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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

SCOUT REGIMENT and SIGNALLING TELESCOPES


philsr
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Well, it was a good one, but there were better, such as N&Z's own 'Macleod' at £9-5s-0d in brass or £12-0s-0d in nickel silver (13 oz. lighter!). With an eyepiece field lens 1 7/16" in diameter, the field of view at 25x was about 1.7 degrees against the Signaller's 1.3 degrees at 15x.

I think the 'Macleod' is close to being the best general-purpose hand telescope it's possible to build, even by today's standards.

But in WW1, telling some of the top officers that Tommy should have the best available equipment would just have 'em guffawing into their brandy <_< .

Regards,

MikB

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi

Here Is the view of the MK1V** from another manual of mine.

I thought it may be of use.

post-6628-1205826747.jpg

Jonathan

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Hi

This is my favorite Telescope in my collection, It belonged to Cyril Royston Guyton Bassett VC

New Zealands only VC winner at Gallipoli it is a small 3 draw French made Telescope, he purchased when he went to the UK after Gallipoli.

post-6628-1205829184.jpg

Jonathan

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Seen reference to that spring in the eye tube before. I can only imagine that some variants of Mk.IV had erectors dropped in from the eyepiece end and the spring held them against a stop. But on my Mk.III, and on Mk.IVs that I've examined, the erector screws in to the object end of the eye tube in the usual way.

Comments?

Regards,

MikB

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Hi Mike

I found this quite unusual, as I have never seen one with this spring in any myself, I used to own a MK1V**.

Jonathan

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Gents,

I have checked a couple of my Mk IVs and they don't have springs.

I then checked my BC Mk VI and my TT&H Mk IV** and yes they have springs.

Not quite sure what the springs do as yet, I need to take the telescopes apart for that.

The high magnification lens assembly won't reach far enough down the tube to reach the spring.

philsr

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Hi all

Just some info on the stand

post-6628-1206254999.jpg

The telescope stand consists of three wooden legs

jointed at the top by a brass head A provided with " jaws "

B for holding the telescope. A buttery nut C is fitted to

tighten the " jaws ". When the stand is not in use, the

wooden block D is placed the "Jaws". Which are

then protected by a leather cup E.

A sling F is attached to one of the legs for the carrying purposes

and has at the bottom a leather bucket G to fasten the legs

together when they are closed.

Jonathan

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Gents,

I have taken the erector tubes out of my Mk IV** and Mk VI they screw in just like the Mk IV.

With the low power eyepiece fitted the spring bears against the front of the eyepiece and the back of the erector tube.

Interestingly the back lens in the erector tube was loose on my Mk VI** by a couple of turns but had not come out because the spring stopped it from unscrewing any further.

Do we know of any cases of this lens coming unscrewed in service?

I wonder if this was a nice simple modification to stop the whole erector tube or just the back lens in the erector tube coming unscrewed.

We really do need to find the original drawing sets or Illustrated Parts Manuals to establish just what was going on.

Looking at actual examples of these telescopes seems to be increasingly unreliable, for example the random distribution of long and short sun shades, eyepieces from different makers to the scope, etc. etc.

Philsr

Gents,

I have taken the erector tubes out of my Mk IV** and Mk VI they screw in just like the Mk IV.

With the low power eyepiece fitted the spring bears against the front of the eyepiece and the back of the erector tube.

Interestingly the back lens in the erector tube was loose on my Mk VI** by a couple of turns but had not come out because the spring stopped it from unscrewing any further.

Do we know of any cases of this lens coming unscrewed in service?

I wonder if this was a nice simple modification to stop the whole erector tube or just the back lens in the erector tube coming unscrewed.

We really do need to find the original drawing sets or Illustrated Parts Manuals to establish just what was going on.

Looking at actual examples of these telescopes seems to be increasingly unreliable, for example the random distribution of long and short sun shades, eyepieces from different makers to the scope, etc. etc.

Philsr

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Gents,

I have just obtained a TT&H Mk IV Tel Sig also GS, and guess what.

It's another one which isn't quite what it appears to be.

You may remember that I bought a Beck Mk IV that seemed to be post WW1 production.

Well this TT&H is even odder.

Dated 1916.

Good quality pimply black leather cover without the two short straps for the carrying strap to go through, it was probably re-covered at some time.

Cancelled Govenment Arrow.

The eyepiece lens assembly is like the Beck Mk IV that I got, i.e similar to the Scout Regiment Scope.

I am starting to think that in the 20s or 30s somebody was building bitsas out of surplus parts, and using then current parts where originals weren't available.

Any thoughts?

Philsr

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gents,

I have been doing a few sums and it's no surprise that there are a reasonable number of Tel Sigs of all Mks around.

Below are the highest serial numbers that I have recorded against various manufacturers.

Assuming of course that they did not start every year again at 1, in which case the numbers are even bigger.

Also, I obviously have not managed to record the final telescope from any of these companies and I have virtually no records for MkIs and MkIIs.

Beck - 17808

B and C - 31615

Clarkson - 2807

Consol - 545

Dallmeyer - 24766

HCR - 21701

N & G - 24364

Ross - 7447

TT & H - 35644

Ottway - 8182

Watson - 5954

That however, gives at total of 175,774, it does make you wonder just what the final total was.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gents,

I am in the process of restoring a Negretti and Zambra Tel Sig Mk III and GS telescope.

Despite having a large spares box, I have come up one piece short.

I need the Bush/Collar that screws into the back of the tapered body and sits round the largest diameter draw.

Can anyone help?

I will covers costs etc.

Philsr

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Phil,

Since all you see is the knurled flange, I'd think a recently-machined replacement would be OK. A reasonably-skilled lathe man - if you know one - should be able to turn, knurl, screwcut and bore a suitable bit of brass. I'd have go myself if I didn't already have a pile of work to find hobby-time for...

