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Lancashire Fusilier

2 of the scarcer 1907 bayonets by Vickers and Mole

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Lancashire Fusilier

I am pleased to share from my Collection 2 Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonets by two of the scarcer makers, Vickers and Mole.

A P1907 Sword Bayonet by Vickers Ltd., of London SW1, and made at their factory at Crayford.

Vickers did not commence production of the Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonet until mid-1917, and by October 1917 only 5,000 Vickers bayonets had been delivered. When production of the P1907 ended, only some 10,000 Vickers P1907 Sword Bayonets had been produced, making the Vickers P1907 the scarcest of the P1907 bayonets. This being compared with the some 2,360,000 P1907s estimated to have been produced by Wilkinson.

My Vickers Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonet is dated 11 17 for November 1917, being part of that late 1917 production.

Also note the distinctively large Vickers' clearance hole in the pommel, which was the largest clearance hole in any P1907 bayonets.

R. Mole and Sons of Granville Street, Birmingham produced the second lowest number of Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonets, estimated at only some 60,000 again as compared with Wilkinson's 2.25+ million bayonets.

My Mole Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonet is dated 7 15 for July 1915.

With substantial wartime ' in action ' and other losses, far fewer of the Vickers' 10,000 or Mole's 60,000 originally produced Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonets still exist today, particularly those is excellent all original condition.

LF

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smleenfield

Very nice pair of bayonets. I also have both of these in my collection but my Vickers is not near in the conditon of yours.

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4thGordons

These were also "made" (or rather remarked) in small numbers too (10,000 so rivalling Vickers production figures I think).... by all accounts from refinished wartime blades in store)

Original maker marks are not discernable.

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Chris

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Lancashire Fusilier

The small ' v ' inside the large ' C ' on the Vickers blade ricasso, refers to the Vickers factory at Crayford in Kent, where the bayonets were produced.

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Close up of the ' Mole ' maker's mark on the blade ricasso.

LF

Very nice pair of bayonets. I also have both of these in my collection but my Vickers is not near in the conditon of yours.

Pleased you liked them.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

These were also "made" (or rather remarked) in small numbers too (10,000 so rivalling Vickers production figures I think).... by all accounts from refinished wartime blades in store)

Original maker marks are not discernable.

Chris

Chris,

A nice Wild Tiger Corps. emblem, part of a 1920 contract shipped to Siam.

Regards,

LF

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Terrylee

Here are some more Pattern 1907 markings from my collection. Of particular interest are the two on the bottom left. These were made in South Africa during the Second World War by the South African Railways and the Associated Engineers Company. Unfortunately, very few have survived. With the exception of the Siamese and the Ishapore all were found locally.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Here are some more Pattern 1907 markings from my collection. Of particular interest are the two on the bottom left. These were made in South Africa during the Second World War by the South African Railways and the Associated Engineers Company. Unfortunately, very few have survived. With the exception of the Siamese and the Ishapore all were found locally.

Superb collection of bayonet blade markings. I have never seen the South African bayonet markings before, very interesting.

Many thanks for posting them.

Regards,

LF

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welshdoc

Here is one of mine and one subject to a great deal of debate as to its authenticity. Not a 1907 but a 1913 probably unfinished but probably genuine

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Lancashire Fusilier

Here is one of mine and one subject to a great deal of debate as to its authenticity. Not a 1907 but a 1913 probably unfinished but probably genuine

Welshdoc,

Very interesting post.

Do you have a larger photograph of the complete upper part of the bayonet, showing the pommel, grip, and crossguard ? and a photograph of the other side of the blade ricasso. Also, are there any markings, Inspector's Mark, Bend Test mark, on the other side of the ricasso ?

Is there a clearance hole in the pommel ?

Vickers produced a Pattern 1913 Pre-Production bayonet, and then abandoned the project in mid-1915.

Then in 1917, Vickers produced a very limited quantity of 1500 Pattern 1913 bayonets, which are extremely rare.

If you would kindly post the additional photographs of your bayonet, that would be much appreciated by myself, and I am sure by other members also.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

here is my topic

and this is Sawdocs

I had not seen either of those Threads before, and clearly your bayonet has previously been fully discussed at length, so no need to send any other photographs as they are all on the other Threads.

