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1907 hooked Quillon Bayonet HELP PLEASE!


Donnak
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I just to add some clarification to rifles sent to the Dardanelles with the AIF in late 1914/early 1915. I have been looking into the history of subsequent rifle/weapon allocation to the AIF and have been using numerous resources including some military historians. A fantastic resource has been the collector magazine issue #25 as well as chatting to Ian Skennerton and AWM/Unit resources.

 

When the AIF was raised in August 1914, there was a HUGE requirement for weapons, uniforms and other kit for soldiers to deploy within a few short months. The British Govt put to the Australian Government that it needed as many SMLEs sent to assist the 'mother country'. On paper this looks like Australia sent as much as it could directly to the UK however the Official History of the AIF puts it into context

 

"The first contingents of the A.I.F. required most of the British rifles then in Australia. The Lithgow factory was only just coming into production, and could not be expected to turn out much more than 12,000 a year. Early in 1915 the Defence Department found that it could equip reinforcements only by taking rifles from its home defence army, and by the end of the year these would be exhausted. As this made it difficult to offer more troops for service at the front, early in April, 1915, the British Government was appealed to. The reply (June 17th) was that Great Britain could not at that time equip even her own trained troops. The Colonial Secretary suggested that Lithgow should work double shift, and this was done; but, even so, the output was only 2,000 rifles per month, and the monthly reinforcements then required at least 5,000. The War Office promised to supply rifles as soon as possible. In July it agreed to send them for all reinforcements from October onwards, and thus the crisis passed. A year later the War Office stated that it was able to meet all requirements of dominion forces. "

 

Going off the estimated 70 - 75,000 British made rifles and 10,000 Lithgow made rifles in the system by October 1914 and the early statements by the Australian Government that "Early in 1915 the Defence Department found that it could equip reinforcements only by taking rifles from its home defence army, and by the end of the year these would be exhausted" it shows that all the rifles sent to assist Britain in late 1914, went with the AIF. And so the question posed would be 'how else would the AIF fight if it didn't have any rifles as they'd been sent to England'? From Ocotber 1915 onwards, Lithgow rifles were directed to bolster up the Australian stocks of SMLEs to train AIF recruits and assist in outfitting the CMF. This means that a total of 95,000 Australian SMLEs were dispatched from late 1914 until October 1915 (With 10,000 remaining in Australia)

 

The ammunition used on Gallipoli was MK VI and in Europe it was Mk VII. So when the AIF returned to Egypt, it quickly needed to reorg. There was very little time to have all the AIF s Mk VI sighted rifles upgraded so they basically did a full swap - one for one. The Brits took our older British SMLEs and Australian made SMLEs and promised the AIF that it would be re-equipped in Britain. This occurred at Lark Hill etc. So the Brits then packed up all the rifles we handed in and sent them to Britain for refurb. However, the AIF kept its bayonets from pre-war and Gallipoli issued stocks. Even in late 1916, the AIF still had HQ bayonets and this is seen on examples from Pozieres etc. New recruits being outfitted in Lark Hill from Apr 1916 onwards got the the newer P1907 bayonets. Australia kept all these bayonets and returned them back to Australia in 1918/1919+.

 

So what happened to the Australian rifles handed in and sent for refurb in England? Well, they were sent to Sparkbrook and RSAF for those refurbs. They will have a myriad of English markings ranging from UK barrels, English proof markings from EFD or Sparkbrook, and if they went through the EFD factory specifically, they will have a 'X' above the old serial number and have Australian markings scrubbed off the receiver. This doesn't appear to be the case for Sparkbrook refurbs though. Once complete, they were sent back to the 4th Army which consisted of Britain, Australia, NZ, Sth Africa and Canada. We do see a few 1914 Lithgows with Sth African markings and I too have one with Sth African markings with an Sth African acceptance date of  '8.18'. My second 1914 Lithgow has Canadian markings which is interesting. My 1913 Lithgow has EFD proofs, Australian markings scrubbed and many UK parts of WW1 vintage which shows that this rifle required a significant overhaul. The fore end is EFD made but is serial numbered to the rifle. It must have been either so worn out or damaged that it required this many parts to rebuild it.

