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Torch Signalling Mark III*


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I've recently bought and restored a Signalling Torch Mark III* by 'RG. Ltd WB 2657'. However, I've come to a dead-end in finding-out anything about their Production, and use.

One oddity is the fact that the Bayonet fitting on the front is for the P14, not the 1907 pattern as you might expect. Was this because they were marketed for the American M1917 bayonet or because they were associated with British snipers sometimes issued with the P14?

Were they issued in a bag/case of any kind?

Grateful if anyone has information on them.

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  • 5 years later...

Did anyone ever get back to you on this? I have one myself but limited information as well

 

kind regards,

G

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All I can add

From, what I have seen of these torches they don't appear in any of the WW1 signals manuals.

It first appears in the 1937 signals manual.

The only dated examples I have seen are from the 1930s a friend has a 1937-dated example.

Most have no dates.

So far I have not seen any evidence they date to WW1.

It is possible that it may come to light.

I see them being sold as WW1 all the time with no evidence by dealers and sellers.

Some people seem to think if you keep saying it is WW1 it will be.

Also, any information as they say Signalling Torch Mark III*  what were the MK1 and MK 11? torches if exist.

Jonathan

 

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2 hours ago, 6th Hauraki KIA KAHA said:

All I can add

From, what I have seen of these torches they don't appear in any of the WW1 signals manuals.

It first appears in the 1937 signals manual.

The only dated examples I have seen are from the 1930s a friend has a 1937-dated example.

Most have no dates.

So far I have not seen any evidence they date to WW1.

It is possible that it may come to light.

I see them being sold as WW1 all the time with no evidence by dealers and sellers.

Some people seem to think if you keep saying it is WW1 it will be.

Also, any information as they say Signalling Torch Mark III*  what were the MK1 and MK 11? torches if exist.

Jonathan

 

Thanks Jonathan,
 

yes it has always been an odd one, I own  one myself and my example I will need to dig out and get the dates off, but I have attached it below. 
 

there is however several dated from the early and late 20s from different manufactures all broad arrow marked and for the 1913 (which was well absolute and issued as a reserve/secondary weapon) by that point. 
 

yes I have always seen them marked as WW1, but the construction is correct for WW1 at that time period, given the size and riveted construction and the space for a large battery.
 

Here is mine next to my vickers aiming lamp for size comparison.  
 

Kind regards 

 

g

 

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Of note this one appears to be black, but I’m not sure who should have still been using the P14 at this date 

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BA3B7C31-C4E6-4CD1-86B9-79DF2350DED7.jpeg

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Nice to see a 1924 dated example if you can show a WW1 dated example it would confirm.

or are they interwar?

As I said they are in the 1937 signals manual so they must have still been using the 1913 how else would they use them or would it fit other bayonets?

They are nice torches regardless.

Jonathan

 

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Yeah I’m afraid I don’t have any WW1 dates or have seen any. 
 

they may be interwar, but as we have both said it is still such an odd time to be making equip for the P14. They are specific to the ‘13 bayonet and won’t fit the ‘07.

it’s just the majority of P14s had been sold off or stored. I and it would have been an expensive and specific piece of equipment to purchase. 
 

the vast majority come sold in the UK so I’m assuming we are not looking at some other country. 
 

do you have a picture of the manual you are referring too? I would love to see it. 
 

kind regards

g

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It is in my collection I can't access it right now.

I have asked a friend I think he has the same manual I will post once I get a reply from him.

Jonathan

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Well I think we may be able to work this out by serial number, but of the later black units by CAV we have 

1924 - 5159

1926 - 7508

1926 - 7909

1926 - 8247

1926 - 8430

 

The earlier units are green and made by R.C. LTD appear to have no serial number, I will need to inspect mine well and hopefully we can extrapolate 

 

They ordered a fair few so there must be some documentation somewhere which is a ******, I have also read that they moved the bayonet lug to meet the 1907 for the interwar period to no longer take the 1913, however it should be noted that a 1907 can be placed on the original lug, but it does not lock in well. Could still be used that way, so at least that makes sense. 

 

kind regards,

g

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Edited by navydoc16
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Great information and photos you found.

The one atvthe top of this thread says RG. Ltd WB 2657 so a serial number must be RC Ltd 2657 but not dated maybe they had the contract first.

