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Remembered Today:

P88 mole blade


Khaki
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Pommel marking, 2 D.R.G.A also near button release 375 finely stamped, on reverse of pommel 42, blade ricasso dates 01, 04, 07, reverse broad arrow over WD.

I am thinking Royal Garrison Artillery, battery 2D??? any thoughts? what structure was the RGA at this time before expansion came.

Any thoughts

khaki

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Pommel marking, 2 D.R.G.A also near button release 375 finely stamped, on reverse of pommel 42, blade ricasso dates 01, 04, 07, reverse broad arrow over WD.

I am thinking Royal Garrison Artillery, battery 2D??? any thoughts? what structure was the RGA at this time before expansion came.

khaki,

A nice Pattern 1888 Sword Bayonet, which as it was made by R. Mole & Sons of Granville Street, Birmingham, should be a Mk I, 2nd Type, with 2 rivets securing the grips and no clearance hole in the Pommel.

The pommel marking 2 D. R.G.A. stands for No.2 Depot, Royal Garrison Artillery ( Heavy & Siege Battery ), based at Gosport.

One of the other numerical pommel markings will be the bayonet's serial number.

Regards,

LF

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Thanks LF for the reply and especially the 'tip' about Gosport, I have been busy looking online at the town and historical naval buildings and fortifications. Its a nice clean example of a P88, nice blade with no pitting or rust and good grips.

regards

khaki

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Never seen a marking quite like that before! An interesting piece though as I understand that the RGA was established only on 1st June 1899, and the P.1888 Mk II, with its hole in the pommel, was announced in LOC just before then on 19th May 1899 - yet this has an '01 ricasso mark? Can we see it - pretty please :)

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Never seen a marking quite like that before! An interesting piece though as I understand that the RGA was established only on 1st June 1899, and the P.1888 Mk II, with its hole in the pommel, was announced in LOC just before then on 19th May 1899 - yet this has an '01 ricasso mark? Can we see it - pretty please :)

Trajan,

Khaki's bayonet pommel does not have a clearance hole, which rules out the Pattern 1888 Mk II Sword Bayonet, which were all manufactured with a clearance hole, following the decision to cease manufacturing service rifles with a clearing rod.

The LoC number for the Pattern 1888 Mk II Sword Bayonet was Para. 9701, which was published in the Army Circular for the month of August 1899, which is that particular bayonet's official introduction into service date.

The Pattern 1888 Mk I, 1st Type Sword Bayonet, LoC Para 5887, introduced into service in the Army Circular published in December 1889, was made at Enfield, so that rules out khaki's bayonet which was made by Mole.

The Pattern 1888 Mk III Sword Bayonet, was also made with a clearance hole in the pommel.

As to khaki's bayonet, that leaves the Pattern 1888 Mk I, 2nd Type Sword Bayonet designed with only 2 grip rivets to replace the 3 rivets used on the 1st Type which were prone to splitting the wooden grips, this model was made by Mole ( and others ).

Interestingly, there was no new LoC issued for this 2nd Type, which was approved on 25th February, 1890.

So if as you say, the R.G.A. was formed 1st June 1899, that date would still fit with the Pattern 1888 Mk 1, 2nd Type.

Regards,

LF

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.Not too good, I have to go out & will try again later.

khaki

Khaki,

Would you also confirm that your bayonet has 2 rivets securing the wooden grips ?

Regards,

LF

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.. Khaki's bayonet pommel does not have a clearance hole, which rules out the Pattern 1888 Mk II Sword Bayonet, which were all manufactured with a clearance hole, following the decision to cease manufacturing service rifles with a clearing rod. ... So if as you say, the R.G.A. was formed 1st June 1899, that date would still fit with the Pattern 1888 Mk 1, 2nd Type.

LF, I realised all that - my curiosity was raised by the closeness of dates... The P.1888 Mk II with its hole in the pommel, was announced on 19th May 1899 and so was around when the RGA was formed 1st June 1899, yet here we have one section of the RGA being supplied with a Mk I 2nd type, and at that one 'dated' 1901! Guess all the new Mk II's must have gone to the Guards, and other 'proper' regiments... :thumbsup:

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LF, I realised all that - my curiosity was raised by the closeness of dates... The P.1888 Mk II with its hole in the pommel, was announced on 19th May 1899 and so was around when the RGA was formed 1st June 1899, yet here we have one section of the RGA being supplied with a Mk I 2nd type, and at that one 'dated' 1901! Guess all the new Mk II's must have gone to the Guards, and other 'proper' regiments... :thumbsup:

Trajan,

The Pattern 1888 Sword Bayonet Mk II, was approved in May 1899, but was not officially issued into service until August 1899 when it was published in the Army Circular's List of Changes Para. 9701 of August 1899, and after June 1st 1899, which was the date you say the R.G.A. was formed.

