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Remembered Today:

Lancashire Fusilier

WW1 Grenades both British and Enemy.

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Tom Morgan

Thanks for that, LF - really interesting stuff, which I was very glad to see.

Tom

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Lancashire Fusilier

Thanks for that, LF - really interesting stuff, which I was very glad to see.

Tom

Tom,

I am pleased you found it interesting.

As you read Major Ainslie's accounts and detailed instructions, which he writes in a very matter of fact way, you can almost place yourself in amongst the trench raiding party and be with them on one of their raids, and then you start to realize just how brave these men were as they embarked on their trench raids, which in reality, were very much a case of kill or be killed.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Setting out on a trench raid.

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calibre792x57.y

RobL, - Re the vaseline. When arming Mills bombs it was usual to grease the spring and striker, putting plenty around the hole in the casing to help keep out moisture. However as a matter of course I can tell you that there was no grease or vaseline supplied with the boxed bombs - in my past career I opened scores of boxed No.36 grenades to remove the base discs which were obsolete and simply thrown away. No vaseline - in fact its presence would have occasioned some ribaldry! SW

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Dave1418

I have a different interior to the detonator tin previously pictured, it is of a fibre board type construction with a spacer between the top and bottom sets of boards. It would make the tin lighter than the solid wooden block that is sometimes seen

Dave

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Lancashire Fusilier

I have a different interior to the detonator tin previously pictured, it is of a fibre board type construction with a spacer between the top and bottom sets of boards. It would make the tin lighter than the solid wooden block that is sometimes seen

Dave

Dave,

If, you are able to post a photograph of your Detonator Tin and its interior that would be much appreciated.

Regards,

LF

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Dave1418

Hi LF

I will post the picture of the original divider over the next couple of days but the tin is unfortunately a repro

Dave

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SLandSoldiers

Mills Bomb - Workings diagram.

Mills Bomb - Detonator storage tin.

The Above Book Can Be Downloaded Free At The Link Below:

http://archive.org/details/handgrenadeshand00ainsrich

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Matthew

LF,

Thank you so much. One of the few things that I ever discussed with my grandfather about his Great War service (because I was only a lad and he was understandably reticent) was that he was a bomber in his regiment (6th Beds). He described the fuses as being pink as I recall and he mentioned a 'biscuit tin' in which they were kept. It was curiously moving to see your pictures of that tin.

M

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Lancashire Fusilier

LF,

Thank you so much. One of the few things that I ever discussed with my grandfather about his Great War service (because I was only a lad and he was understandably reticent) was that he was a bomber in his regiment (6th Beds). He described the fuses as being pink as I recall and he mentioned a 'biscuit tin' in which they were kept. It was curiously moving to see your pictures of that tin.

M

Matthew,

I am pleased that the photograph brought back fond memories of your grandfather, and his WW1 service.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

I am pleased to share another item from my Collection, a Mills Bomb/Grenade No.5 Mk.I dated October, 1916.

This all original example date marked 10/16 ( October 1916 ) was manufactured by C.A. Vandervell & Co., also known as C.A.V. of Warple Lane, Acton, London E.3.

The Mills Bomb/Grenade No.5 was introduced in 1915, and differed from the later Mills No.23, in that the No.5 had a plain base plug, and could only be hand thrown, whereas the No.23 had a threaded base plug whereby the Bomb/Grenade could be fitted with a rod and utilized as a rifle fired grenade, as well as a hand thrown grenade.

Attached are photographs of the No.5 Mk.I and also both the No.5 Mk.I and the No.23 Mk.II Mills Bombs/Grenades for comparison, along with comparisons of the two different types of base plugs.

Both my examples, the No.5 and the No.23 each being minus the fuse and the explosives, weigh approximately 1lb.

The disassembled parts shown, include the grenade body, the striker lever, the striker, the striker spring, the filler cap, the safety pin and ring, and the base plug.

C. A. Vandervell ( C.A.V ) was founded in 1899 by Charles Anthony Vandervell 1870 - 1955 ( photograph attached ) and had a factory at Warple Way, Acton, London W.3 ( photograph attached ).

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Charles Anthony Vandervell ( 1870 - 1955 )

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Lancashire Fusilier

C.A.V. Factory at Warple Lane, Acton, London W3 in 1918.

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Lancashire Fusilier

For those who may not have held a WW1 Mills Bomb/Grenade, and to also give a much better appreciation of the size and scale of the WW1 Mills Bomb/Grenade in relation to the throwers's hand, here is a photograph of a WW1 1916 dated Mills Bomb/Grenade No.5 Mk.1 being held for throwing as per the instructions in the 1917 instruction booklet shown earlier :-

" Hold the grenade in right hand, base plug up, the fingers holding the striker lever firmly against the body of the grenade, the ring of the safety pin towards the left hand ".

LF

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Alan Tucker

Interesting thread. For anyone interested in William Mills himself see his biography on my web site below.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Interesting thread. For anyone interested in William Mills himself see his biography on my web site below.

Alan,

Congratulations on your web site, which is full of interesting WW1 topics and photographs, and as you say, and excellent article on William Mills.

Also, is it possible for you to post your photograph of the Mills' factory workers inspecting the final product, it is one of the few photographs I have seen of the finished Mills Bombs/Grenades in the factory setting, and would make a great addition to this Thread.

Regards,

LF

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Alan Tucker

MillsMunitionsBridgeStWCheckingandpackingfinishedgrenadesc1916.jpg

Packing finished grenades at the Bridge Street West factory, Birmingham, c1916

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Lancashire Fusilier

Alan,

Excellent photograph, many thanks.

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Here is another interesting Mills Birmingham factory photograph taken in 1916, showing work being carried out on Mills Bombs/Grenades.

The woman on the right appears to be filling the bomb with explosive from a measured flask, whilst the body of the bomb is securely retained in a fitted stand during the filling process. Once filled with the explosive, the filler cap would have been closed securely.

The fuses for the bomb would not have been fitted at the factory for obvious safety reasons, rather they were carried in fuse storage tins ( shown previously in this Thread ) and were not fitted to the bomb, until the bomb was required to be armed for operational use.

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Here is a later photographic portrait of William Mills than that shown earlier in the Thread, taken during WW1.

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

WW1 10 pocket ' Grenade Carrier Mk.I '

LF

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auchonvillerssomme

Do you have any centre cast examples? Mick

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Lancashire Fusilier

Mick,

I do not have any examples of a ' Centre Cast ' Mills Bomb, being the rarer early type where the mould produced a top half and bottom half cast section, with the joining seam running around the middle of the bomb's body, as opposed to the later castings where the mould produced 2 side sections joined by a top to bottom side seam.

I shall look for examples of Mills ' Centre Cast ' bodies, and post any I find.

Regards,

LF

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auchonvillerssomme

I have had long discussions with a good friend on here, John 'Gunner' Bailey, about centre cast grenades, he taught me a lot and he has a decent collection and a wide knowledge, surprised he hasn't contributed. Personally I'm not so sure they are as rare as we think, this is one is cut down found at Hamel above the Ancre, I found another which I donated to the Ulster Tower museum and have seen a few more around different sites, none in good condition.

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auchonvillerssomme

You can just see the seam.

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