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Lancashire At

Exploring the hidden history of War sites in Lancashire

Middleton - Aislaby A170 North Yorkshire

WW1 & WW2 Shell cases

Out of the corner of your eye  - "what was that?"........Those of us always on the look out for war relics do this all the time. And sometimes they come in unexpected places and in unexpected forms. Quite why there are two large 15" shell cases lined up on the A170 between the villages of Middleton and Aislaby is anyone's guess. If anyone knows the link between this area of North Yorkshire and the Queen Elizabeth-class battleships and their weapons - please contact us.


According to Wikipedia: "The Queen Elizabeth-class battleships were a class of five super-dreadnoughts of the Royal Navy commissioned in 1915–16. The lead ship was named after Elizabeth I of England. These battleships were superior in firepower, protection and speed to their Royal Navy predecessors of the Iron Duke class as well as preceding German classes such as the König class, although the corresponding Bayern-class ships were competitive except for being 2 knots (3.7 km/h) slower. As such, the Queen Elizabeths are generally considered the first fast battleships.


The Queen Elizabeths were the first battleships to be armed with 15-inch (381 mm) guns, and were described in the 1919 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships as "the most successful type of capital ship yet designed."[1] They saw much service in both world wars. HMS Barham was lost to U-boat attack in 1941, but the others survived the wars and were scrapped in the late 1940s"


There are two shell cases (that I have found) on the A170, the one in Middleton is the most prominently positioned, while the one in Aislaby, once hidden is now more exposed due to a local housing development. It is the one in Aislaby that says: "Shell Case of 15" Gun of H.M. Battleships;- Queen Elizabeth, Valiant, Barham, Warspite, Malaya. Launched 1912 - 1914"


These Dreadnoughts were formidable weapons in the First World War and it says so much that they were built and active before anyone had even thought of inventing a tank! We were, after all, an island nation.


These ships and their 15" shells saw action in BOTH World War One and World War Two. Of the five mentioned above, only one, Barham, failed to make it through both world wars.

But what is the connection to these small villages in North Yorkshire? If anyone knows, please contact us.

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