 

The rifles that did stay back in Australia typically have a CMF stamp with the MD below it. So people that own early Lithgows with a CMF stamp on the butt and claim these rifles to have been used on Gallipoli.....unlikely to have occurred. However there was a batch of 1917 Lithgows sent to France in early 1918 with the serial number range of 74,000 to approx 79,000. These would have been marked CMF and this is borne out by PTE Giles rifle at the AWM. The reason why these were sent and not UK rifles used is unknown.

 

The rifles used in Palestine by Australian forces were still Mk VI sighted all the way through till 1918 and it's likely that all these rifles returned home in 1918 and weren't handed in for refurb to the Brits in Egypt. Good examples are likely to be pre-war, have no CMF markings and show signs of being sent to other MDs once a reorganisation of Australian equipment begun in 1921 onwards. My 1908 Enfield sent to WA in June 1910 is a good example.

 

Anyways, I've waffled on but I do love a chat!

 

 

 

Edited by Mattr82
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Outstanding research and a lot of fascinating new (for me) information - no waffle here -  thanks for posting. 
 

When you refer to SMLE’s being sighted for Mk VI ammunition, what exactly did that entail ? Was it simply a different profile for the rear sight ramp or was there more to it ?

 

Pete

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1 hour ago, Pete_C said:

Outstanding research and a lot of fascinating new (for me) information - no waffle here -  thanks for posting. 
 

When you refer to SMLE’s being sighted for Mk VI ammunition, what exactly did that entail ? Was it simply a different profile for the rear sight ramp or was there more to it ?

 

Pete

 

In essence yes. The MkVII ammunition had a spitzer (pointed) bullet and had a higher velocity / flatter trajectory so the gradations on the rear sight were off this was corrected by reprofiling the ramp as you suggest. Rifles sighted from MkVII ammunition were stamped HV (high velocity) on the barrel flat just behind the rear sight.

The magazine feed lips also needed to be modified slightly to allow the pointed MkVII bullets to feed reliably.

Chris

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6 hours ago, Pete_C said:

Outstanding research and a lot of fascinating new (for me) information - no waffle here -  thanks for posting. 
 

When you refer to SMLE’s being sighted for Mk VI ammunition, what exactly did that entail ? Was it simply a different profile for the rear sight ramp or was there more to it ?

 

Pete

Here is a link to a thread of mine where i discribe (with photos) the changes to the sights on a MkIII 

 

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12 hours ago, 4thGordons said:

 

In essence yes. The MkVII ammunition had a spitzer (pointed) bullet and had a higher velocity / flatter trajectory so the gradations on the rear sight were off this was corrected by reprofiling the ramp as you suggest. Rifles sighted from MkVII ammunition were stamped HV (high velocity) on the barrel flat just behind the rear sight.

The magazine feed lips also needed to be modified slightly to allow the pointed MkVII bullets to feed reliably.

Chris

Thanks Chris. 
I have a 1915 Lithgow with original barrel which is not stamped ‘HV’ - would that indicate it’s still configured for MK VI ammunition ?

 

Pete

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8 hours ago, 5thBatt said:

Here is a link to a thread of mine where i discribe (with photos) the changes to the sights on a MkIII 

 

Excellent post and super photos - thanks for the link.

 

Pete

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6 hours ago, Pete_C said:

Thanks Chris. 
I have a 1915 Lithgow with original barrel which is not stamped ‘HV’ - would that indicate it’s still configured for MK VI ammunition ?

 

Pete

I would think so, yes - you could perhaps compare the profile of the sight ramp to the pics provided by 5thBttn to confirm.

My 1915 Lithgow has has a "heavy" barrel fitted so not original.

Chris

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Here's an example of the different sight beds for Mk VI and MK VII. On the left is a 1916 Lithgow with MK VII sight bed and on he right is a 1915 Lithgow with a Mk VI sight bed. The Mk VI sight bed is more rounded and taller to account for the slower muzzle velocity of the Mk VI.

 

Untitled.png.dca9388f99b007686903c5233b7f1375.pngHere's an

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8 hours ago, Mattr82 said:

Here's an example of the different sight beds for Mk VI and MK VII. On the left is a 1916 Lithgow with MK VII sight bed and on he right is a 1915 Lithgow with a Mk VI sight bed. The Mk VI sight bed is more rounded and taller to account for the slower muzzle velocity of the Mk VI.

 

Untitled.png.dca9388f99b007686903c5233b7f1375.pngHere's an

Excellent comparison, thanks. I’ll check it out and post some photos. I have a number of other longstanding questions about the rifle which I imagine you’ll be able to answer !

