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Pattern 1856 Bayonet.

Article about: I was recently given this by a family friend who is a builder.It was found during renovation of an old house in my local village! I know its an 1856 pattern but i would like to know what the

  1. #1
    NCA
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    Question Pattern 1856 Bayonet.

    I was recently given this by a family friend who is a builder.It was found during renovation of an old house in my local village!
    I know its an 1856 pattern but i would like to know what the markings are on the pommel and frog stud.
    They both read : V over M x 26 32.
    Nice that it has its original matching scabbard.Thanks for looking.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Pattern 1856 Bayonet.

    Nice one

    The 'V' on top of the marking is a standard mark for 'Volunteer', i.e., not regular army (Territorial Army equivalent).
    The Mx is a county marking for Middlesex along with a unit number 26.
    32 would be the bayonet rack number.

    Altogether, I would read this as 26th Middlesex Rifle Volunteer Corps, Bayonet No 32.

    I can look up this unit for you later if you want more info.

    Can you do some more shots? i would like to see any other markings and the back of the hilt wher the rifle atachment slot is, if possible

    Rob

  3. #3
    NCA
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    Default Re: Pattern 1856 Bayonet.

    Thanks for the info Rob.You are a mine of useful information!

    Heres some more pics.Any help on the markings would be great as this era is out of my collecting spectrum.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    NCA
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    Default Re: Pattern 1856 Bayonet.

    First pic is left ricasso markings, second is the pommel rear view and third pic is spine markings.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pattern 1856 Bayonet.

    Quote by NCA View Post
    Thanks for the info Rob.You are a mine of useful information
    Not really, I just know where to look Thanks for the extra pics, it's an even more interesting piece now

    You're right, it is an 1856 Pattern Sword Bayonet, for use with the 'Short Rifle', the weapon issued to Serjeants (and all ranks in Rifle regiments). I just wanted to check, as there are many types of these 'yataghan' bayonets, and the way to tell is the slot. It was made by Reeves, Charles and Co, a Birmingham company, and one of the official suppliers to the government. It has two inspectors marks Crown|B|13 is a Birmingham inspectors mark and Crown|F is actually a British Inspector in France. I'm not sure what the 112 is, although it may relate to the inspector mark.

    On to the unit. The history of the Middlesex volunteer corps is complicated as there were lots of small corps formed in the Greater London area, and many were renumbered and amalgamated. This unit was formed at Custom House in 1860 and was known as 26th Middlesex (The Customs and the Docks) Rifle Volunteer Corps. In 1880 it was renumbered as 15th Middlesex (The Customs and the Docks) RVC. Originally it consisted of 13 companies, but by 1891 had only eight. It provided men for the Boer War and won the battle honour "SOUTH AFRICA 1900-01" for this. It wore a green uniform with scarlet facings.

    When the Territorial Force was created in 1908, the 15th Mx RVC merged with the 2nd Tower Hamlets RVC to form the 17th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Poplar and Stepney Rifles), and went through WW1 with this title.

    They changed again in 1926 to 17th London Regt (Tower Hamlets Rifles). In 1937 the London Regt was broken up and they were transferred to the Rifle Brigade and redesignated The Tower Hamlets Rifles, Rifle Brigade. In 1939 they were expanded into three battalions; 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tower Hamlets Rifles. During WW2, 1THR and 2THR became the 9th and 10th Bn, Rifle Brigade respectively and 3THR became 5th Recce Corps.

    After WW2 9th and 10th RB were amalgamated to form 656th LAA Regiment, Royal Artillery.

    So that's the basic history of V Mx 26. Anything else?

    Rob

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pattern 1856 Bayonet.

    I just wanted to add something that struck me about this bayonet. Judging by its date and low number, it was almost certainly part of the original equipment for the 26th Middx RVC. This is all part of the 1859 scare that Napoleon III represented, and a real worry that France would restart the Napoleonic War. Huge amounts were spent on defence and the government, for the first time, encouraged the formation of part-time rifle companies by the civilian population for the defence of the UK.

    In this sense, this item really does represent the birth of the Territorial Army in the UK, and is quite historically significant for that

    Rob

  7. #7
    NCA
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    Thumbs up Re: Pattern 1856 Bayonet.

    Rob.Thank you for all the info.I am truly grateful

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