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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

When did ENFIELD start putting their maker's mark on the Pattern 1888 bayonet?


better late than never

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I have an Enfield Pattern 1888 MK1 2nd type bayonet (date 6 '96), with no maker's mark on the ricasso. I believe this was common with the early Enfield P1888 bayonets. My bayonet has a lot of Enfield inspection marks, but no maker's mark. Does anyone know what year Enfield started putting their mark (EFD) on the Pattern 1888?

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Your P1888 bayonet looks to be a perfectly normal Enfield manufacture from 1896 being stamped with the ^WD marking.

I believe the change over from using the ^WD to the later manufacturers mark ^EFD occurred sometime during 1897.

From my own collection I have a 3 '97 dated Enfield stamped with the ^WD, and a 4 '98 dated Enfield with the ^EFD.

 

Cheers, SS

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On 29/04/2020 at 05:51, shippingsteel said:

Your P1888 bayonet looks to be a perfectly normal Enfield manufacture from 1896 being stamped with the ^WD marking.

I believe the change over from using the ^WD to the later manufacturers mark ^EFD occurred sometime during 1897.

From my own collection I have a 3 '97 dated Enfield stamped with the ^WD, and a 4 '98 dated Enfield with the ^EFD.

 

Cheers, SS

 

On the ball there indeed - sometime in 1897, but nobody seems to have narrowed it down to a month!

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On Bayonet’s, The bulk of my collection are of the I.S.71 ( German) Family, but have I think 4 P.1888’s To me, the P1888 & P1903, same blade I think are the slickest, wicked blades ever to become bayonets, just my humble opinion

 

Does anyone have a list of the P1888 ,  1903 makers? We’re there many?

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Steve, there were the four main manufacturers/contractors of these bayonets for the British Army. They were the RSAF Enfield, Wilkinson London, Sanderson Sheffield and R. Mole of Birmingham. There were also some other manufacturers that produced smaller numbers for the commercial trade. Noteable amongst these were W.W.Greener and The Braendlin Armoury Co. During later times copies were also manufactured in various countries including South Africa, India/Pakistan and Afghanistan. Photo attached from my collection showing the variation in manufacture between the 4 main producers of the British P1888 bayonet. 

 

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The P1888s are a beautiful and strong bayonet. This is probably why the Swiss made a very similar styled bayonet (the M1918), 30 years after the P1888 was designed. Adding to shippingsteel's comments, Enfield was the largest producer of P1888s (Enfield made about 900,000 P1888s), followed by Wilkinson and then followed by Sanderson and Mole. My favourite is the Mk1, 1st type. Enfield was the sole producer of the 1st type and made only about 25,000 of these. This information comes from Messes Skennerton and Richardson, who have done a lot of research into the P1888s.

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One hesitates sometimes to talk 'aesthetics' with regard to bayonets, but yes, the P.1888, the German S. 74/88, and Swedish M.1896 are certainly all very beautiful weapons from that point of view - all nicely balanced and very functional, and a wonder of design!

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18 hours ago, Steve1871 said:

 To me, the P1888 & P1903, same blade I think are the slickest, wicked blades ever to become bayonets, just my humble opinion

 

I am very much agreed on this Steve. It becomes a problem as I find it extremely hard to leave them sitting on a table where they might not receive the same care and appreciation they deserve.!

 

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Thank’s guy’s, Hey SS, hope you don’t mind if I DROOOOOL😍🤩 over your excellent set there!!

I see on the web, the Afghanistan made was 3.5 inches ( no know metric, damn American) longer than standard British ones, are they in high demand or not liked by collector’s? Anybody’s thoughts?!

thanks again for your guys help

Steve

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  • 9 months later...

Welcome Tayste1,

 

I would agree with Andy, manufactured by Sanderson Sheffield as a p1888 Mk1 type 2.

on the one side you have the war department stamp, a Sanderson inspection stamp, and the X denotes it has passed the bend test...the spine shows two further inspection stamps.

The other side shows a Victorian cypher, a manufacturing date of 11/91 (Nov 1891) and the Sanderson manufacturers mark. The other somewhat obscure stamps on that side are inspection stamps...a clear date of 97 is there with a further three from the 1890’s.

Useful site with regards the markings here....http://oldmilitarymarkings.com/brit_bayo.html

 

Dave.

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Thanks for the information. I’ve had the bayonet for 35 years with no idea until I came across this site. It’s in rough shape but with the renewed interest and the history, now I can preserve what’s left.

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