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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

rifle exchange


Khaki
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Why did some units leave their barracks on route for F&F, march out with Long Lee's only to exchange them for SMLE's before departing for France, why didn't they just leave the training rifles in barracks? I am not suggesting that it was standard practice but it seems to have occurred a number of times.

khaki

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Central Depots? What is the point of leaving say 500 rifles in Brecon when they are needed in Cornwall. Plus the logistics of sending 500 new rifles out to Brecon in the first place?

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As a lot of people came out to watch their boys go off to war could it be for the crowd? it looks a bit odd marching off to war without a rifle!

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Central Depots? What is the point of leaving say 500 rifles in Brecon when they are needed in Cornwall. Plus the logistics of sending 500 new rifles out to Brecon in the first place?

I am presuming that there would be a constant flow of new recruits, those in training and those ready to depart the barracks and those in training would have need of those rifles.

khaki

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The new recruits may also be getting new rifles as well. You would have the issued rifle until a new one is signed for. So if you march to say southhampton, there will be new SMLEs waiting there. you exchange the old rifle, this will be held on central stock. The new recruits do not need a new rifle yet, so will wait.

The training unit will then be sent a batch of rifles to train with, not the ones thats marched out of depot(these may be else where). I do belive it is holding of rifles at a central depot and pushing around rifles where needed but not taking a rifle away from a trained man at any time.

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Thanks,

What you say makes sense, so I would understand then that by, 1914 say, the concept of regimentally owned and marked rifles was no longer relevant??

khaki

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The regimental system coped with influx of recruits very well, the logistics of clothing and weapons was over stretched.

In peacetime the change of a weapon from one to the other can be done slowly and calmly. With the huge influx and getting men up to shape, new SMLEs went to trained men. They would have all the stamps they needed. Long lees just went into the system to be used for new recruits and training, who would care what the stamping of the rifle? New equimpent as it came online was treated as before, old used equimpent was just a stop gap.

Long lee no longer used but you have a known number of them. You can allocate them to fill gaps as needed within the home system. New SMLEs get priority issue to troops going to france, they are in constant production so you issue them as ready. Why flood the system up stream?

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