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Militaria Recently Sold

E.T.LEISHMAN
Gallipoli Historical Tours

UNIFORM & KIT ISSUED TO THE BRITISH ARMY DURING WW2

This pictorial library is devoted to the recording of "Uniform and Kit" issued to a British Soldier of any corps, during the Second World War. Consider it a virtual "Q" Store in British militaria. It is not exhaustive and will be added to over time. Any reader who wishes to contribute photographs and text will be recognised and credited with such information. I also invite collectors of other nation's militaria to forward content (please see our other countries listed on the drop down menu) - so that a comprehensive list of "Axis" and "Allies" uniform/kit is detailed.

THIS WEBPAGE IS CONSTANTLY BEING ADDED TO - SO PLEASE VISIT AGAIN

S.M.L.E. No.1 Mk.111*

The S.M.L.E. (Short - Magazine Lee-Enfield) rifle equipped the British Army during the Great War, however it was superceded early in the Second World War by the No.4 Lee-Enfield rifle as the front line weapon. Despite this, the No.1 Mk111* saw notable service with the B.E.F (British Expeditionary Force) in France during 1940; as well as North Africa. It was later relegated to Home Guard duties, once stocks of the No.4 were sufficient.

1907 Pattern Bayonet with Scabbard

This bayonet was patented in 1907 (hence the title of 1907 Pattern) after a series of trials of various bayonet types. There is a clear influence upon this pattern of bayonet with regards to the Japanese Arisaka Type 30 bayonet, bearing in mind that all British made bayonets after 1913 were manufactured without the characteristic "hooked quillion".  The initial production started in January 1908 and had the curved Quillion (as did the Ariska bayonet).  The company "Enfield" was by far the most prolific producer of this bayonet, however a large quantity was also produced by companies - Wilkinson, Sanderson and Chapman.  Examples by Vickers and Mole were also produced, however not in as great a number as the previous manufacturers and these bayonets are now becoming quite collectable.   Initial scabbards had a hidden chape but this was changed in 1908 to the external chape normally seen.  The "button" or frog stud on the scabbard which protrudes and prevents the scabbard from pushing through the bayonet frog had three variations.  On this example pictured, it shows the "tear drop" shaped button.  The other two types of scabbard button were both round in shape, yet one size was larger than the other.  The tear drop frog stud is more associated with pre-World War 1 and early First World War pattern, however in 1915 the round shaped alteration frog stud was approved and by 1916 the British were  producing their scabbards with the "round" shape .  When the No. 4 Lee-Enfield rifle was adopted by the British Army as their front line weapon in 1941, the No. 1 Mk 111 rifles with their 1907 pattern bayonet was relegated to Home Defence and other non frontline units.  Howver, there were still many examples in use by the 8th Army in the Western Desert and 1907 pattern bayonets were also being produced for Naval issue up until 1944.

P14 (Rifle, .303 Pattern 1914)

Of British design and manufacture, this weapon is commonly referred to in collector circles - simply as the 'P14'. Developed during the First World War, the rifle was very accurate and had an excellant sighting system. Henceforth, it was often favoured as a 'sniper' rifle. However it never replaced the S.M.L.E. No.1 Mk111 as the principal infantry weapon. It is more commonly known for the fact that it was out-sourced to the U.S.A for manufacture and sent to England under lend lease. It was relegated to the Home Guard and this is where the P14 received it's association as being the rifle of "Dad's Army".

Rifle No.4 Mark 1

Although the S.M.L.E. No.1 Mk111 was an excellant rifle, it's manufacturing process was very time consuming and demanded much machining and hand fitting. It was also fitted with open "V" sights, which some say were hard to master. This eventually led to a desire to simplify the manufacturing process and move the sights more rearward, so that they were closer to the eye. Earlier experiments (namely the Mk.5 & Mk.6) led to the adoption of the rear "peep" sights, so as to improve the marksmanship of infantry soldiers in combat. Although the No.4 was first issued (in limited numbers) in late 1939, it was officially adopted in February of 1941. Some of the old 'Territorial' soldiers preferred their trusted No.1 Mk.111, but the No.4 proved itself in action and became popular amongst the troops. It is easily recognizable by the protrusion of the barrel at the very end of the weapon. This necessitated the re-design of the bayonet which took on a number of forms; however it is the simply "spike" bayonet which is most common.

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