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 14/04/2021 at 17:55, Mattr82 said:

I just to add some clarification to rifles sent to the Dardanelles with the AIF in late 1914/early 1915....

 

Rifles are not exactly my cup of tea - says he writing here in Turkey on ANZAC day ! - but a very interesting read. Thanks!

 

Julian 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
On 22/03/2021 at 16:02, Donnak said:

I’m new to all this, so apologies for my ignorance on this matter. I have been trying to find out on line if this is worth keeping!

Been using it to stir paint in tins  for years , a friend advised maybe I should check out exactly what it is before I continue using it. To be honest it looks in terrible shape,  Missing handle and do on. All I figured out was it is a 1907 Quillon Bayonet with a Issue date of 6’09 ,

NSW 1381.

 

Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I understand whatever time this bayonet was from, it is not worth much money wise because the condition is terrible, that’s totally fine,  however if it was used in war, I feel out of respect, I should store it away in a safe place .

I live in Australia.. 

Thank you 
 

3CE3ECDF-BA80-43F5-AF17-14ECF8997259.jpeg

2FFB769C-9EC3-49E6-BDC3-4B7009D49F0D.jpeg

Hi mate,

this is a valuable P1907 hooked quillon bayonet. It is EXTREMELY rare and can go for upwards of $1500! The small X indicates the bend test, the upwards arrow is the government acceptance mark and finally the EFD is a standard marking.

it was made in June 1909 and was used throughout 1915-1916.it has an out of Service mark with means it was handed in to the military after use and sold later on for Around $50-$200. It was made by EFD small arms factory located in Australia. Hope this helps

Michael

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1 hour ago, MA57 said:

. It was made by EFD small arms factory located in Australia. Hope this helps

Michael

?? 

EFD (is RSAF Enfield, Enfield Lock - London, UK) 

Chris

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On 10/07/2021 at 17:37, MA57 said:

this is a valuable P1907 hooked quillon bayonet. It is EXTREMELY rare and can go for upwards of $1500! The small X indicates the bend test, the upwards arrow is the government acceptance mark and finally the EFD is a standard marking.

it was made in June 1909 and was used throughout 1915-1916.it has an out of Service mark with means it was handed in to the military after use and sold later on for Around $50-$200. It was made by EFD small arms factory located in Australia. Hope this helps

Michael

 

On 10/07/2021 at 18:52, 4thGordons said:

?? 

EFD (is RSAF Enfield, Enfield Lock - London, UK) 

There are so many inaccauracies in that first post - 4G was being kind just to point out one...

They are NOT extremely rare. Rarer than the ones without a hook, yes, but I have managed to collect (accumulate, rather!) 6-8 or so here in Turkey, where prices are high, over the past 10 or so years and have never paid more than about USD 500. Scarcity drives prices up, true, but new collectors buying regardless of price and / or condition makes it worse.

These were in use as late as the 1940s by the Australian Navy. Somehow they had escaped de-hooking...

It is, in my opinion, highly unlikey that any surviving HQ saw active service in WW1. The evidence is circumstantial, but most / many in service in WW1 seem to have been de-hooked by armourers. I am not saying that no surviving examples ever saw service in WW1 - I have examples marked for units that served on the west front - but just that it is unlikley that they did so.  In 1914, the standard P1907 bayonet was available: some regular units certainly had stocks of HQ's, but thousands must have been lost at, e.g., Le Cateau, while others were de-hooked during regular servicing.

The SOService mark means it was originally assigned to the British army, then 'sold out of service' to supply the Australian and/or New Zealand  - or other - forces.

MA 57, I would like to welcome you to GWForum, and I do, but please check your 'facts' before spouting out!:thumbsup:

Trajan

 

and 

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On 01/04/2021 at 23:33, Chasemuseum said:

 3) I had always wondered when the MD mark was applied

The Military District system was introduced some time in the first decade of the 20th century, with the first major alteration to the system in 1911. If you follow the link to the AWM website in my original post, they explain the system in detail but unfortunately do not give the actual year of introduction. There is ongoing debate about when the MD and serial number marks were stamped on bayonets. I am not convinced when it started, I would like to think that it predated the start of WW1 but am unsure. It was definitely in use by the early 20s. If someone has good research to give a firm start date, I would love to see it. 

