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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

What was the B&H L?


simon debrux
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I have just acquired a Tel. Sig (Mk IV) also G.S. telescope made by R & J Beck Ltd London and dated 1917. The letters B & H above an L measuring about an inch high and filled in with black paint have been embossed on the leather covering of the sloping part of the telescope. Despite Googling I've been unable to identify the unit it belonged to and wonder whether anyone here can help. It occured to me it could be the Brighton and Hove L-something but that's a guess. Thanks, Simon

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Hello Simon

If the letters are an inch high it is unlikely to be a unit marking. It's more likely to be the manufacturers. Boosey & Hawkes springs to mind, but they made musical instruments.

Are you sure it isn't L & B H? That could be Lothians and Border Horse, a Yeomanry regiment.

Ron

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Is it army issue (has the broad arrow mark)? or is it a private purchase? If the latter it might identify a retailer since you appear to already have a manufacturer identification.

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Arrow mark .....army issue ?

A few are listed as officers spotting scopes.

This is interesting though

R. AND J. BECK LTD. 68 Cornhill, London EC3. ( The manufacturing

works were situated in Kentish Town, London NW. )

Beck was a well established company famous in the nineteenth century for the quality

of their microscopes.. During the War their main contribution was the manufacture of

gun sights .

On 23 December 1915 they received a contract for 2500 No 2 Mk1 binoculars.

However by 29 December 1917 only three had been delivered ( the rarest

binocular ? )and the contract was cancelled in February

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That's certainly more plausible than Boosey & Hawkes!

There appears to be a smaller TD after the L, so the mark is actually B & H Ltd.

Ron

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That's certainly more plausible than Boosey & Hawkes!

There appears to be a smaller TD after the L, so the mark is actually B & H Ltd.

Ron

Why would a retailer be selling army issue goods? It has the arrow stamped on it.

It would also be interesting to know the length of it extended. Some were used with a tripod.

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Interesting suggestions so far but I don't think any of them is quite there... and there definitely isn't any td after the L. I'm surprised as I thought it would be a simple enquiry.

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Interesting suggestions so far but I don't think any of them is quite there... and there definitely isn't any td after the L. I'm surprised as I thought it would be a simple enquiry.

Why did you think it would be a simple enquiry?

How far have you got with your research into it?

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I think I can see the "D" which would be in "LTD", (though not the "T") but then this would be off-centre compared to the "B & H" which would be odd . . . .

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I thought it would be a simple enquiry because I expected them to be the initials of a unit I just hadn't heard of like, for example, the Durham Light Infantry or the A & S Highlanders. I can just confirm again that it is just an "L" and not "Ltd".

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Simon and Johnboy

There is definitely a D there (below the H) and there's something between it and the L which I take to be a T. The T and D are smaller capitals, with their tops level with the top of the L, which is a common way of showind an abbreviated "Limited".

The telescope may be Army issue, but that does not mean the case has to be as well. Is there a broad arrow on the case?

Ron

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Hello Lars

Yes, it's a Government mark, not just Army. It also used to appear on convicts' clothing.

I believe it originated in Tudor times, when one of the men in charge of government stores was a member of the Sidney family. A broad arrow appears on the family coat of arms.

Ron

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Simon

Have a google of the tel.sig etc. many come up. see if there are pics of the case with initials. From what I have seen they came in different lengths, some were used with a tripod.

the 'Tel.Sig' seems to be the type and not a model exclusive to Beck, many other manufacturers use it.

I think 'Tel' is telescope 'Sig' is something to do with signalling. It could mean for spotting and reading flag signals from a distance.

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Have a read of this thread.

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=86509

Ive read the whole lot and can't see reference to B&H L.

The case may not belong to the scope, or the inscription, H & B L, may have been added later

There is a list of manufacturers on post 85 of the thread.

Try contacting one of the thread members

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