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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The S.M.L.E. (Short - Magazine Lee-Enfield) rifle equipped the British Army during the Great War, however it was superceded early in the Second World War by the No.4 Lee-Enfield rifle as the front line weapon.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)
Rifle No.4 Mark 1