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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Markings on butt of 1915 SMLE identification


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Looks like Australian markings.

MA - (Lithgow)   2/ 45 Date

Prefix and Serial Number (which I can't read)

and below that the remains of rifle MkIII stamp

What is stamped on the wrist of the rifle? under the bolt handle - would it be possible to see this?

BTW it makes me nervous to see a cocked rifle lying there. If you hold the trigger down while you close the bolt it won't cock.


Here is a similar example on a Lithgow Rifle manufactured in 1921 and refinished in WWII and again postwar


And an example of the serial number stamped like yours also on a Lithgow rifle


Edited by 4thGordons
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A heavily sanded butt on that rifle! 1915s are quite collectible in terms of Lithgow rifles. The stamped numbers on the butt are hard to make out but they're not serial numbers but inventory numbers. A close up on the knocks and receiver would be nice so we could see the serial number and inventory numbers on there. Attached is a pic of one of my 1915 Lithgows showing serial right down the bottom and very difficult to see in the photo and inventory number - 34137 up top for 3 Military District (Victoria)





Edited by Mattr82
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From my understanding it is a British make SMLE that was given to Australia for WW1. 
it has two sets of serial numbers and I’m of the understanding the first set have been hole punched out and another set added for re issue of WW2. 
I’m happy for any feed back, this is just my understanding from what research I have done. 
Serial Number: 2823
Stock Number: 1894

Edited by ChazFlanagan
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So this rifle was one of the 100,000+ Lee Enfields that were sent to Australia in 1919 to 1921 to replace the ones that Australia used in WW1. The D with an arrow inside signifies that this is a contract rifle for the Australian Department of Defence. The D^D with the 1 underneath means that it was used by the 1st Military District (Queensland). It was Factory thorough repaired at Lithgow Small Arms factory in February 1945. The inventory number for this rifle in 1 MD service looks to be 20513  but has been sent to another military district (Cannot make out the number above the inventory number so can't tell you what one) probably in the 1930s or when it was reused for WW2 and being given inventory number of  35423 or or 85423. The serial for the rifle is Q 2523 or 2823.


Edited by Mattr82
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