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trajan

WILKINSON / PALL MALL P.1907 bayonets

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trajan

This thread stems from a discussion that developed on a completely unrelated topic - see: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=223618#entry2218591

The discussion centres on why some Wilkinson P.1907's have the additional line reading 'PALL MALL', but one thing that cropped up of specific interest to me was how all of those P.1907's marked this way seem to have been made between September 1916 and the end of 1918. The dates gathered so far are:

09/16

01/17

11/17

12/17

05/18

08/18

09/18

11/18

Any one got an earlier (or later!) example?

The other matter raised in the discussion was whether these Pall Mall ones more often than not have OTC markings.

Trajan

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shippingsteel

I don't know exactly where or why Wilkinson marked their P1907 bayonets with the two separate "Maker marks", but they certainly did it for whatever the reason.

They made many bayonets marked with the Wilkinson Pall Mall stamping and these were accepted into service like all the rest, with all the normal stampings, etc.

It is not hard to find examples of these, and the acceptance markings are the same in all respects. The Pall Mall stamping is just another P1907 maker's variation.

Cheers, S>S

EDIT. Here are some random pics to illustrate, which I just borrowed off the net. The Pall Mall bayonets are nothing overly special, just another Wilkinson really.

post-52604-0-65932300-1422261315_thumb.jpost-52604-0-42207000-1422261326_thumb.j

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trajan

... The Pall Mall stamping is just another P1907 maker's variation.

BUT, as I commented on the original thread, it is not just another variation as it seems to be found only on Wilkinson's of the Sept. 1916 to Nov. 1918 period... This allows for the hypothesis that these were made in response to a specific contract of that period, and the hypothesis will stand until somebody produces an earlier example! :thumbsup:

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shippingsteel

Yes, the Pall Mall markings are only found on the wartime manufactured bayonets, and Wilkinson Sword Company were a contractor so ALL production was under contract.

There is a line of thinking that when the demand for bayonets increased due to the war, that Wilkinson's sword making production line was converted to making the bayonets.

With less requirement for cavalry and officers swords, and greater need for bayonets for the troops, the setting up of a second production line may account for Pall Mall marks.

Cheers, S>S

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shippingsteel

Here is a scan of the only reference that I know of in regard to the Wilkinson Pall Mall marking on the bayonets, from the 1974 edition of "The Bayonet", page 125.

This book was published by Carter and Walter "back in the day" and lists the Wilkinson Pall Mall marking as 'just another maker's variation' (common knowledge.?)

Cheers, S>S

post-52604-0-02754700-1422272850_thumb.j

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calibre792x57.y

I'm no expert on British bayonets but Enfield ceased making bayonets at Enfield Lock and moved the shop to Sheffield in October 1915 and had ceased bayonet production completely by August 1916, according to Skennerton and Richardson. The slack had to be taken up by increasing production from other makers which could account for the use of a second set of stamps by Wilkinson. After all the Pall Mall address was a retail outlet, selling uniforms and equipment to Officers rather than a manufactury. - SW

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trajan

I'm no expert on British bayonets but Enfield ceased making bayonets at Enfield Lock and moved the shop to Sheffield in October 1915 and had ceased bayonet production completely by August 1916, according to Skennerton and Richardson. The slack had to be taken up by increasing production from other makers which could account for the use of a second set of stamps by Wilkinson. After all the Pall Mall address was a retail outlet, selling uniforms and equipment to Officers rather than a manufactury. - SW

SW, that tit-bit ties in nicely - and it's S&R p. 190 for others who want to check! Thanks :thumbsup:

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Beerhunter

After all the Pall Mall address was a retail outlet, selling uniforms and equipment to Officers rather than a manufactury. - SW

IIRC the Pall Mall address was used for branding and for "Head Office", even though the real administration of the company was done elsewhere. (That task was carried out in Brentford in the 1970s.) I assume that the bayonets were actually made in Acton, along with everything else.

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JMB1943

There is a line of thinking that when the demand for bayonets increased due to the war, that Wilkinson's sword making production line was converted to making the bayonets.
With less requirement for cavalry and officers swords, and greater need for bayonets for the troops, the setting up of a second
production line may account for Pall Mall marks.

Cheers, S>S


This suggests that the "Pall Mall"-marked bayonets could then have been fashioned from cut-down sword blanks. This could be answered (possibly) by knowing whether officer swords were invariably marked with "Wilkinson Pall Mall" or only "Wilkinson".

Regards,

JMB

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msdt

I have one 1907 with Wilkinson / Pall Mall with no crown or date. I believe it came in a batch sourced from Saudi Arabia, so seems to be a contract between a foreign government and Wilkinson.

Cheers,

Tony

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JMB1943

I did a search of ebay for Wilkinson swords and found three.

2 x Officers showed (engraved) HENRY/ WILKINSON/ PALL MALL/ LONDON, where HENRY is totally in the fuller, and WILKINSON is partially in.

1 x NCO showed only (stamped) WILKINSON

so that probably rules out the conversion of left-over sword blanks.

The Saudi connection is interesting....shades of T.E. Lawrence !!

Regards,

JMB

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shippingsteel

There is a line of thinking that when the demand for bayonets increased due to the war, that Wilkinson's sword making production line was converted to making the bayonets.

It is unlikely that Wilkinson would have been using sword blanks to be making bayonets from, but they could well have been using the very same equipment.

It's not hard to see where the idea may have come from, that Wilkinson's sword-making production line was converted into a second bayonet production line.

Shown below, a couple of Wilkinson sword ricasso stampings, showing the way the Pall Mall trademark was commonly used on them. A carryover perhaps.?

