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Lancashire Fusilier

WW1 Grenades both British and Enemy.

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GWF1967
35 minutes ago, Gunner Bailey said:

Yes the base plug is real. It's a Lead antimony plug produced during the brass shortage in 1916. They were made for a few months before the No 5 was fully replaced by the No 23 Mk II in January 1917. The 23 Mk II had the cast iron plug.

 

The letters / numbers on the bodies are cast marks. All makers made their own casts which got worn and were replaced.

Many thanks for your help G.B, it is always appreciated.  

  Guy. 

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calibre792x57.y

Re the lead alloy base plug shown by Guy.  I have a No.5 Mk1 which has such a plug; it is dated March 1916 and the maker's name is embossed in the centre between the 'lugs' - 'Roneo' which suggests that the material may be Printer's Type alloy.  The centre piece is made from the same metal but with an assembled copper tube for the detonator housing.  The filling plug is brass and it has a solid head striker and the early 'U' section safety lever.   The grenade body is unremarkable. -  Some years ago when walking the fields near Pozieres I found an identical but live specimen.  -  Somme Walker

DSCN0534.JPG

Edited by calibre792x57.y
Add info.

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14276265

An interesting point, Somme Walker. The proportions of lead-antimony-tin alloy specified for base plugs and centre pieces were approximately 79:16:5, which were very close to a standard type metal, so it is not inconceivable that Roneo used type metal supplies to hand. 

 

 

 

265

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Gunner Bailey

From my experience of using 'lead' type in typesetting the lead antimony used in the base plugs is softer than that used in type. The base plugs are easily damaged whereas type was hard and could be dropped. Sometimes it actually broke in half if dropped on concrete. So I would not expect Roneo to use exactly the same mixture from base plugs as for type.

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Gunner Bailey

If anyone has not seen one, here are some Lead based centre-pieces from Mills 23 Mk III and No 36 grenades up to 1918. The metal is soft like the base plugs and of course would have been subject to less wear being internal.

 

John

 

 

Lead Ant CPs.JPG

Edited by Gunner Bailey

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calibre792x57.y

Thanks for the photo GB: I 've never stripped my specimen down so this is the first time I've seen what they look like externally. - SW

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Gunner Bailey

They are a bit crude compared to the aluminium or brass centre-pieces but they only had to do a job and were designed to last about 3 months not 100 years. The det holder on the left is brass, the other two are copper.

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14276265

When pristine, these die cast lead alloy and brass/copper centre pieces - patented and made by the Glacier Anti-Friction Co. Ltd, London - were the match of any aluminium ones. The ones shown herewith are from No.5 grenades; the patent was applied for late 1915.

 

 

 

265

DSC07616.JPG

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Gunner Bailey

You don't see many in the No 5. The 3rd from left is a work of art.

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new3.2

A question- If you go back to #829 and the fuse end photo of the #24 Mk 1there are the initials G.T.L.  Are these manufacture's marks or inspectors or?  I have a rougher example that must be the female part; it has a center threaded central hole and two spanner holes.  The initials stand for what?  Thanks

new3.2

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Gunner Bailey

The initials have always been attributed to Gestetner Limited. So they are makers marks. However Gestetner do not appear in the main directory of manufacturers so convention may be wrong on this. However the directory is not complete and did not seemingly take into account some mergers and acquisitions.

 

John

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new3.2

Thank you John, sounds good.

Ken

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