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Unusual bayonet markings


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#1 Jezzageorge

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:52 AM

I have recently acquired a Sanderson made1907 pattern bayonet with a hooked quillon and the unit markings on the pommel are unusual.
B over 1923....and 5 numbers stamped into the crossguard. It does not seem to correspond to any British or Commonwealth unit that I can find, unless it is the Bankers , the 26th Bn The Royal Fusiliers..Has anybody seen similar markings ?

#2 smleenfield

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:16 AM

Good clear pictures would be a great help if you can supply them.

#3 shippingsteel

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:05 AM

Has anybody seen similar markings ?


I do have a P1903 bayonet that was made at Enfield in 1905 that has such a B serial (B 912) stamped on the pommel, see the photo below.
It also has a previous regimental marking that was cancelled out, which indicated issue to (2SR) 2nd Batt. Cameronians (the Scottish Rifles)

I have no idea what the B stands for, but if you could post a photo it would be helpful to check if the stamping was done with the same style/font.

Cheers, S>S

Attached File  P1903sr3.jpg   86.01KB   3 downloads

#4 Jezzageorge

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:31 AM

https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=C747D609D841997E!194&authkey=!AGiWcVq44_QPnGQ


Hi...I hope this helps..

#5 shippingsteel

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:21 AM

Well they are obviously no relation ... very strange markings indeed. And if that is a 'rack number' (1923) it would seem to be far too high for a British regiment.?

Cheers, S>S

Attached File  hooky 001.jpg   80.76KB   0 downloads

#6 Jezzageorge

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:39 AM

It was suggested to me that this seems " very Australian " .but this could not be ! I think that the " Bankers " 26th Bn Royal Fusiliers is the most likely unit..

#7 shippingsteel

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:09 AM

Yeah, my feeling is NOT Australian and NOT British, the orientation is all wrong for either of those style of markings ... British markings are from the top down, so ...
Lets see what other markings are on it, could you possibly show the crossguard numbers you mentioned, and also shots of both ricasso just out of interest please.?

Cheers, S>S

#8 Jezzageorge

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:15 PM

Hi... I have managed a couple more photos..Having again looked through Skennerton's Broad Arrow book, I see on page 126 B for Brandon College in Canada...Perhaps this is the one !!! I have thought of Barbados too, being a British outpost.....


https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=C747D609D841997E!194&authkey=!AGiWcVq44_QPnGQ

#9 shippingsteel

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:47 AM

Now we're getting down to it.! As with all these type of markings you really need to look at the overall picture to try to build a case based around the period and the context.
So while the bayonet may have been manufactured in Britain in 1910, it does not mean it necessarily stayed there or that the markings are necessarily from British service.
The major clue here is the conjoined arrows mark on the pommel which indicates it was sold out from British service (the SOS mark) usually to one of the 'lesser colonies'.

Cheers, S>S

Attached File  pommel.jpg   60.45KB   0 downloads

#10 shippingsteel

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 03:58 AM

This 'sold out of service' mark is commonly seen on the period Hook Quillon (and later HQR) bayonets that were sent out to Australia prior to the Great War.
These were then usually stamped with the corresponding state ownership mark on the pommel or crossguard. However this crossguard marking is different.

From my own experience I believe that this example may have been sold to New Zealand. I have seen other examples marked on the guard in this fashion.
And they also had other markings which indicated they had seen NZ service. Note also that these (possibly ownership) numbers have been 'cancelled out'.

So this brings us back to the original B serial on the pommel.? Still a mystery but I doubt it is a unit marking, much more likely a matching rifle serial number.

Cheers, S>S

Attached File  crossguard.jpg   72.05KB   1 downloads

#11 smleenfield

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:40 AM

In my honest opinion the B 1923 is probably the serial # of a rifle it was assigned to. I do have a lot of problems with the original maker and date stamps. They are so bad it looks like they were done during war time manufacture where they were stamped out as fast as possible. I down loaded the picture and ran it through several photo editing programs and found the following problems. The name Sanderson looks like it was done with individual stamps as the spacing is uneven. Also it has a curve to it and is not straight from one end to the other. The S in the son portion of the name looks like a 9 and not an S. The O has been double struck. The A has been struck harder on the left side and is displacing part of the S to its left. The 4 is a very different font and size from all the other markings. Both of the N's show only a diagonal mark. The period next to the R in E.R. is below the R and not to the right of it. There is also a ghost R to the right of the ER marking. I believe the markings may be fake. This is just my opinion of course but I have a fake Hooked Quillion that was done better then this one.Attached File  1.jpg   98.97KB   2 downloads

#12 shippingsteel

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:04 AM

In my honest opinion the B 1923 is probably the serial # of a rifle it was assigned to. I do have a lot of problems with the original maker and date stamps ...


I agree that the serial number may well relate to the rifle it was matched too. As for your other points, I do see where you are coming from and I also had misgivings initially ...
Enough so to make me get out my own Sanderson from the period to compare the markings. The closest one I have was made in December of 1909, so only 5 months apart.

After checking it out I was satisfied that it was OK, there are far more similarities than differences, and dies were always getting worn out and creating missing parts of strikes.
As for the different size of the numerals marking the date, this too is common to see on the earlier hookies ... but I agree that it often sparks a lot of suspicion amongst the wary.

Apart from the markings on the ricasso, there are also other ways to check if an example has been faked, in so far as all the makers had tell-tale differences in their build style.
Having checked through my check list and compared closely with a period example (incidentally that was also shipped down to Australia) personally my feeling was that it's OK.

Cheers, S>S

Attached File  155.JPG   103.56KB   2 downloads

#13 Jezzageorge

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:49 PM

I have had a look at some of my other bayonets of this period and I was surprised to see a 1912 Wilkinson hooky which was not brilliantly stamped either. Lets face it, some of these stampings could have been done by apprentices or people with poor eye sight...My bayonets are all genuine and it has been suggested that the one I am inquiring about had ended up in New Zealand and matched up to an Australian made rifle after the Great War..Hence the B coding....!00,00 were completed by 1941...

#14 shippingsteel

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:44 PM

If it was sent out to New Zealand prior to the war, it would have been matched with a British SMLE, and quite possibly an early Enfield which did have the B serials.
I don't think an Australian made Lithgow rifle really fits the picture as 1) B serial Lithgows would be much later, and 2) the crossguard and pommel fonts are identical.

Cheers, S>S

#15 Jezzageorge

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:49 AM

The mystery deepens... Thanks