I found the original listing for that torch before it was restored.

Military Signalling Lamp/Torch

 
WW1 1914-1918 
 
brass plate on the back reads MKIII - R.C. Ltd. No W.B. 2657
 

Jonathan

Edited by 6th Hauraki KIA KAHA
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Yes it would appear so, but the serial number is not 2657 as they are all marked 2657. The military inspection mark is 608 and that is current on all including mine. 

there may be a serial number internally on mine, but I would need to buy more in order to work out the mystery 

ScreenShot2024-04-10at7_04_31pm.png.93224671c5ca094bbdf065eee6c38c78.pngScreenShot2024-04-10at7_04_18pm.png.16f10ff28400719667d50c6d02508a65.pngScreenShot2024-04-10at7_02_16pm.png.41340302e5a12fd7bd43cd7d0a667597.pngkind regards,

g

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image.jpeg.5fdd503f74c8c1fe2f91236ee22c22b2.jpeg

 

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What does WB 2657 stand for? Address? All veryI interesting.

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Well well well. 
 

I think I may have solved it, I believe it is a home guard signalling lamp for short range, an interwar design for the 1907 made in the 20s and reissued and put back into production for the home guard, it would explain the design change from the 1907 back to the P1913/M1917 bayonet. As well as why there is no early reference or late reference to it in the official manuals. 

would have been the only simple MORSE CODE enabled signalling device available for the home guard short of switching on and off or covering a torch quickly- which is not ideal- it has a simple construction and with the coloured filters is specifically perfect for home guard units- who at the time would have had no portable radios or any other serious type of communication in a UK trench defence scenario after the Germans invaded. 

I have found only one other reference to R.C. Ltd and it is for a home guard bicycle lamp and blackout lamp Electric No1 and Electric Lamp No.4 for personal use.
 

both were made by R.C. Ltd during WW2- an estimated guess would be that C.A.V. Became merged with the “C” part of R.C. ltd 

The WB number- is the ordering number for the stores

Lamps Electric No.1 is WB1501

Note on the photo- the same inspectors stamp “CROWN 608”- same as mine. Same inspector, same factory and time. 

Kind regards

g

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Edited by navydoc16
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Great detective work it seems you may have solved the mystery,

Just next when CAV started production of the M111*

 

Jonathan

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Well looking at the serials, we appear to be showing 3000 production from 24-26 arbitrarily. I am assuming a slow startup and delivery, stretching of two years previous. Very late '21 or '22 I would wager. 
 

a lot of good idea fairy’s we’re born during and from WW1- my thought would be that it was conceived during the trenches and probably put into production after review from the battles, to try and get rid of the “runner and flags” systems as well as the constantly damaged telegraph system. 
 

alot of very serious casualties and battles were affected by officers being on the wrong time and runners not delivering messages in time. One could only imagine the effect on a battle for someone to throw one of these over the parapet in the night 1km to the side, and let the trenches next door know the Germans were raiding without a whole team of signallers.

 

Almost like a modern day cell phone haha


kind regards,

g

Edited by navydoc16
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This thread may bring a few tears to some collector's dreams being WW1.

I saw just recently one CAV MK111* 192? sold for 100 pounds as it was being sold as a WW1 torch.

I don't have one myself but a friend does and they are an impressive-looking bit of kit in the hand. even if an interwar and Home guard item.

Jonathan

Edited by 6th Hauraki KIA KAHA
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Gentlemen, your efforts on this subject are greatly appreciated.

I do not have one of these but have followed several at auctions but have always had other priorities.

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14 hours ago, 6th Hauraki KIA KAHA said:

This thread may bring a few tears to some collector's dreams being WW1.

I saw just recently one CAV MK111* 192? sold for 100 pounds as it was being sold as a WW1 torch.

I don't have one myself but a friend does and they are an impressive-looking bit of kit in the hand. even if an interwar and Home guard item.

Jonathan

Including my own, paid a lot more than that for mine given it was in excellent condition and included the filters. 
 

I knew the 1920s production existed but the dealer assured me since mine was unmarked they were WW1 and I bought it- bother literally and physically. 
 

kind regards

g

Edited by navydoc16
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I have made a couple amendments to my statements above 

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