Regards,

MikB

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Gents,

I am still pondering over the differences between the Tel Sig Mk III also GS and the Mk IV.

I have looked at a N and G MkIII and Mk IV side by side.

Two different Mks from the same maker should shed some light I thought.

They both have the short sun shade.

The Mk III has the locating notch in the objective lens ring and you can just make out a witness mark where it has been machined off on the Mk IV.

The optical system appears to be the same, at least on a simple physical inspection and all of the bits seem to interchange between telescopes.

I did notice however that the Mk III did not appear to have had the draws chemically blacked, but the Mk IV did.

Checking other scopes in my collection, the others seemed to be the same, Mk III and earlier unblacked, Mk IV and later chemically blacked.

Obviously it's a bit hard to be definite, especially with the Army's habit of polishing everything and in one case I was not sure if the residual blacking was only dirt.

However with the success of German snipers in the early days of trench warfare, blacking the large exposed brass areas would have been a wise move.

Any thoughts?

Philsr

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You might have something there. Now that you mention it, I can't recall seeing a blacked Mk.III, whereas several Mk.IVs I've seen have had blacking varying from vestigial to near-mint.

But you'd think such a change in finish might be worth a * rather than a full Mark increment.

Even then it just pushes the boundary somewhere else - what about the differences between Mk.II & III then?

By the way, I don't readily recognise who N & G might be.

Regards,

MikB

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You won't recognise N & G because I can't type. Try N & Z - Negretti and Zambra

Another thing that I have noticed is that the brass eyepieces seem to have two different diameter holes in them.

On the face of it the earlier ones are smaller, but knowing how these got swapped around it's difficult to be definite.

My Dallmeyer Mk IV has eyepieces from Consol and Beck.

The only complete Mk II that I have is a Watson, and every bit is slightly different from the Mk IIIs and Mk IVs that I have.

Even the eyepieces have a different thread and the glands between the draws have the thread at the back, not the front as is usual.

It could however just be a case of one manufacturer doing their own thing.

If anyone has a Watson Mk III, perhaps I could show you mine if you showed me yours!

Philsr

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gents,

I have just bought a Tel Sig Mk IV also GS identified as 'Consol - Toronto' from Ebay and very nice it is too.

It has the filter lens cover of the Mk IV** or Mk IV.

It has the Canadian Government arrow inside a 'C'.

Who or what were 'Consol'?

I have Googled it and got nothing.

Philsr

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There was a Consol Mining Company and one might imagine their engineering department diverted to war work, but beyond that I've no idea.

It is astonishing, the completeness with which the British optics industry and that of the former colonies has disappeared, leaving almost no recoverable records except occasional products and catalogues. Firms which had worked successfully for hundreds of years in some cases, washed away like sandcastles. :-(

Regards,

MikB

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Gents,

In the nine months or so that I have been collecting data, only two Consol telescopes have come up for sale.

They were both dated 1917 and the highest serial number is 545.

Looking at mine more closely it is actually identified as a Mk IV**, which matches with the filter eyepiece covers, but the stars are very lightly engraved.

There may of course be more of them in Canada, but it looks like they were a low volume manufacturer.

In the same time fifteen R. and J. Becks have come up for sale.

I wonder if they were set up to produce the telescopes and had problems (R.E.L. had problems getting going producing Number 32 scopes in WWII) and either the contracts were cancelled or the end of the war came before they really got going.

The one that I have is actually very well made and appears to have had only light use.

The large leather end cap is stamped 7 R A with the arrow inside a C.

Could this be a regimental marking? Royal Artilliary perhaps.

The 7 could be a regiment or rack number.

This is the first time that I have seen anything like this, they are usually unmarked.

The name A. Price is scratched lightly into the leather on the scope body

All suggestions will be gratefully received.

Philsr

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Hi Phil

I have one Mk111 Ross with unit markings burnt into the leather of the body, hard to make out as the previous owner who had it for many years tried to remove the markings, sadly.

In quite large letters 2nd

?. W .?.

It looks like R.W.T or ,R.W.F. or N.W.F, or N.W.T. hard to make out being scratched off only the 2nd and W are clear

As you have said, I have only seen one other unit marked of the 100 or so telescopes I have seen

The only other numbers I have seen are white painted numbers as you said a stack number?

Jonathan

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Gents,

Another minor mystery.

I have just bought a Becks Tel Sig Mk VI of Ebay.

It's engraved as follows.

TEL SIG (Mk VI) also G.S.

/|\

I

1928

R & J BECK LTD

LONDON

No 255

The question is, what is the significance of the 'I' between the Government Arrow and the date?

Made for, or in, India perhaps?

Regards

Philsr

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The question is, what is the significance of the 'I' between the Government Arrow and the date?

Made for, or in, India perhaps?

I had a Scout regiment once with an upside-down '!' engraved beside the serial no. I dunno whether 'The Broad Arrow' by Ian Skennerton might carry information about markings like these.

Regards,

MikB

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Spot on!!

Skennerton lists the arrow over I as accepted for Indian service.

Looking at the engraving I would say that it was all done at the same time.

So unless somebody had a batch of specially engraved draw tubes made up and then fitted them to surplus telescopes I would guess that it was made for India.

The eyepiece is also marked the same way.

Regards

Phil

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So unless somebody had a batch of specially engraved draw tubes made up and then fitted them to surplus telescopes I would guess that it was made for India.

I think all the Mk.VIs I've seen before have been BC & Co. Did Beck's make any of these for Home service I wonder?

Regards,

MikB

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It would seem that H. C. Ryland made a few Mk VIs as well as B C and Co.

However the one that I have just got is the only Becks Mk VI that I have seen.

Regards

philsr

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