Remember, the purpose behind the issuing of the Mk II bayonet was the introduction of service rifles manufactured without the clearing rod and having the modified nose cap, which coincidentally, was also approved in May 1899, and was also published in the Army Circular for August 1899, LoC Para 9700, which was the Para immediately preceding 9701 relating to the Mk II bayonet.

I am sure, the new Mk II bayonets were issued to units taking delivery of the new service rifles manufactured without the clearing rods and having the modified nose cap.

Regards,

LF

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I am sorry guys, at my last post I had only just taken the P88 out of the box (it arrived that day), consequently I may have accidently misled you with my hurried description.

The unit marking is accurate to the photograph, however the dates that I referred to are reissue dates, there is no manufacture date nor is there a crown or cypher. There is however a broad arrow mark above a WD mark on the reverse. There is of course a MOLE mark. The grips are held by two brass rivets and there is a hole for a cleaning rod in the pommel.

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khaki

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The grips are held by two brass rivets and there is a hole for a cleaning rod in the pommel.

khaki,

You have a Pattern 1888 Mk I, 2nd Type Sword Bayonet.

Also, check the blade's spine which sometimes has additional markings.

Regards,

LF

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I am sorry guys, at my last post I had only just taken the P88 out of the box (it arrived that day), consequently I may have accidently misled you with my hurried description.

The unit marking is accurate to the photograph, however the dates that I referred to are reissue dates, there is no manufacture date nor is there a crown or cypher. There is however a broad arrow mark above a WD mark on the reverse. There is of course a MOLE mark. The grips are held by two brass rivets and there is a hole for a cleaning rod in the pommel.

That one has been around! To judge from what I have been able to collect, the apparent lack of a crown and/or cypher is not unusual on the ones issued while Victoria was still reigning: neither mark was struck very deeply and on some of my mine they are very faint or, in one case, invisible, the only proof that this one was an issue bayonet being the issue date! That said, note that none of the commercial ones ever had a crown or cipher or issue date, but I don't think MOLE made any of these. The number of 're-issue' stamps would in any case technically rule this out as having been a commercial bayonet, but it is just possible that some of these were requisitioned for service use and so 'refurbished'? I understand that some P.1888's were certainly rebuilt by Greener during WW1, but they have a whole bunch of other marks allowing their identification as such.

Julian

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The Pattern 1888 Sword Bayonet Mk II, was approved in May 1899, but was not officially issued into service until August 1899 when it was published in the Army Circular's List of Changes Para. 9701 of August 1899, and after June 1st 1899, which was the date you say the R.G.A. was formed.

Remember, the purpose behind the issuing of the Mk II bayonet was the introduction of service rifles manufactured without the clearing rod and having the modified nose cap, which coincidentally, was also approved in May 1899, and was also published in the Army Circular for August 1899, LoC Para 9700, which was the Para immediately preceding 9701 relating to the Mk II bayonet.

I am sure, the new Mk II bayonets were issued to units taking delivery of the new service rifles manufactured without the clearing rods and having the modified nose cap.

Thanks for correction and reminder... And of course the things then had to be made and issued - any records on that I wonder! Just for comparison, though, the German Gew. 98 and its S.98. The rifle was adopted for service use in 1898, and production of the service version of bayonet began in 1899, the plan being to equip the entire 'Reichsheer' with this by 1904/05, but the programme not officially completed until 1907.

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khaki,

You have a Pattern 1888 Mk I, 2nd Type Sword Bayonet.

Also, check the blade's spine which sometimes has additional markings.

Regards,

LF

On the blade spine near the guard. crown/B/25 and crown/B/35 in vertical order, inspectors marks?

khaki

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On the blade spine near the guard. crown/B/25 and crown/B/35 in vertical order, inspectors marks?

khaki,

I am pleased you found them, and yes, Birmingham Inspector's marks, which ties in with your bayonet's maker R. Mole & Sons being in Granville Street, Birmingham.

Regards,

LF

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