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133.R

British spade

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133.R

This spade came to me today from france.It gives a manufacturer but difficult to read. It looks like R & P PARKES & Co. BIRMINGHAM 191?

Can anybody say more about?

Regards Sven

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Simon Jones

It looks like a GS shovel as used by the infantry.

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Chris Henschke

I concur with Simon.

Shovel, G.S.

Chris Henschke

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wainfleet

Sven

If you are collecting British infantry kit, then yes, this spade is the correct one for you!

Regards,

W.

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133.R

I´m very happy to have this spade. It´s realy hard to find british stuff in my region. The most things i get about ebay or swap with other collectors. GS Buttons can you find anyway again and again. May be out from a swap between saxonian and british soldiers like by the x-mas 1914?

I know my english is not the best .But i hope i´m on the way to learn more here .

I have married last december in Edinbourgh .A wonderfull time in scotland . But to short to see enough from this wonderfull region.

Kind regards from Saxony

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Simon Jones

Your English is fine although I would call it a shovel not a spade. :D

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133.R

Your English is fine although I would call it a shovel not a spade. :D

Something else learned. Thanks! :thumbsup:

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Andrew Upton

Your English is fine although I would call it a shovel not a spade. :D

Umm, except it is a spade, and not a shovel - shovels are by their very name designed for shovelling, and have a broader head angled off to facilitate that purpose. Spades typically have a smaller head, angled straight down to enable them to be easily used by applying pressure with one or both feet, which is what we have at the start of the thread. I actually have an original 1916 dated British shovel, and it is designed noticably differently.

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133.R

Umm, except it is a spade, and not a shovel - shovels are by their very name designed for shovelling, and have a broader head angled off to facilitate that purpose. Spades typically have a smaller head, angled straight down to enable them to be easily used by applying pressure with one or both feet, which is what we have at the start of the thread. I actually have an original 1916 dated British shovel, and it is designed noticably differently.

How ever. I´m happy about the shovel-spade .:thumbsup:

I´ll complete my soldier from hampshire regiment with the shovel. Is anybody interested to see german spade variants with cover?

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centurion

Definitely a spade and not a shovel. Apart from the broad arrow the handle shows it to be British rather than Continental.

"Cecily: When I see a spade I call it a spade.

Gwendolen: I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade. It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different."

The Importance of Being Earnest

Act 2.

Meow

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Simon Jones

No statement can go unchallenged on the GWF! That’s a new one on me so I’d love to see a source for that definition, Andrew. A spade has a flat end, so far as I’m concerned! This is from the 1905 Manual of Military Engineering

post-1722-016517900 1290453912.jpg

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centurion

If you look the spade has a fold over at the top of the head so that it doesn't cut into your boot when you put a foot on it, the shovels do not

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truthergw

Definitely a spade. A spade is for digging and a shovel is for shovelling. ( Ex-pro shoveller & digger of trenches of the non military type). smile.gif

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SiegeGunner

This one could run and run, but the final answer will no doubt be whatever this particular tool is called in the official nomenclature. It's a hybrid tool, what I would call a field digging shovel or an entrenching spade - for cutting and excavating spoil in easily manageable amounts, enabling one man to dig a hole by himself with a single readily-portable tool.

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Andrew Upton

No statement can go unchallenged on the GWF! That’s a new one on me so I’d love to see a source for that definition, Andrew. A spade has a flat end, so far as I’m concerned! This is from the 1905 Manual of Military Engineering

post-1722-016517900 1290453912.jpg

Definitely a spade. A spade is for digging and a shovel is for shovelling. ( Ex-pro shoveller & digger of trenches of the non military type). smile.gif

I can only reitterate from personal experience - when I was on archaeological excavations, "spades" (either pointed or flat bottomed) with their straighter profiles were used for turf removal and actual trench digging as their profile meant clean crisp straight lines and edges could be achieved. "Shovels" with their big rounded blades were used for removing spoil from trenches, moving it from one place to another, etc, and were useless in the role of the former as they could not cut a neat edge. A spade could of course be used for shovelling, but woe betide anyone who was requested to bring a spade and brought a shovel for any other job! I will concede that the military clearly referred to what is in the middle of the diagram as a shovel, but as this thread seems to be demonstrating most people would recognize as a spade.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spade

"Designs of spades - Spades are made in many shapes and sizes, for a variety of different functions and jobs. There are many different designs used in spade manufacturing. The term shovel is sometimes used interchangeably with spade, but shovels generally are broad-bottomed and better suited for moving loose materials, whereas spades tend to be pointed for use as a digging tool."

