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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Lee Enfield WW1 Gun markings


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Hi there,


I am writing on behalf of a friend who received this WW1 gun from his father. I do not know a lot of information about it, however, i was wondering if i could get some clarification on the other markings. Also, why the serial numbers were crossed out.


See photos. 

Thanks in advance for the help!


IMG_4133 2 copy.jpg

IMG_4134 copy.jpg

Edited by talisalouise
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Hi Talisa,


Can't help you with the markings but suggest you put Lee-Enfield in the thread title. There are a few collectors of them on the forum.



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  • talisalouise changed the title to Lee Enfield WW1 Gun markings

The majority of those shown are Australian ownership markings /issue markings (D^D)


3.39 is probably a date I think (March '39)


The serial number of the rifle is E7322

28368 is an Australian inventory/issue number (I cannot remember the correct name) 


If I had to guess I would say this is a later war British produced rifle supplied to Australia at the end of the war as repayment for the rifles Australia sent to the UK at the outset.


Any chance of an overview pic of the rifle or details on it's manufactuer? (marked on right side of the wrist of the rifle).


I am going to guess it shows something like








Edited by 4thGordons
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Looking again - it looks like there is a 1 over the D^D on the butt - I was going to say this probably indicates the 1st Military District (Aust) which was Queensland with HQ in Brisbane but I believe this structure changed (in March 1939 - which would match date) to "Northern Command" or "Northern District".


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The Butt stock number is the same as the struck out rifle serial number. 28368


The striking out of the serial number would have occurred during a factory thorough refurbishment, which most likely included the fitting of a new barrel. So the barrel markings under the rear upper handguard would be interesting (this just clips off, it is held in place by two spring clips), and was normally removed by the soldier during rifle cleaning.


Very large numbers of Australian rifles were FTR in the early 20s at Lithgow SAF. Then in the late 30s the process started up again. 


The only dismantling of the rifle permitted by the soldier was removal of the bolt, removal of the magazine, removal of the magazine follower and spring from the magazine and removal of the rear upper hand guard. We used to remove the bolthead as well but were not meant to do this. All other dismantling was meant to be done under the supervision of an armourer.


There are several members who know a great deal more about SMLE markings than I do. With all of the markings the history of the life of the rifle should become apparent. The positive feature is that this rifle does not appear to have suffered the fate of so many after leaving the military service, of being broken into parts in a work shop, cleaned, reblued and rebuilt with a combination of different parts to make a pretty rifle for the commercial market.



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50 minutes ago, Chasemuseum said:

The Butt stock number is the same as the struck out rifle serial number. 28368



In this case do not think this (28368)  is the rifle serial number - I believe this is an Australian added inventory/issue number.


The rifle's serial number (original)  is E7322 and if the parts are original I would bet this number is stamped on the rear of the bolt handle, the underside of the rear sight, and the foresight protector (and possibly even the foreend).


If it is a British made rifle (which I believe it is)

an E prefix would be consistent with

1917 BSA production

or 1909, 1913, 1916/17/18 Enfield production


If it were an early supplied rifle the 1909 might make sense but then I would suspect MD markings or state marking (NSW etc)

I think this is probably a late war BSA rifle (most I have seen are) or possibly an produced Enfield rifle.


I am not sure when or why the striking our would have occurred - my sense is perhaps when the rifle was transferred from the Northern Command or sold out of service.


I have several Lithgow rifles and Lithgow FTR rifles which have these additional numbers (in addition to the rifles's serial) and I think at least one with it XXX'd out as here I will check and report back. (IIRC it is the yellow banded DP rifle I shared pics of recently) However Lithgow FTR'd rifles are almost always pretty clearly marked with FTR stamps which are not obvious here. In addition to the markings under the upper handgaurd overall views of the rifle would be good (for example does it have the milled foresight protector with holes in it etc) - there is no obvious sign of the phosphate finish of WWII and later FTRs






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Thanks for those - nice rifle and bayonet but unfortunately the new pictures are not any more informative than the ones you posted originally - what is needed is pictures of the markings stamped into the metal.


Please take a close up of the markings on the right side of the metal band between the butt and the body of the stock (between the trigger guard and where the bolt hangs down). That is where the maker mark usually is found. 




Edited by Tom K
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