Cheers

Ross   

The move from marking the State abbreviation to that of the Military District (MD) did in fact happen prior to WWI (late 1913). The following attachments are taken directly from Standing Orders for the Equipment of the Commonwealth Military Forces - Part I - General (Department of Defence, 1909) and include amendments. 

These orders were used to dictate the scale of issues of Arms and Equipment to the the Commonwealth Military Forces. The attached instructions from the chapter on Marking Equipment and are in relation to the Marking of Arms. These Standing Orders are quoted in AIF Orders when quoting 'Tables of Equipment to be Taken Abroad', so were very much in use during the war years.

The following orders speak for itself, there was an amendment in 1913 promulgated in Military Orders (MO) though not dated is likely to be from approximately November 1913. Starting with the abbreviations used throughout these Standing Orders, I'll follow with the original entry (struck out as applicable) followed by the replacement paragraphs, the last attachment (para 155) is quoted in both original (1909) and amended (1913) instructions.

It should be remembered that though there are distinct orders for marking items to be taken on mobilization - They will not be marked with a date of issue - the sheer volume of equipment required saw Units of the Citizen Forces being stripped of 'issued' stores. 

This can now put to bed any doubt as to when this change took place.

I know the AWM holds copies of the MOs, so if anyone reading this who, is heading to the AWM, feels inspired to locate MO 641/13 and provide the date this amendment was promulgated it would help narrow down further the period this change took place and be very much appreciated. 

Dan

Abreviations (1909).jpeg

para 162 (1909).jpeg

para 164 (1909).jpeg

para 162 (1913).jpeg

para 155 (1909).jpeg

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6 hours ago, Fromelles said:

The move from marking the State abbreviation to that of the Military District (MD) did in fact happen prior to WWI (late 1913). The following attachments are taken directly from Standing Orders for the Equipment of the Commonwealth Military Forces - Part I - General (Department of Defence, 1909) and include amendments. 

These orders were used to dictate the scale of issues of Arms and Equipment to the the Commonwealth Military Forces. The attached instructions from the chapter on Marking Equipment and are in relation to the Marking of Arms. These Standing Orders are quoted in AIF Orders when quoting 'Tables of Equipment to be Taken Abroad', so were very much in use during the war years.

The following orders speak for itself, there was an amendment in 1913 promulgated in Military Orders (MO) though not dated is likely to be from approximately November 1913. Starting with the abbreviations used throughout these Standing Orders, I'll follow with the original entry (struck out as applicable) followed by the replacement paragraphs, the last attachment (para 155) is quoted in both original (1909) and amended (1913) instructions.

It should be remembered that though there are distinct orders for marking items to be taken on mobilization - They will not be marked with a date of issue - the sheer volume of equipment required saw Units of the Citizen Forces being stripped of 'issued' stores. 

This can now put to bed any doubt as to when this change took place.

I know the AWM holds copies of the MOs, so if anyone reading this who, is heading to the AWM, feels inspired to locate MO 641/13 and provide the date this amendment was promulgated it would help narrow down further the period this change took place and be very much appreciated. 

Dan

Abreviations (1909).jpeg

para 162 (1909).jpeg

para 164 (1909).jpeg

para 162 (1913).jpeg

para 155 (1909).jpeg

Hi there… Firstly I would like to sincerely thank all for their immensely informative replies. So much knowledge from all the members. I ACTUALLY HAVE A WEEKEND TRIP BOOKED FOR CANBERRA NEXT MONTH JUST TO GO TO THE AWM.  HOWEVER I LIVE IN THE GREATER SYDNEY AREA (N.S.W) AND WE HAVE BEEN PLACED IN LOCKDOWN FOR COVID ! Hopefully we are out of lockdown by next month so I can go. I will take this information you have kindly given and look for the MO copies you have recommended and post here the findings. Please note: I am extremely inexperienced on this topic and I am still only learning….  From the replies I have received, I am assuming my particular Bayonet was not used in War times ? I understand the value money wise of this bayonet is extremely low, the origin and placement/use of this bayonet is what is important to me. ITEMS USED IN THE WAR I FEEL MUST BE TREATED WITH RESPECT, JUST AS THE BRAVE SOLDIERS THAT USED THEM SHOULD BE. It looks like I may never find out this information for my bayonet due to the inconsistency of the markings. And like many on here have stated it may only be conjecture, but it seems my bayonet may have been a non service one ?  (To be honest the more in-depth markings I am finding hard to understand) If I can get down to the AWM next month I will endeavour to gather that information you have recommended… Once again “I apologise for my ignorance on this” 

I DO HOWEVER GREATLY APPRECIATE ALL WHOM HAVE POSTED THEIR EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE ON THIS SUBJECT.. 

