th September 2017
Updated: Thursday 5th October 2017

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