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JMB1943

Muzzle cover, SMLE

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JMB1943

I recently came upon this photo of Scottish troops on the Western Front.

Not a steel helmet in sight, so presumably well before the Somme.

Each rifle has, not only the canvas action cover that I was aware of, but also a muzzle cover.

I had not previously seen any textual reference to, or photo of, this item.

Were they an issue item, or is it likely that this was at the order of the battalion CO?  Regards, JMB208921033_SMLEMuzzlecaps.jpg.b0c95113150af4a384eab0cd69016988.jpg

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TullochArd

Nice photo.  Regarding the muzzle covers - unusual - could they be improvised? There also seem to be several soldiers with Wounded stripes which suggests the photo is some time after July 1916 rather than before July 1916 - as these stripes seem be brass (not braid) this may well bounce the photo into 1917 …….. at least.  The soldier in front rank has a couple of medal ribbons but I can't make them out.  Puttees Short and full Kilt Aprons?  Sergeant is clearly wearing flat double fishtail flashes so possibly A&SH, BW or QOCH?

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mancpal

Long service chevrons present as well.

 

Simon

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mancpal

When did goatskin jerkins stop being used? Could this help narrow down a date?

 

Simon

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mark holden

The SBR seen in the photo was in universal use from August 1916

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mancpal

Excuse my ignorance, SBR?

 

Simon

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NorthStaffsPOW

SBR: Small Box Respirator. 

 

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mancpal

Thanks,

Im not a uniform/kit person as may now be obvious.

The goatskin still interests me as I’m sure they were around early in the war but thought I’d read they were removed from service due to the smell and ability to house legions of lice. The wound stripes indicate 1917 onwards though I had thought goats were breathing easier in 1916 after the war dept stopped ordering them.

I hope to be educated.

 

Simon

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TullochArd

I'd put money on some "old sweat" Teuchter affinity in retaining the goatskins for so long.  The bulk of the blokes wearing them have clearly been around the block and these items are a visual indication of just that.  Indeed, that whole front rank has some unusually serious service crammed into it.  Unlike Leather Jerkins (right of shot) these were intended as a one off personal issue and not held/issued as pool items. 

 

As for lice I am told they are motivated by the warmth of a living body and the prospect of a short journey for a regular blood meal - so when compared to the attraction of dark kilt pleats and cosy shirt seams the goat skin seems a rather less attractive option. Very true - these items do smell! 

 

Any thoughts on the muzzle covers? The more I look at them the more I see cut up cotton bandoliers.

Edited by TullochArd

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TullochArd

Sticking with the original muzzle cover question the Royal Armouries website (https://collections.royalarmouries.org/first-world-war/type/rac-narrative-146.html) tells us that by "1916, (the rifle) was further refined as the Mark III by eliminating redundant features, by which time fabric action covers and metal muzzle covers had been issued to limit ingress of mud and water." 

 

No mention of a fabric muzzle cover there. The more I look at the photo the more I see those cut up cotton bandoliers.

 

A photo of the metal muzzle cover (GWF Post 59637/2011/18th Battalion) is attached. 

 

post-59637-086682600%201296409490[1].jpg

Edited by TullochArd

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TullochArd
23 hours ago, TullochArd said:

Nice photo.  Regarding the muzzle covers - unusual - could they be improvised? There also seem to be several soldiers with Wounded stripes which suggests the photo is some time after July 1916 rather than before July 1916 - as these stripes seem be brass (not braid) this may well bounce the photo into 1917 …….. at least.  The soldier in front rank has a couple of medal ribbons but I can't make them out.  Puttees Short and full Kilt Aprons?  Sergeant is clearly wearing flat double fishtail flashes so possibly A&SH, BW or QOCH?

 

……. last observation from me on this one - regarding dating the photo - do you think the soldier with the medal ribbons/front rank is wearing a number (at least three) overseas service chevrons?  

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mancpal

Can't see any overseas service stripes at all (right cuff). I can however see long service/good conduct chevrons (left sleeve) as mentioned in post 3. I can't see anything on the sleeve of the man with the medal ribbons.

 

Simon

Edited by mancpal

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303man

2 Variations 1st Australian dated 1950's, 2nd British.  Date wise as to when they were initially issued not sure.

IMG_0279.jpg

web_6661.jpg

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JMB1943

303man,

 

Thanks for posting those photos, the first that I have seen of official issues.

I’m a little surprised that the War Office went to the trouble of designing the all-metal flap device.

 

Regards,

JMB

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14276265

Metal protectors (Protector, muzzle, No.3, MkI) seem to have been introduced from August 1915. Attached excerpts of demands show a few orders, and also suggest a muzzle protector for the long rifle was available.

 

 

 

265

Muzzle 1.jpg

Muzzle 3.JPG

Muzzle 4.JPG

Muzzle 5.jpg

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geluveld

Interesting to see the young lad, second from right on the picture, wearing P1908 equipment with no pouches (braces fastened like a revolver-rigged P1908 set) but however having a P1903 leather bandoleer instead.

I enlarged the picture and see abosluteley no presence of either web pouces or any other revolver holster of ammunition pouch.

 

Wonder why that is for...

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Andrew Upton
5 hours ago, geluveld said:

Interesting to see the young lad, second from right on the picture, wearing P1908 equipment with no pouches (braces fastened like a revolver-rigged P1908 set) but however having a P1903 leather bandoleer instead.

I enlarged the picture and see abosluteley no presence of either web pouces or any other revolver holster of ammunition pouch.

 

Wonder why that is for...

 

1903 Pattern Bandolier Equipment was never designed to carry a large pack, and the method of carrying the greatcoat on the back is pretty poor. Given his SBR bag is clearly sat on something and everyone else is in FSMO I would suggest he was probably something like a Driver wearing the 1903 equipment originally, and the practicalities of field service have made him put together a basic system of the 1908 equipment which would allow him to have the much more practical large pack on his back (plus any other 1908 pieces less the ammunition pouches) but also retain his bandolier from the 1903 equipment (which would also be worn in walking out dress, so a necessary retention).

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Dave1418
10 hours ago, geluveld said:

Interesting to see the young lad, second from right on the picture, wearing P1908 equipment with no pouches (braces fastened like a revolver-rigged P1908 set) but however having a P1903 leather bandoleer instead.

I enlarged the picture and see abosluteley no presence of either web pouces or any other revolver holster of ammunition pouch.

 

Wonder why that is for...

Hi

He is wearing 08 equipment without the cartridge carriers, the braces which come over the shoulders and which normally fasten onto the cartridge carriers have been looped around the belt instead and secured to themselves by the large 2”  twigg buckle which you hang the valise off. Not common but can be seen in a number of pictures. As Andrew states the 03 is probably because he’s a transport driver

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