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Remembered Today:

WW1 Grenades both British and Enemy.


Lancashire Fusilier
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Here you are John. Two Number 3 rodded rifle grenades, Mark 1 and 2. When I did a post on my grenades, I did intend to include these but decided they were too common to be of much interest. The Mark I has the original anti-rust finish (looks like a thin varnish) on the body and retains it's original red 'filled' band. For some reason the early examples are often found with this around the base, rather than at the top. Note the large cap on the detonator housing - 24.6 mm as opposed to 18.25 mm on the later mark. The vane is marked to the Cotton Powder Company. The copper wash on the rod has blackened with age, but it has the brass striker retaining bolts, anti-creep spring, and it's original cord becket on the safety pin. The Mark 2 is in similar condition with some of the buff paint on the body and some traces of it's red filled band and pink filling band. Like the Mark 1 the copper finish on the rod has blackened with age and it is complete with retaining bolts etc.. The head is stamped with the maker's mark E & S (Edison & Swan), 1916 and the nomenclature. As an aside I recently acquired some propelling blanks for these grenades, a couple of them were dated 1914, the rest 1915.- SW

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A superb pair SW. The Cotton Powder Company engraving on the vane was dropped from the No 3 / 20 Hybrids so you have all original parts there.

These may have been common once but are now very hard to find in un dug up condition. I had been looking for a couple of years to buy mine and I know one collector who has been looking even longer for a top quality example.

I'll put up a photo of my Mk II tomorrow.

John

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Sommewalker,

Thanks for posting photos of the excellent examples in your collection. I wonder if we have any information as to the change in size of the detonator holder. The reason I ask is that I have a Mk.11 in my collection with the large detonator holder. In the circumstances, the change doesn't seem to be linked to the change in mark number.

Regards,

Michael.

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Michael

The larger capped Mk I det was originally designed for the No 3 and No 4 Rifle Grenades. The Mk II det with the smaller cap was for use with the No 3 MKs I and II and the No 20. This det was also used on the No 3/20 Hybrids.

In theory your Mk II should have the Mk II det but I would not worry too much.

John

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John,

Thanks for your response. I wasn't so much worried as curious as I have never found anything written about the introduction of the small detonator holder and modified top cap. I have in my collection a No.3 Mk.I with the small detonator holder and a No.3 Mk.II with the larger version. I suppose the answer is that the manufacturers fitted the type of detonator holder and top cap that was available at the time regardless of the mark of grenade they were manufacturing.

Regards,

Michael.

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Hi Michael.

It's entirely possible that what you have is original. There was of course a period in 1916 when there was a mix of No 3 Mk I and Mk II being made and the Mk 3/20 Hybrid and the No 20 were all being made at the same time. I suppose the be more right you should swap the dets over.

Here's a photo of my Mk II for SW and yourself to look at. Quite a lot of original paint including red under the top band.

John

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Its got No 3 II 1916 E&S

The makers mark is not completely clear but it looks like E&S.

John

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John,

Thanks very much for sharing your grenades; very nice they are, too. In return, I attach a few photos of those in my collection; all inert. Left to right they are No.3 Mk.I with a Mk.I detonator holder, No.3 Mk.I with Mk.II detonator holder, No. 3 Mk.1 (sectioned) with Mk.II detonator holder, No.3 Mk.II with Mk.I detonator holder and No.3 Mk.II with Mk.II detonator holder.

All the wind vanes are marked “THE COTTON POWDER CO. Ltd. LONDON. HALE’S PATENT” except the second from left which has a wind vane marked “ROBURITE & AMMONAL Ltd. LONDON. HALE’S PATENT”. The No.3 Mk.II with the large detonator holder is marked on the body plug B.W. Ltd. London indicating manufacture by Bowden Wire, London. The sectioned example is marked on the body plug GTL. I’m afraid I don’t know what that stands for.

I’m also attaching other photos to show the detonator with the four small fire holes and the transit tin.

I have read the relevant section in Rick Landers book again. I now see that the detonator holders Mk.I and Mk.II were fitted to both the No.3 Mk.I and Mk.II grenades.

Hope the above is of interest.

Regards,

Michael.

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Thanks for posting the photos Michael. A great collection.

GTL was an abbreviation of Gestetner Limited. The duplicator and printing machine makers. Interesting to see the different positions of the red band.

The vane on my MkII is unmarked.

John

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Here are examples of the rarely found blank cartridge for launching the Number 3 rifle grenades. Note the full length MK VII case w/out crimping. The example shown was made by Birmingham Metal and Muntions Co. in 1914, others I have from the same pack are dated 1915. - In the early days these were made by pulling the bullet, leaving the charge and wad intact and sealing the neck with with wax and shellac. The charge was 35 gns of cordite with a tuft of guncotton at each end. See LoC 17122 March 1915. - SW

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  • 1 month later...

Regarding the JP&S No 36's a few pages back I recently found this in an old, old collection. It's now in my collection!

An alloy Throwing Practice No 36 dated 1917 - way before the LOC's required them to be made. There were many versions of the No 5 Throwing Practice Grenade made in WW1 but the 36 (or 23 MkIII) version is one I'd not seen before.

John

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An alloy Throwing Practice No 36 dated 1917 - way before the LOC's required them to be made. There were many versions of the No 5 Throwing Practice Grenade made in WW1 but the 36 (or 23 MkIII) version is one I'd not seen before.

John,

A really nice example, the first one I have seen.

Regards,

LF

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Of special interest is the Staffordshire Sealed Knot near the base. Never seen that before on a JP&S Grenade.

John

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  • 5 weeks later...

Here's my small collection of British rifle grenades:

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From left to right:

No.24 MK1, No.22 Pippin and No.35

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Please correct me if I made a mistake in identifying them!

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  • 2 weeks later...

John,

Your No.12 appears to be a superb example of what is a truly rare grenade. I have always wanted one! Any chance of some more detailed photos?

Thanks for sharing.

Regards,

Michael.

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Thank you LF.

Here's my Mills rifle grenade with rod (and its tool) and Mills rifle grenade with baseplate:

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I'm still searching for a cup for the right one...

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Always good to see some Mills bombs! The Burns discharger cups are very hard to get. They now also have to be de-activated with a bar inserted across the middle.

John

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John,

Thanks very much for the additional photos - much appreciated. What a superb example and I hope everyone will note that it has not been cleaned, polished or otherwise "improved" and is so much the better for that.

Regards,

Michael.

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Thanks Michael

It has actually been sitting in the 'reserve collection' of a big private museum / collection and has been a bit neglected. Having the Roburite & Ammonal Ltd label is a big bonus, though it has darkened under the varnish. It is nearly identical to the one in the IWM.

John

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