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oaks and acorns

Ch-a-a-a-a-r-r-r-r-r-ge !!!

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oaks and acorns    10
oaks and acorns

While I have no weapon (the .303 as I understand it) to attach this to, simply holding the British Pattern 1888 Lee-Metford MK I type 2 rifle bayonet without a doubt inspires thought on how life may have been in the days of things-gone-by. The Anglo Boer War, for example....

 

Africa's hot dusty days, the impenetrable kopjes, the commaraderie of camp life, the forage for provisions,

the mass of men and weapons and wagons, the smell of blood that permeates the air post-battle,

and the inevitable losses that accompany skirmishes such as these.

And... oh my! Was that a bullet that just whipped by ?!

 

Of course, any emotion conjured by such imaginings may indeed be misplaced, if the history etched on the blade and scabbard are anything to go by.

So it would be appreciated if you, the reader, could take a look with me and let's see...

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]4130[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]4123[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]4124[/ATTACH]

 

Since a cellphone doesn't record the markings as well as I'd like them to and neither does a scan, herewith two drawings of most of the markings that are clearly visible.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]4132[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]4131[/ATTACH]

(The scribbles in the pics indicate where the markings have worn away, including the Makers mark/name)

 

A novice understanding of the bayonet's history so far...

 

2 inspectors' marks, Birmingham

? manufactured 1890

 

X = bend mark

WD with Military arrow (War Dept. acceptance mark)

R mark, back to back - condemned

X with a line drawn down through it - Sold out of Service

 

On the metal pommel (not pictured) ... S S 1 or 1 S S

On the scabbard beneath one of the staples (not pictured)... the number 6 or 9 (depending on which way you look at it

 

It does seem possible though, in the absence of a reigning monarch mark, that this bayonet may have seen no action to speak of. Or, if it was in any way, may have been such as has been poignantly described by PT Ross in "A Yeoman's Letters", 1901:

 

Did I ever use the bay'nit, sir?

In the far off Transvaal War,

Where I fought for Queen and country, sir,

Against the wily Boer.

Aye, many a time and oft, sir,

I've bared the trusty blade,

And blessed the dear old Homeland, sir,

Where it was carefully made.

 

•Chorus

Then here's to the British bay'nit

Made of Sheffield steel,

And here's to the men who bore it -

Stalwart men and leal.

You notice the dents on the edge, sir

At Bronkhurst Spruit they were done;

I was getting a door for a fire,

For out of wood we had run.

I was smiting hard at the door, sir,

Or rafter, I'm not sure which,

When I struck on an iron screw, sir,

And the bay'nit got this niche.

 

'Tis my mighty Excalibur, sir,

I've use it in joy and grief,

For digging up many a tater,

Or opening bully beef.

I have used it for breaking wire,

Making tents 'gainst rain and sun;

I have used it as a hoof-pick,

In a hundred ways and one.

 

Oh, how did the point get blunted, sir?

I was driving it home

As a picketing peg for my horse,

So that he should not roam.

I drove it in a little, sir,

And then in my haste, alas,

I stubbed the point on a rock, sir,

Some inches below the grass.

 

You ask if it e'er took a life, sir?

Aye, I mind the time full well;

I had spotted him by a farm, sir,

And went for him with a yell.

He tried to escape me hard, sir,

But I plunged it in his side,

And there by his own backyard, sir,

A healthy porker died.

 

But did I draw it in action?

You ask me roughly now.

Yes, we were taking a kopje,

The foe were on the brow.

We drew and fixed our bay'nits,

The sun shone on the steel:

Death to the sniping beggars

We were about to deal.

 

Then, sweating and a-puffing,

We scaled the rocky heights,

But when we reaches the top, sir,

The foe was out of sight.

 

Has it e'er drawn human blood?

Yes once, I grieve to say;

It was not in a battle,

Or any bloody fray;

'Twas just outside Pretoria,

The deed was never meant,

I slipped and fell on the point, sir,

'Twas quite by accident.

 

•Chorus

Then here's to the British bay'nit

Made of Sheffield steel,

And here's to the men who bore it -

Stalwart men and leal.

And here's to the Millennium,

The time of peaceful peace,

When neighbours shall love each other,

And wicked wars shall cease.

Comments are most welcome, and thanks in advance.

Edited by oaks and acorns

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JANDS    10
JANDS

Amidst all the macho revelry and regaling of blood, I find myself gladdened in the honest tale of that blade. Good luck with your search Oaks and I thank you for sharing that verse, it brought a good smile.

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oaks and acorns    10
oaks and acorns
Amidst all the macho revelry and regaling of blood, I find myself gladdened in the honest tale of that blade. Good luck with your (re)search Oaks and I thank you for sharing that verse, it brought a good smile.

 

Only a pleasure, JANDS :)

 

And here's another bayonet which (I think) could be an Austrian manufactured (? Steyr) 1895 Mannlicher war bayonet. The only markings that I can find are an OE over WG (as well as the previous owner's name and the date 1958).

 

Bc.jpg.dada534a6117d7e0bcbbb85cff39c682.jpg

 

Ba.jpg.9c016b0d75b119298101193910b47398.jpg

 

Bb.jpg.44f1fc0201285d78fc53d52c6c4ab4d7.jpg

 

Possibly pre WW1, somewhere around 1895?

 

The metal pommel and area below have been painted with a copper coloured paint O_o

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

Looks like oaks and acorns is preparing for battle! :sneaky::grin:

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oaks and acorns    10
oaks and acorns
Looks like oaks and acorns is preparing for battle! :sneaky::grin:

 

Nah lilythepink, I'd be more of a 'make love not war' kinda individual, within reason of course. Though admittedly it's quite the challenge to not step into Collector's mode and to instead focus on researching the items (and their markings), as requested by their owners.

 

That said, please feel at liberty to go and scratch amongst my listings on bidorbuy. Certainly gives the phrase 'armed to the teeth', or somesuch, a new definition ;)

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oaks and acorns    10
oaks and acorns

The metal pommel and area below have been painted with a copper coloured paint O_o

 

Would this devaluate the item? And could/should it be restored to its original condition?

Edited by oaks and acorns

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