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Chris Henschke

Spades are for gardeners!

This is a shovel, G.S.

Chris Henschke

pro shoveller & digger of the military (combat engineer) type for 32 years (and still going).

I am confident Wikipedia is not used at any School of Military Engineering as a reference for hand tools. Simon's illustration from the 1905 Manual of Military Engineering is the more relevant guide.

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auchonvillerssomme

Somewhere I have a WD marked metal 'shoe' or plate which was used under the sole of the boot attached by leather straps to faciliate digging with either a shovel or spade. What is the proper name for those?

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centurion

Spades are for gardeners!

Simon's illustration from the 1905 Manual of Military Engineering is the more relevant guide.

Which shows both shovels and spades ! And the spade has a turn over at the top of the blade for the digging foot. US Engineers guides of C1917 refer to both spades and shovels - you break ground with a spade.

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133.R

Out of MEN AT ARMS - British battle insignia part 1.

Maybe it helps further ? :innocent:

Best regards Sven

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SiegeGunner

This is clearly an issue of (linguistic) usage and convention. If a GS tool for general digging and muck-shifting was called a shovel in the official nomenclature of the time, then a shovel it is, regardless of opinion based on its technical characteristics.

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centurion

This is clearly an issue of (linguistic) usage and convention. If a GS tool for general digging and muck-shifting was called a shovel in the official nomenclature of the time, then a shovel it is, regardless of opinion based on its technical characteristics.

Tosh as I've already pointed out various manuals including the one already quoted refer to spades as well as shovels. Look at the illustration and there is a Mk III SPADE named and illustrated, look more closely and you'll see that the illustration has a turn over on top of the blade.

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SiegeGunner

The whole point, surely, of a GS digging implement is that it combines tolerably well the spade and shovel functions of cutting/breaking ground and shifting spoil. As a hybrid spade/shovel it needs a name - and if the official documentation called it a shovel, then a shovel it is.

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centurion

The whole point, surely, of a GS digging implement is that it combines tolerably well the spade and shovel functions of cutting/breaking ground and shifting spoil. As a hybrid spade/shovel it needs a name - and if the official documentation called it a shovel, then a shovel it is.

You seem to be missing the point - official documentation, some already posted refers both to spades and shovels.

Modern NATO parlance refers to a "spade shovel" the two now being combined (just like the gun howitzer) http://www.ukge.co.uk/uk/product.asp?numRecordPosition=1&P_ID=3426&strPageHistory=&strKeywords=&SearchFor=&PT_ID=100

There were even patents for military spades -from a catalogue

A RARE WALLACE PATENT MILITARY SPADE BY LUCAS & SON, SHEFFIELD, DATED 1837 with iron bound grip incorporating a spike and a pick, and the blade stamped with War Department arrow and makers details (steel parts pitted, the handle with extensive fire damage and losses) 58cm; 22 7/8in overall £100-150 http://www.thomasdelmar.com/catalogues/as280606/392.jpg

From another catalogue selling a between war German military spade we get the following definition

The spade has been in use in Germany for centuries as a digging tool as one

can see in the trademark of the famous, centuries-old German beer,

Spatenbrau. The blade of a spade tends to be narrow with straight sides and

a straight front edge. It is generally intended for digging where the soil

is a compacted mass and must be cut through. The shovel, in contrast, has a

broader blade with a rounded or semi-pointed tip and is intended to be used

on loose material, such as sand, coal, or loose soil. Both blade shapes

have been used for military purposes in Germany and other European countries

for centuries. Engravings of the great age of sieges, the 17th and 18th

Centuries, show spades just about indistinguishable from the ones offered here.

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scottmarchand

Hmm, so is this a pedantic or donnish discussion? I've always favoured 'manually operated earth moving implement'. This is an amusing subject for everyone to dig in so aggressively on. Does it really matter? :whistle:

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ph0ebus

I hereby call this item a 'spovel'.

:thumbsup:

-Daniel

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