Many, many thanks 😊 

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7 hours ago, Donnak said:

I ACTUALLY HAVE A WEEKEND TRIP BOOKED FOR CANBERRA NEXT MONTH JUST TO GO TO THE AWM.  HOWEVER I LIVE IN THE GREATER SYDNEY AREA (N.S.W) AND WE HAVE BEEN PLACED IN LOCKDOWN FOR COVID ! Hopefully we are out of lockdown by next month so I can go. I will take this information you have kindly given and look for the MO copies you have recommended and post here the findings.

HI Donnak,

If you do manage to get yourself to the AWM library the Military Orders (MO) are easily accessible (or at least were when I was last there).

These are very thick volumes, however with the reference MO 641 for the year 1913 it should be quite easily located. The MOs were issued weekly and bound together at the end of the year (or six months during the war years). Once you have located this particular MO it is only a case of thumbing back to the start of the MO issued for that week and it will state the date the order being promulgated along with an index of its contents, some weeks can be quite sparse while other weeks there is much produced.

Anyway if you do go to the AWM and manage to get a copy it will identify more closely when these amendments to the change of markings took effect.

A quick search indicates the AWM also holds copies of the Standing orders for the mobilization of the military forces of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1911 which the last attachment I posted above refers to. It may be worth checking out to see if there is any reference to the marking of Arms on mobilization. 

Any efforts are appreciated, and have yourself a great (and Covid safe) trip.

Dan

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3 hours ago, Fromelles said:

HI Donnak,

If you do manage to get yourself to the AWM library the Military Orders (MO) are easily accessible (or at least were when I was last there).

These are very thick volumes, however with the reference MO 641 for the year 1913 it should be quite easily located. The MOs were issued weekly and bound together at the end of the year (or six months during the war years). Once you have located this particular MO it is only a case of thumbing back to the start of the MO issued for that week and it will state the date the order being promulgated along with an index of its contents, some weeks can be quite sparse while other weeks there is much produced.

Anyway if you do go to the AWM and manage to get a copy it will identify more closely when these amendments to the change of markings took effect.

A quick search indicates the AWM also holds copies of the Standing orders for the mobilization of the military forces of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1911 which the last attachment I posted above refers to. It may be worth checking out to see if there is any reference to the marking of Arms on mobilization. 

Any efforts are appreciated, and have yourself a great (and Covid safe) trip.

Dan

Hi there Dan. Fingers crossed 🤞 our restrictions are eased by mid next month. I am looking forward to the trip, which is specifically to go to AWM as I have not been there since I was a child! Anyway I hope you don’t mind, I have just printed out both your replies to ensure I have all the correct details and references. My son is obsessed with war time history all the back to the Battle of Megiddo in 1479 BCE ,  so I will have a great little assistant to help me obtain the information, However my teenage daughter who I am also taking 😳 not so much 😆 Thank you once again for your advice and knowledge regarding my Bayonet. I will post on here our findings regarding the Military Orders from the AWM.. 
 

Many thanks Donnak 

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  • 1 month later...
On 22/03/2021 at 16:02, Donnak said:

I’m new to all this, so apologies for my ignorance on this matter. I have been trying to find out on line if this is worth keeping!

Been using it to stir paint in tins  for years , a friend advised maybe I should check out exactly what it is before I continue using it. To be honest it looks in terrible shape,  Missing handle and do on. All I figured out was it is a 1907 Quillon Bayonet with a Issue date of 6’09 ,

NSW 1381.

 

Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I understand whatever time this bayonet was from, it is not worth much money wise because the condition is terrible, that’s totally fine,  however if it was used in war, I feel out of respect, I should store it away in a safe place .

I live in Australia.. 

Thank you 
 

3CE3ECDF-BA80-43F5-AF17-14ECF8997259.jpeg

2FFB769C-9EC3-49E6-BDC3-4B7009D49F0D.jpeg

Would you be interested in selling it?

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