In my experience, one of the ways to determine if something is authentic, is to find a known authentic example, and if possible, physically place the two examples side by side, and examine both closely. Often, you find that if both are genuine, they match like two peas from a pod, and if one is fake, it is usually very obvious when both are placed side by side.

Unfortunately, to examine both examples side by side is not always possible.

Regards,

LF

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shippingsteel

Vickers did not commence production of the Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonet until mid-1917, and by October 1917 only 5,000 Vickers bayonets had been delivered. When production of the P1907 ended, only some 10,000 Vickers P1907 Sword Bayonets had been produced, making the Vickers P1907 the scarcest of the P1907 bayonets.

Thats the funny thing with the Vickers bayonets - no one really knows exactly how many were made. I understand that the book says around 10,000 but anecdotal evidence and experience says otherwise.

Many collectors believe there must be a discrepancy in the figures as the Vickers are just too commonly seen to be as scarce as suggested - most of the collectors that I have met have at least one example.

I feel that the Mole produced bayonets are far scarcer than the Vickers in general circulation so this would possibly suggest at least 100,000 were made. Either way I'd like to have another look at their books.! :lol:

Anyway some nice bayonets posted and a very interesting display of the markings - good stuff.! :thumbsup: I was particularly interested in the grips of the Vickers example shown as it helped answer a question of mine.

I've got one well used example of the Vickers which I have kept hold of, mainly because it is well marked and has an interesting serial number stamped across the crossguard. But it's the grips which intrigue me.

I have always had doubts over whether mine were originals, as they appear to be of lesser quality timber and have that almost 'slab-sided' look about them which differs from all the other grips from the period.

Looking at those grips in the OP they have the same appearance with quite flat sides and what you might call 'corners' instead of the normal smoothly curved surfaces. Perhaps it's a manufacturing difference.?

Cheers, S>S

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4thGordons

Super set Terrylee

Here are a couple of other variants of markings on 1907 derivatives from India (last few not strictly P1907 but Indian Bayonet No1 Mk (x) ) but they add a little to your impressive set

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Chris

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Lancashire Fusilier

I understand that the book says around 10,000.

I've got one well used example of the Vickers which I have kept hold of, mainly because it is well marked and has an interesting serial number stamped across the crossguard. But it's the grips which intrigue me.

Looking at those grips in the OP they have the same appearance with quite flat sides and what you might call 'corners' instead of the normal smoothly curved surfaces. Perhaps it's a manufacturing difference.?

Cheers, S>S

shippingsteel,

Hopefully, Skennerton and Richardson did their research, and checked the books before publishing!

Pleased that the photo of the Vickers grips helped you. I particularly like the serial number on your Vickers' crossguard, not seen that before.

The nice thing about this Forum, is that although we may not always agree with each other on everything :thumbsup: everyone is genuinely interested in the subject matter, and is willing to pass on their photographs and information ( the quality of which is exceptionally high ) and to share it with their fellow members, and that is certainly true of the bayonet fraternity.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Chris,

More great bayonet markings. First time I have ever seen the Metal Industries mark or the North West Railways mark, nice examples to file away for future reference.

Regards,

LF

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shippingsteel

Hopefully, Skennerton and Richardson did their research, and checked the books before publishing!

Well I've had the opportunity to meet both those gents and contrary to some rumours that do circulate ... they are only human (and subject to making mistakes as well.!) :w00t:

Of course the surviving records (ie.evidence) are sparse and incomplete, and all they have done is piece together a rough 'guesstimate' of the production as best they can.

Even looking at the information that they report in 'B&CB' (on p.192) the sums stated there simply do not make sense. I would really like to look at the source documents.??

Vickers made the P1907 from "mid 1917" through to the end of the war "with 5,000 delivered by 13th October 1917" and it states that "production had reached 1,240 a week".

It doesn't take too much ability with the Math to work out that between the period Oct '17 and war's end, at least another 55,000 could have been made @ 1,000 units a week.

Anyway food for thought, and if the experience and the evidence that exists in each example has to go up against whats written in a book - then I'd tend to go with experience.!

Though it would be good to find those source documents (contracts and delivery statements) as that would make it clearer. I wonder if TonyE has anything in his box of tricks.? :thumbsup:

Cheers, S>S

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Lancashire Fusilier

Of course the surviving records (ie.evidence) are sparse and incomplete, and all they have done is piece together a rough 'guesstimate' of the production as best they can.

