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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Australian P1888 Mk II


TdeZeeuw

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Good evening ladies and gentlemen with shared interests,

 

I have come into possession of a P1888 MkII bayonet through my grandad. We found it on one of his cupboard after he'd passed away. I know he did not fight in the War but some of his male family members did (I'm still trying to get more details from my Australian side of the family about them). It unfortunately did not have a scabbard or anything else with it. 

 

Thanks to Dave66 I've been able to figure some things out, however, I was wondering if anyone could help me figure out what I could learn from the mark V2756 on the crossguard. I now know that this is related to the Victorian state government but I have no idea when this piece could have been used in service or when it would have been shipped to Australia.

 

The bayonet was made in May 1902 by Wilkinson. I've added relevant pictures below and any insights you could share with me would be much appreciated. I've been browsing the forum the past week and think this is a pretty amazing place where so many people from different walks of life can come together to learn and share about such a fascinating and important piece of history. Thank you!

 

Cheers,

Tim20200127_231906.jpg.3684c43e23621eed3bd97b41fce6bb58.jpg20200129_172146.jpg.0076d5ba596cdbc9857b5dda3c98fa3d.jpg20200129_172243.jpg.42e909c58c29a5003f6b4add43086bd8.jpg20200129_172304.jpg.0488ab590969b81e237b0a69f6ca4f8e.jpg

And the last few photos due to size restrictions in the previous post.

20200129_172319.jpg

20200127_233522.jpg

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Hi Tim, yes your very nicely marked Patt.88 bayonet would have been sent out to Australia from England and issued in the State of Victoria. The critical points in this identification are the SOS (Sold out of Service) mark stamped on the pommel - this was applied upon leaving British service, and the V2756 stamped on the crossguard - which is the State inventory number for this particular item of weaponry. From the research I have done on these numbers I would suggest this stamping dates to about 1909.

 

Interestingly enough I am in possession of one of the rifles that your bayonet would have seen service with.! It is a BSA manufactured MLE Mk.I* dated 1901 with a 1909 dated re-barrel, and would most likely have come out in the same shipment. It is also marked to Victoria with inventory number 10,015 stamped on both receiver and buttstock. The SOS (Sold out of Service) mark is also applied. They are lovely pieces of kit.!

 

Cheers, SS

 

mle001.jpg.f9620c75cf0da52c09fc33e246cb9904.jpg

 

mle002.jpg.d2740c24b20ada2e30970488e10b734a.jpg

 

mle003.jpg.cb298db7d3458f2c0c134f5e7abf8194.jpg

 

mle004.jpg.2856d4fc538214414e992485f244fb05.jpg

 

mle005.jpg.0d372906c885e7036d434467a160701a.jpg

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dear SS,

 

Thank you for your kind reply and apologies for my late response, I couldn't return to the forum until now. That is a lovely piece you have and I am somewhat envious (in the best way). And what are the odds to find two pieces which would have been shipped together. I recently found out that my grandfather also had inherited the matching rifle but that it was taken by the police and destroyed when he passed away (my nan didn't like having it in the house). So that's rather sad news but I'm happy to see that such lovely pieces are still out there and being taken care of by enthusiasts and collectors.

 

I had one last question, if I may be so bold: the two wilkinson inspection marks on the bayonet have different numbers, a 4 on the back and the ricasso of the blade and a 49 on the handle. Do you know why these numbers are different? Are these different years in which they were inspected/approved or are these numbers specific to what is being inspected (i.e. a blade vs. a wooden grip for a handle)?

 

Once again, thank you for your reply and I look forward to being a part of this forum. I'm learning heaps and enjoying the good banter everyone is having.

 

Cheers,

 

Tim

Edited by TdeZeeuw
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10 hours ago, TdeZeeuw said:

... I recently found out that my grandfather also had inherited the matching rifle but that it was taken by the police and destroyed when he passed away (my nan didn't like having it in the house).

 

... the two wilkinson inspection marks on the bayonet have different numbers, a 4 on the back and the ricasso of the blade and a 49 on the handle. Do you know why these numbers are different? Are these different years in which they were inspected/approved or are these numbers specific to what is being inspected (i.e. a blade vs. a wooden grip for a handle)?

 

Hi Tim, that is sad news about the rifle...

 

Yes, in a way, those different numbers are specific to what is being inspected. A typical P.1888 would have at least three on the bayonet blade - one on the righ ricasso and two on the tang above the ricasso, all repersenting different stages of inspection, and a fourth on the wooden grips.

 

Julian

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11 hours ago, TdeZeeuw said:

I had one last question, if I may be so bold: the two wilkinson inspection marks on the bayonet have different numbers, a 4 on the back and the ricasso of the blade and a 49 on the handle. Do you know why these numbers are different? Are these different years in which they were inspected/approved or are these numbers specific to what is being inspected (i.e. a blade vs. a wooden grip for a handle)?

 

The numbers that are found on the Inspection markings relate to the individual Inspector who "viewed" a certain process. And each Inspector was allocated a different number which they used in their stamping. Similar to a modern QA certification process as each stage of the manufacturing was inspected/viewed and approved, the Inspector's stamp was applied and this allowed any later issues to be traced back to the individual Inspector involved. Different Inspectors were in charge of "viewing" different stages so that is why you see the various different numbers on the weaponry.

 

Cheers, SS 

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The two on the tang - lower one is the inspector's mark after tempering, etc., the upper one after polishing. The one on the ricasso is the final inspector's mark, when it was passed ready for issue. So, goes with the 'X' mark.:thumbsup:

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3 minutes ago, trajan said:

The two on the tang - lower one is the inspector's mark after tempering, etc., the upper one after polishing. The one on the ricasso is the final inspector's mark, when it was passed ready for issue. So, goes with the 'X' mark.:thumbsup:

 

I mean the tang part over the ricasso! not the part between the grips!

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