Cheers, S>S

post-52604-0-83195700-1422423146_thumb.jpost-52604-0-36589800-1422423234_thumb.j

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trajan

Just for the record, another WILKINSON/PALL MALL logged today, at the antika pazari, dated 08/18. It was in excellent condition, as if never used, with bluing on the ricasso and a bright blade that took my breath away when I drew it from its round-stud scabbard...

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JMB1943

Trajan,

I'm pleased to see that you are still on the lookout for this "Pall Mall" marking; cannot imagine that you let that one get away.....

I took another look at my 9/16 P.1907 bayonet today, and in contrast to your "bright" finish mine has a medium-gray dull finish.

Does this suggest that it was parkerized initially (is that sand-blasting ?) or is it just the effect of aging (although your bright one apparently aged without going gray) ?

Regards,

JMB

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trajan

Trajan,

I'm pleased to see that you are still on the lookout for this "Pall Mall" marking; cannot imagine that you let that one get away.....

I took another look at my 9/16 P.1907 bayonet today, and in contrast to your "bright" finish mine has a medium-gray dull finish.

Does this suggest that it was parkerized initially (is that sand-blasting ?) or is it just the effect of aging (although your bright one apparently aged without going gray) ?

Well, budget, budget budget...!!! It was a nice looking example, I admit, but I have my eyes and cash focussed on a less-appealing looking P.1907 that has a very possible Gallipoli connection...

Others such as LF, 4G and SS, are best to comment on what the finish might mean on yours - remember, I am not really a P.1907 buff! But I do have a 1915 Wilkinson (tip broken) that also has a grey look to the blade - I don't think it is a finish as such, but I really don't know what it is. Would you post a photograph of yours and I'll try and get one of mine up tomorrow? Off to 'celebrate' my Irish ancestry this evening!

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JMB1943

Herewith some photos,...

Hilt

Ricassos

post-104832-0-11551800-1426539943_thumb.

post-104832-0-59400800-1426539962_thumb.

post-104832-0-22173600-1426540135_thumb.

post-104832-0-23212000-1426540146_thumb.

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JMB1943

Tangs

post-104832-0-58096100-1426540264_thumb.

post-104832-0-55068300-1426540276_thumb.

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JMB1943

As you can see, the ricassos are blued somewhat, the tangs are well-blued and the blade is graywith rust spots; have so far resisted taking the steel wool & oil to the rust.

Regards,

JMB

post-104832-0-20747100-1426540468_thumb.

post-104832-0-40058400-1426540487_thumb.

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trajan

Many thanks for sharing JMB! That one has been around, hasn't it? SS is goo on ricasso markings so perhaps he'll deal with those!

What is also rather interesting is the way that the Wilkinson mark is so clear, bu the Pall Mall one isn't... The one I saw on Sunday was like that, as are some of the others discussed on this thread. Evidenlty a two-part stamp, and I guess that the man with the top part got there before the man with the bottom part, leaving little room to place the Pall Mall in!

Trajan

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Beerhunter

The fact that there are two versions: "WILKINSON" and WILKINSON PALL MALL" suggests at least two production lines.

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trajan

The fact that there are two versions: "WILKINSON" and WILKINSON PALL MALL" suggests at least two production lines.

Indeed, and thanks to Sommewalker (post 6) we can in fact tie the change down to around August 1916 when Enfield stopped making bayonets.

I don't know much about P.1907's, but are there any just plain old WILKINSON marked ones from after about 08/16? The reason I ask is that I was wondering if the explanation for the new stamp with the PALL MALL was to confirm that these were made according to the new contract, and prevent an attempt at passing on old stock as newly made? Far be it for me to accuse Wilkinson of even thinking of such shabby behaviour! However, at least one of the German bayonet makers was guilty of that practice...

Trajan

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Beerhunter

I have never really looked at my one example of the 1907. (It only comes out once a year to join my SMLE in the HBSA Fixed Bayonet Trophy shoot.) I thought that it was just a "Wilkinson", until I looked at it under a proper light just now, but it is a "Pall Mall". I also thought that it was "6 16" but it turns out it is a 1918 (probably with the month"8").

BTW, it has all the Government marks showing that it was NOT private purchase. I think I paid a fiver for it, for the purpose above, umpteen years ago.

A fascinating thread.

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trajan

Well, there you go Beerhunter, a nice new discovery! And worth adding that the 'Pall Mall' does have a certain cachet to it - "It's not just any old bayonet, it's a PALL MALL bayonet!"

... but are there any just plain old WILKINSON marked ones from after about 08/16? The reason I ask is that I was wondering if the explanation for the new stamp with the PALL MALL was to confirm that these were made according to the new contract, and prevent an attempt at passing on old stock as newly made?

Well, quite by chance my dealer buddy sent me a photograph of this one, which is marked 08/18, and I initially thought "Hah! A 1918 Wilkinson only mark!", until I noticed the scrubbing under the WILKINSON which has partly removed the last 'N', and at the beginning of the scrubbed area one can just make out the top of the PAL...

post-69449-0-66083700-1426661620_thumb.j

Come to think of it, IIRC a fair few of these PALL MALL ones do look as if they may have been scrubbed to remove that line... I wonder why? Perhaps my idea that the line indicates a specific contract run is not that far off the truth, these scrubbed ones going elsewhere?

Trajan

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auchonvillerssomme

This one is mine date 5.18. My very first bayonet, picked up in 1978 from Pitsea Market for £2.50.

post-11859-0-06595100-1426669753_thumb.j

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Ogilwy

I wish I'd never read any of these Bayonet Threads! I could very easilly become a collector at this!!!

The long haired General would kill me if I started buying something else, although my new rifles bayonet is an exception, (when I find a nice one)!

Rod

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