Cheers, S>S

Who knows what actually happened 100 years ago ? as I say, hopefully Skennerton and Richardson did their homework, however as you say, they are only human!

It would not be unusual for Vickers to have very low production numbers, as they had a history of major production problems, not just with their P1907 bayonets, but also with their contracts to supply the P1914 rifle and bayonet, and as a result of those production problems at Vickers the contracts for both were given to the Americans.

Vickers were probably producing too many other items of wartime military equipment, particularly their Machine Gun, and did not seem to have a serious interest in bayonet production.

Irrespective of the actual numbers produced, Vickers P1907 bayonets still remain the lowest number of the British Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonets produced.

Regards,

LF

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shippingsteel

Even looking at the information that they report in 'B&CB' (on p.192) the sums stated there simply do not make sense. I would really like to look at the source documents.??

Vickers made the P1907 from "mid 1917" through to the end of the war "with 5,000 delivered by 13th October 1917" and it states that "production had reached 1,240 a week".

The basis they use for their calculation is the document stating that 5,000 were delivered by the 13th October 1917, and they then try to extrapolate the numbers from that.

Supposing this is true I find it strange that you never see those early production dates from middle of 1917, while you commonly see the later dates that were made in 1918.

The numbers of 1918 made Vickers bayonets that are in circulation nowadays certainly puts the lie to the notion that supposedly less than 5,000 of these were ever made.?

Anyway I don't think the authors ever thought it was that big a deal, and simply set out to provide a guide to numbers. These days we have access to much more information.

The problem arises when people start quoting from some reference books as if they are the "bible", and when dealers start using these things to sell their products as "rare".

Cheers, S>S

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Lancashire Fusilier

The numbers of 1918 made Vickers bayonets that are in circulation nowadays certainly puts the lie to the notion that supposedly less than 5,000 of these were ever made.?

Cheers, S>S

The reference books say 10,000 in total were produced, and we are unable to change what has been in print for many, many years and neither you nor I can disprove their figures.

Anyway, lets all move on to something more interesting as this horse has been flogged to death.

Regards,

LF

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shippingsteel

Here is another example of the Vickers grips, and I doubt you will find a clearer illustration of the original inspection mark on a used bayonet.

I had forgotten that I had this one. It's one I picked up on the cheap simply for the markings, and obviously needing a little tender loving care.

This is the before shot and I don't think I have taken any other photos. Note the Canadian ownership mark stamped above the clearance hole.

Cheers, S>S

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shippingsteel

And here is one of the earliest Vickers that I have come across, which provides some good evidence that production was certainly in progress by "mid 1917".

And also one of the latest (courtesy of our mate Sawdoc) which shows that the manufacture continued right through to the end of the war, perhaps even longer.

I'm not trying to prove anything here, just putting forward some examples for anyone who may be interested. These illustrate a range of 18 months production.

Documents that Skennerton quoted stated "production had reached 1,240 per week". Doing the sums, 18 mths x 4 = 72+ weeks by X units per week = A LOT.?

I know the production figures have been in print for "many, many years" - but if nobody has yet taken the time to question them ... it's about time somebody did.! :thumbsup:

Cheers, S>S

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Lancashire Fusilier

shipping steel,

It would be very nice to think that as a result of my ' Vickers ' related Thread on this Forum, that a light bulb would go on, and the 10,000 Vickers Pattern 1907 bayonet production figure would be forever debunked, unfortunately, that is not going to happen.

Firstly, every author/expert who has ever written on the subject of the Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonet, and I am sure everyone initially thought as you have, could not disprove the 10,000 Vickers production figure, and I am sure that most tried.

You have to look at the facts, Vickers was not a ' bayonet ' producer, and they had a previous long history of failed bayonet production going back to the P1913 bayonet fiasco. Having been initially awarded the British Government P1913 contract, Vickers failed miserably and the contract was taken away from them and given to the Americans. So if you look at Pattern 1913 bayonet production figures you will see that Remington made 1 and a quarter million ( 1,243,000 ) P1913 bayonets and Vickers only made a miserable 1500!

