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Remembered Today:

trajan

A P.1888 issued to the 5th Beds (the 'Yellow Devils')

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trajan

I have made a few new accessions to the bayonet collection over the past few months which I have yet to post but I thought I'd start with the latest of these. A Turkish buy, with missing chape, but a P.1914 leather frog and (albeit) shortened halve carrier - this being first such frog I have seen here in nigh on 10 years searching of the monthly Antika Pazar!

 

Bayonets details are: EFD manufacture, ER marked and 07 02, 'M' mark on upper tang, 'W' on lower, and '5.B D/952 on the pommel. so 5th Bedfordshire, but scabbard locket marking is 778. Scabbard leather markings are there, certainly the broad arrow, but the rest unclear.

 

Frog markings are: broad arrow inspction mark over '65', and makers mark reads - top line ****** & CO; middle WALLSALL; bottom line pretty near illegible. I'll try Kharkee Web at some point for a probable maker - unless anyone here can offer the same?

 

Now interesting additional point is that  according to: http://bedfordregiment.org.uk/5thbn/5thbattalion.html in January 1915 the 5th Beds (Territorial) - "was designated 'The 1st/5th Battalion' and the '5th Reserve Battalion' was re-designated as the '2nd/5th Battalion', the latter serving with the '69th (2nd East Anglian) Division' in the Home Forces until disbanded in February 1918. Later that year the '3rd/5th Battalion' was also raised as a training and draft finding battalion. ... The battalion left Devonport on 26 July 1915, bound for 'somewhere out East' and, after a brief stop-over in Egypt, disembarked on Gallipoli, serving there between 10 August and 4 December. ... During their assault against the Kiretch Tepe on 15 August 1915 an observing Staff Officer observed their progress through his binoculars and saw the battalion's metal flashes glinting yellow in the sun as they doggedly advanced. He remarked "By Jove! If only we had one or two more battalions of those yellow devils we should be across the peninsular by tommorow". With that, the battalion's nickname - the 'Yellow Devils' - was born. A pitifully small number of them remained by December 1915 and they were moved back to Egypt to be rebuilt between January and March 1916, after which a year-long posting to guard the Suez Canal followed." 

 

So, this is a P.1888 bayonet issued to a - shall we say? - 'secondary' unit, the 1/5th Beds, which unit went to Gallipoli, where several other 'secondary' units had P.1888 bayonets, and this bayonet bought in Turkey... So, a possible Gallipoli survival? 

 

Hope this one is found of interest to others out there - and yes, if anyone has a spare P.1888/1903 chape needing a good home as oherwise I am tempted to swop this scabbard for a moer complete one that I have...

 

Julian

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RGJDEE

Very nice find Trajan, fascinating story to go with it.

Regards Richard.

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Toby Brayley

Thanks for sharing, if only they could talk!!!

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Dave66

Excellent find, and the frog is a rarity. As you'll notice it is missing the Bottom two two securing rivets, Carter in bis bayonet belt frog book shows an example (129) that was made by Mark Cross Limited in Walsall..1914, and suggests these were only in production for the first three months of P14 production.

other recorded Walsall makers are,

Guest & Sons

W Guest and Co

Wm Overton Ltd

Patterson & Stone

Gabriel Power & Son

 

Dave.

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trajan

Thanks one and all for comments! And Dave, thanks also for the information - I don't have Carter's Frog books so nice to have a better idea of what is what. Yes, I know frogs belong to bayonets, and so do rifles, but my knowledge and litereature, never mind possessing actual examples of first and last, is another story! 

 

This one does not seem to be any of those you listed but I'll have another go at reading it tomorrow morning.

 

Julian

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JMB1943

Trajan,

 

You are right to be very pleased with this new piece!

Numbered scabbards, of any Pattern, are very scarce.

Another possible maker would be Jabez Cliff, also of Walsall.

 

Regards,

JMB

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Dave66
43 minutes ago, JMB1943 said:

Trajan,

 

You are right to be very pleased with this new piece!

Numbered scabbards, of any Pattern, are very scarce.

Another possible maker would be Jabez Cliff, also of Walsall.

 

Regards,

JMB

May well be Jabez Cliff...looks to begin with a J but quite hard to make out the rest with any certainty.

All things considered a very nice combination with history

Any numbered scabbards even in poor condition are worthy of keeping, I managed to marry one up to the same numbered bayonet once...but closest I can get to that one is 957.

 

Dave.

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JMB1943

 

26 minutes ago, Dave66 said:

Any numbered scabbards even in poor condition are worthy of keeping, I managed to marry one up to the same numbered bayonet once...but closest I can get to that one is 957.

 

Dave,

 

That you were able to marry a numbered bayonet to a like-numbered scabbard is amazing!!!

How long did that take, and were they P.88/03’s ?

 

Regards,

JMB

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Dave66
1 hour ago, JMB1943 said:

 

 

Dave,

 

That you were able to marry a numbered bayonet to a like-numbered scabbard is amazing!!!

How long did that take, and were they P.88/03’s ?

 

Regards,

JMB

I was astounded also, they were both 1888's, the first I brought was marked to the militia Yorkshire R.G.A, number 137, with a unit marked P14 frog to the 6th btn Yorkshire regiment (Gallipoli), bayonet and scabbard in excellent condition but frog securing strap broken but all in all very pleased. As I can't resist any 1888 I brought a plain bayonet and scabbard that looked very lonely at the flea, both numbered but non matching and again in excellent condition, and scabbard was 137.

As I record all the bayonets markings and numbers on a written database and on the desktop...it clicked as soon as I added the second.

i suppose the two purchases were 6 or so years apart, but given that I've only got 21 88/03 combinations very very lucky....always worth checking though.

 

Dave.

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