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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Aussie .303s

Captain Dave

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Were Lithgow made .303s used overseas by Australian troops, or were they equiped with SMLE's made in the mother country when they arrived in France?

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Certainly the units that landed at Gallipoli would have been issued their rifles in Australia, and kept them.

I have read accounts from diaries of reinforcements joining their battalion in France and being issued their Unit Colour Patch, Rifle, Small Box Respirator and Helmet when they arrived.

Eventually, in an AIF unit, it was probably a mixture of British made and Lithgow made rifles.

Chris Henschke

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The production figures for Lithgow were;

1913-14 (uncertain)

1914-15 13,786

1915-16 30,460

1916-17 23.960

1917-18 23,251

1918-19 42,129

I am sure I have read in a file somewhere that about a quarter of AIF men were issued Lithgow .303s. I'll chase it up if you like.

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Yes please. I have a Lithgow SMLE dated 1918. I doubt if it saw WW1 serive, but perhaps home service in 2?

Anyway, the file ref would be good.

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Don't know if you are aware of Ian Skennerton Dave? His website is here...he is the foremost authority on this sort of this in Oz.



Tim D

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