During WW1, Vickers, unlike any of the other large bayonet manufacturers, were geared up for large scale armament production including everything from their famous Vickers Machine Gun, the Maxim Machine Gun, their ' Vimy ' Heavy Bomber and even Shipbuilding, no other WW1 bayonet manufacturer had Vickers diverse armament production commitments.

It is also logical that after their fiasco with the Pattern 1913 bayonet, the Government would have been reluctant to have given Vickers another important bayonet contract.

That is why, they waited until mid-1917, some 9 long years after production of the P1907 bayonet commenced, before they involved Vickers with a token P1907 10,000 bayonet contract.

That is probably the sole reason that Vickers only produced 10,000 bayonets, because that was the sum total of their one year or so contract with the British Government, and I am sure that Skennerton and Richardson, to name but one team of Authors/Researchers, probably had access to the Vickers contract information, and verified the contract was for only 10,000 bayonets. That is also probably why, the final delivery from Vickers was for only 198 bayonets, why such a ridiculously low number, because that is all it took to round out delivery of the required 10,000 bayonets and complete the contract requirement.

Whilst you doubt Skennerton and Richardson's figures, you are happy to quote their figure of 1,240 per week, however, not they nor anyone else, has said that this was a documented regular weekly production figure, and it could very well have been that there were long periods when there were no bayonets produced at all at Vickers Crayford factory.

With a very small 10,000 bayonet contract, and the Vickers Crayford factory being responsible for so many other items of armament production, I am sure the factory managers utilized their workers, machinery, electricity, transport and warehousing assets to the best possible advantage, and I am sure other more important contracts had to also be fulfilled not just their very small 10,000 P1907 contract. So to make sure their workers and machinery assets were used to the best possible advantage, if the need was for Vickers Machine Guns during a particular week or month, then it is possible that no bayonets at all were produced during that week or month. So for you to take the arbitrary figure of 1240 per week and multiply that figure for 52 weeks, is pure guesswork and kiddie math.

Also remember that even by the very late stage that Vickers entered the P1907 bayonet production process, which was not until mid-1917, millions, and millions, and millions of P1907 bayonets had already been produced by other manufactures, and by the time Vickers completed their 10,000 bayonet contract with a shipment of 198 bayonets, some 5 million, 5 million had already been made. So as you can see, by the time Vickers got involved there was no real danger of the British Army running short of P1907 bayonets!

It is good that you have a theory, however, as we say here in the U.K. and I am sure it is the same saying in Australia, you are ' barking up the wrong tree ', and as much as I would wish my ' Vickers ' Thread to have been the start of a worldwide bayonet exclusive, it is just not going to happen.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

And here is one of the earliest Vickers that I have come across, which provides some good evidence that production was certainly in progress by "mid 1917".

Cheers, S>S

That is the accepted and always quoted start date for Vickers P1907 bayonet production - mid-1917, and their last delivery of 198 bayonets was made on 11th January 1919.

Regards,

LF

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shippingsteel

Just a couple of points taken from "British & Commonwealth Bayonets" book which you seem to like quoting from. Its easy to see how 'collectors myths' spread.

"Total Great War production figures cannot be accurately determined ... therefore the following tabulation is intended as a general guide." Skennerton, p.191

Nobody knows how many were made, so you can stop talking about 10,000 as being THE figure and there being a contract for 10,000 bayonets from Vickers.

For those who don't have the book or have not yet found the part which shows how the numbers of Vickers bayonets were calculated, I shall copy the points here.

"Vickers did not commence production until the first quarter in 1917, with the Patt. 1913, and by mid-1917, only the Patt. 1907 was being manufactured.

"A report dated 13th October 1917 indicates that only 5,000 Patt. 1907 had been delivered, including 1,000 during the previous week.

"By the week ending 2nd November, production had reached 1,240 a week, and after the Armistice (11.11.18) tapered to 198 delivered on (11.01.19), their last delivery.

"This puts total Vickers production of the Patt. 1907 bayonet at about 10,000. Patt. 1913 bayonet production by Vickers was only about 1,500." Skennerton, p.192

Those are the facts as reported by Skennerton obviously from documents that they had obtained. I don't argue with the facts as stated, just question the calculation that's used.

People are free to draw their own conclusions, but I believe the initial date would have to be 13th October 1918 for that calculation to be correct ie. they have mistaken the date.

Cheers, S>S

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