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Lancashire Fusilier

WW1 Grenades both British and Enemy.

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Lancashire Fusilier

An excellent display of the Discharger Cup, Mills No.36 Grenade with Base Gas Check plate attached, sectional training grenade, and the rare Discharger Cup carrying pouch.

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Discharge Cup with rare carrying pouch dated 1918 made by Hepburn Gale and Ross of Grange Mills, Grange Road, Bermondsey, London SE1.

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

1918 photograph of Royal Fusiliers training with SMLE Rifle Grenade Discharge Cups using the Mills No.36 Grenade.

LF

Stephen J. Chambers - Uniforms of the British Army WW1

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Lancashire Fusilier

Evidence of the longevity of the use of the Grenade Discharger Cup and Mills No.36 Grenade ( probably the Mills No.36M due to the location's climate ) British troops probably in Palestine post WW1 equipped with the Grenade Discharger Cup.

It is also seen in use with an Armourerd Car, and what amazingly looks remarkably like a human skull attached to the Armoured Car's turret ?

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

A ' Shellac ' coated Mills Grenade No.36M made by John Harper Ltd., Willenhall, Staffs.

LF

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wulfrik-the-wanderer

Evidence of the longevity of the use of the Grenade Discharger Cup and Mills No.36 Grenade ( probably the Mills No.36M due to the location's climate ) British troops probably in Palestine post WW1 equipped with the Grenade Discharger Cup.

It is also seen in use with an Armourerd Car, and what amazingly looks remarkably like a human skull attached to the Armoured Car's turret ?

LF

the skull's taking the "Death or Glory" thing a bit too far isn't it? I'd place their kit closer to pre ww2 .

:blink::lol:

regards,

Haydn

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auchonvillerssomme

Here's the important part -

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Lancashire Fusilier

Here's the important part -

Great training advice, and probably written as a result of some very scary happenings!

Regards,

LF

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Michael Haselgrove

LF,

I thought the attached photo would interest you.

Regards,

Michael H.

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Lancashire Fusilier

LF,

I thought the attached photo would interest you.

Regards,

Michael H.

Michael,

Another excellent example of an early Mills No.36 Grenade ( 10 17 ) October, 1917 made by J. Legge and Co., Willenhall, Staffs.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

An excellent account of attending a WW1 Grenade/Bombing School from the 1920 book :

Q.6.a and Other Places by Francis Buckley.

THE BRIGADE BOMBING SCHOOL

" The staff of instructors at the Bombing School consisted of three highly trained sergeants—two of these had been instructors at the 50th Divisional Bombing School which was now given up. Sergt. Hogg of the 5th N.F. and Sergt. P. Flannigan of the 4th. N.F. took it in turns to be at the school and at the Brigade Bomb Store. So with Sergt. Moffat, who was now appointed Brigade Bombing Sergeant, I had always two to help me at the school.

On the two bombing days sixteen untrained men came from the battalion resting at Locre and sixteen others from the battalion resting at R.C. Farm.

During the two days these men had to be sufficiently instructed to throw three live Mills grenades. Generally they threw one live grenade apiece after the first day's instruction, and the two others the second day. The first thing was to give a lecture to the men, explaining the nature of the Mills grenade and the proper way to hold it and throw it.

After this a party of sixteen men were lined [60]up in two lines, about forty yards apart, and each of the eight men in turn threw a dummy grenade towards the man opposite him. The instructor had to be careful that the man threw in the correct way and held his grenade right. The action of throwing the grenade was more like bowling overhand than throwing. After about an hour of this the first party of men, eight in number, went down to the firing-trench, which had to be 200 yards clear of any troops. There were two sandbag walls, breastworks, about five feet high—the one in front with a small traverse wall. At the front wall stood the recruit, the sergeant-instructor, and the Brigade Bombing Officer. In front about thirty yards away was a deep pit, mostly full of water, which had been excavated by innumerable grenades thrown into it. The other seven men took refuge behind the second wall, until it was their turn to throw. Before the grenade was thrown the officer had to blow two blasts on his whistle. The first meant 'Get ready to fire'—i.e. draw the safety-pin, the second meant 'Fire.' Some men of course were more confident than others; but on the whole the Northumberlands were easy to teach, for many were miners and accustomed to explosives—in fact, it was sometimes difficult to make them take cover properly. When the grenade was thrown, every one ducked down behind the wall and waited for the explosion. If it went off all right, all was well; and the next man came along for his turn. If, however, the grenade did not go off, it had if possible to be retrieved [61]and the detonator taken out. This was the most exciting work I had to do. Generally the sergeant and I took it in turns to pick up these 'dud' grenades as they were called. After some experience it was possible to tell the moment the grenade was thrown why it did not go off, for example the fuse might be damp and never light; or the cap might misfire; or, worst of all 'duds,' the striker might stick fast through rust or dirt.

Before I gained the experience of picking up these 'duds' and drawing their teeth, I had one lucky escape. The grenade in question had a 'hanging striker' and burst on the ground within five yards of me. It was not, I think, a very good explosion, but one of the pieces caught me on the thigh—happily it cut into the seam of my breeches and then turned, following the seam out and leaving me with a bruise and two holes in my clothes. I never liked picking up these 'duds,' but later on I got to know from the sound what was the matter with them; and then it was just a matter of experience getting them to pieces safely. The live grenades when they burst in the pit, sometimes threw out old 'dud' grenades lying in the mud. One of these latter burst in mid-air, but hurt no one; and another time the grenade dropped right into the firing-trench but did not go off. Another nasty thing was when the grenade burst too quickly; many men have been killed by premature bursts during practice. But though some grenades went off too quickly, I never had one burst in less than a second, by which time the [62]grenade was fairly well away from the trench. Besides these thirty-two untrained men, the bombers from the battalion at Locre used to come and practise on the ground under their own Bombing Officer. But if any of these men wished to pass the live firing test, to qualify them to wear the Bombers badge (a red grenade on the right arm), I had to test them with six live grenades. Three out of the six had to fall within a narrow trench about twenty-five yards from the firing point.

Of course I had to watch the grenade till it reached the ground—and pray that it would not burst prematurely. What a blessing those steel helmets were during live bombing practice! They were proof against bomb splinters and gave you a feeling of confidence.

The battalion bombers were also trained at the school to fire live rifle-grenades. No risks were taken with the Newton rifle-grenade; during firing all men had to be behind a barricade and the rifle was fired off with a string and held in position by an iron stand. But we used to think the Hales rifle-grenade quite safe, so that men were trained to fire off these grenades holding the rifle to the ground in the kneeling position. On one occasion several of us had a lucky escape. The grenade burst at the end of the rifle, instead of bursting 120 yards away on contact with the ground. Sergt. Hogg and another bomber of the 5th N.F. were holding the rifle and both got knocked over, Sergt. Hogg with a slight cut on the head, the latter shaken but unhurt. The [63]Bombing Officer of the 5th N.F. and I both got scratched on the face with splinters.

During our stay at Bruloose about 420 men went through the recruits' course and over 1700 grenades were fired.

Later on I had to be content with much less elaborate bombing grounds. Sometimes they had to be improvised from nothing, at other times a bombing-pit of a sort was found, and we had to make the best of it. After the battle on the Somme far less attention was paid to bombing; but for a time it was thought desirable to have every man trained in bombing, even at the expense of the rifle."

Instructors for these ' Bomb Throwing Courses ' received Bomb-Throwing Instructor's Certificates. ( copy certificate attached )

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Cnock

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seen yesterday in a barn at Dikkebus

Cnock

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IRC Kevin

An excellent account of attending a WW1 Grenade/Bombing School from the 1920 book :

Q.6.a and Other Places by Francis Buckley.

THE BRIGADE BOMBING SCHOOL

" After some experience it was possible to tell the moment the grenade was thrown why it did not go off, for example the fuse might be damp and never light; or the cap might misfire; or, worst of all 'duds,' the striker might stick fast through rust or dirt.

Distinctly remember in the early 70's part of the preparations before arming the No. 36 was to unscrew the base plug, check to see there was no detonator and then holding the open bottom of the grenade against the chest, pull the pin and release the lever in a controlled manner. If the striker was operating correctly, you'd feel it hit your chest. Suspect this was brought in as a direct result of accidents caused by the above.

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bigjohn

Kevin,

IIRC we were taught to release the striker against the belt buckle prior to cleaning the grenade with the combination tool and wire brush from the SLR cleaning kit. As I said previously 72 wartime issue grenades and 72 modern dated about 1970ish and not a single blind. [We must have cleaned them well]

John

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depaor01

Hi all,

This example was found in the 1940s in the grounds of a stately home demesne in Clondalkin, Dublin. I believe it to be WWI, but I've handled the item and no markings are evident anywhere.

Any ideas?

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Thanks,

Dave

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Gunner Bailey

Interesting thread with some great photos from people's collection. I'm particularly impressed by the original WW1 crate. I've got 2 WW2 crates but never had a sniff of a WW1 example. John

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Gunner Bailey

LF,

Thanks for your response and for the photos. In his book Rick Landers says that in January 1916 Brooks and Doxey Ltd., textile machinists in Manchester, were contracted to make 2,010 sectioned Mills grenades. All the ones I have seen have been No. 5 Mk 1 with the brass base plug showing the manufacturer as E.A. RADNALL & Co. I am interested to see that the one in your photo has a steel No. 23 base plug. My feeling is that more than 2,010 were made as many years ago one used to see them for sale reasonably regularly. I am sure your patience will be rewarded and you will find one in due course, although I am afraid you may have to pay rather more than I did!

In the meantime, here is another photo of a Mills grenade in my collection. This one has white paint to indicate a drill or practice grenade. Hopefully you will be able to see the markings on the base plug. I believe the reason this grenade was set aside as a practice or drill bomb is that it has inadvertantly been fitted with a centre fire striker. In the letter I referred to in my last post it says at point 3:

"Centre fire striker pins have occasionally been supplied instead of rim fire pins. This has been traced to certain firms supplying the striker pins who were also manufacturing striker pins for Stoke's shell. Special precautions with rigid inspection have been arranged which in conjunction with the alteration described in para 4 below, and the steps that have been taken to draw the attention of troops to this source of prematures, will, it is hoped, completely eliminate danger on this account in future".

Anyway, I hope the above is of interest.

Regards,

Michael H.

No, this would have been a live grenade but the band would have been pink. Over the years the paint has faded to an off white. I've got a similar example. In WW1 drill grenades were painted all white and had PRACTICE painted in black lettering on the segments. John

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Michael Haselgrove

Hi Gunner Bailey, Thanks for your comments. I was not aware that pink could fade to off-white. I have certainly never seen a Mills bomb that has red paint to indicate a filled grenade and a white, or off-white, band. Surely my grenade, which is shown in the photograph at post 120 above, would have a red filling band as well as the pink, now you say faded to white, band shown in the photo? I have examined the grenade carefully and there is no trace of red paint. In any event, if you have the book "Grenade" by Rick Landers (Researched by Norman Bonney and Gary Oakley) and refer to page 41 you will see a grenade identical to mine with a white band. The caption reads "Grenade, Hand, Practice. No. 5, Mark I, Dummy". In those circumstances, I still think it is a practice or dummy grenade. Regards, Michael H.

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Gunner Bailey

Michael

You are clearly looking at the photo on page 41. If you look at said book page 43 you will see the full description of the Practice grenade introduced September 1915 which was painted all white. In WW1 No 5 and the No 36 the red and green paint rarely survives whilst the pink does survive as an off-white. Some quirk of the mixture, but you must remember that the factories mixed their own paints from lists of mainly mineral ingredients. They are not like modern paints and did change colour. After all the expected life of a Mills Bomb was probably 6 months, not 90 years.

John

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Michael Haselgrove

John, Thanks for your prompt response. Yes, I have read page 43. I think what you are saying is that the author, guided by his researchers, made a mistake in respect of the illustration at page 41. I don't agree. I also do not accept that all trace of the red paint on a given bomb can disappear leaving most of the pink paint, albeit faded to off-white. Shall we agree to differ? Regards, Michael H.

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depaor01

Anyone able to throw any light on my post #165? :thumbsup:

Ta,

Dave

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Gunner Bailey

Anyone able to throw any light on my post #165? :thumbsup:

Ta,

Dave

Can you do a close up of the baseplug?

John

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Gunner Bailey

John, Thanks for your prompt response. Yes, I have read page 43. I think what you are saying is that the author, guided by his researchers, made a mistake in respect of the illustration at page 41. I don't agree. I also do not accept that all trace of the red paint on a given bomb can disappear leaving most of the pink paint, albeit faded to off-white. Shall we agree to differ? Regards, Michael H.

I think we will have to, but I have a grenade with almost identical 'white' paint to yours and have discussed it with some Mills experts. One of them has an all white training version and it was their guidance on the 'white' paint band that I'm following. I have the formula for the pink paint but don't have the 90 years to see if it fades.

There are mistakes in most books and I think the one on page 41 is a case of mis-captioning.

I have around 35 WW1 Mills No 5 and some have traces of 'red' on them but in most cases this is residue from the Fermangen Process sealant used around the filler screw, not red paint.

John

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depaor01

Can you do a close up of the baseplug?

John

I'll post an enlargement shortly. Thanks for the reply John.

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Gunner Bailey

I'll post an enlargement shortly. Thanks for the reply John.

Can you also read any of the letters on the front of the body - beneath the filler hole? If so let me know as some makers made Mills 36 in both wars, some only in WW2.

John

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