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Relic Lee Enfield - Bringing into Australia (Heads up fellow Aussie members).

Article about: Hi everyone, I'd like to bid on a relic Lee Enfield rifle (see pics below) purported to have been found in the vicinity of the La Boiselle battlefield in France. I would like to know if any

  1. #11

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    The action is in the fired position as the bolt cocking piece is in the forward position.
    I would be more worried about any rounds remaining in the magazine it may be construed as a loaded weapon regardless of the condition.
    Again as well the digging around old battle fields should be restricted to museums for historical artifacts so we can piece together history and the conditions those poor blighters endured for the future generations of the world.
    One can say that the rifle may have been right next to its owner and removing it is like removing it from a war grave whether known or not allot of the troops from both sides were buried, blown out of the ground then buried again by shellfire again.
    Sorry to carry on but the whole western front is a mass grave should be treated as such for all the poor souls that died there or were just simply vaporized by the artillery.
    I respect the farmers have to make a living off the land growing crops and feeding their livestock having been involved in agriculture as a farmhand for many years.
    I would pass on it represents to me a bent barrel perhaps from a close artillery strike to look at it only conjures up in my mind perhaps an 18 y/o commonwealth soldier on the cusp of his life never getting the chance to experience life at all.......................

    One story from long ago of a french farmer ploughing his field and exposed a line of bayonets pointing skyward upon exhumation of the site it was found a group of British soldiers had been buried alive by an artillery strike on their trench before they went over the top.

  2. #12

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    Thanks for the information Alex. I'll look into it. Interestingly from what I know you can purchase deactivated Lee Enfields in QLD but not in NSW. Even if I want a replica I need to have a gun cabinet to store it in which defeats the purpose of having it for display.

  3. #13

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    CINDERSII I agree with your sentiments. The actual listing had little to no detail so we have no way of knowing how or where this item came from. You would have to assume that anything coming from the Western Front these days may have may have been located close to the remains of a soldier. I'm in no way advocating the desecration of burial sites particularly by grave robbers unless of course they are repatriating or providing these soldiers with a proper burial like the WW1 Australian soldier that was recently discovered during road construction in France. I was particularly disturbed by the road works that took place at Gallipoli some years ago that were constructed through parts of the battle field and disturbed the bodies of soldiers whose bones could be seen beside the road side.

  4. #14

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    I have not seen where this listing originated from but I think the seller does dig some items himself but also relies on the finds of other collectors. If it who I think it is then he is from the UK. As such in the UK this item is not legally deactivated, as there is no sign of the barrel having been pinned nor split and welded, even though this is well past its best as a "weapon" it is still very dodgy to attempt to sell it on Ebay. This seller could be reported for selling a "weapon" or for heritage theft. As said there is probably no evidence of where it came from, a story is easy to make up. You were right in listening to your heart and not persuing this item.

  5. #15

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    Hi BlackCat, thanks for your reply. I must admit to initially not connecting the weapon with the potential for it to have come from a grave but it now makes sense that it would most probably never have been abandoned on the battlefield. Does this mean that most relic items for sale on ebay such as buttons and badges were taken from grave sites? It's a sobering lesson. From what I can see the seller is based in France. I must admit not being aware of the rules surrounding battlefield sites in France and would like to learn more. Is there anywhere where I can do so? I hope one day to visit France in person to pay my respects in France.

  6. #16

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    Battlefield sites in France are protected by both their national laws regarding the protection of such sites as well as the regional variations. Broadly speaking it is illegal to detect/dig on known sites of national importance, i.e Verdun, Somme. However farmers regularly unearth such relics as the concentration of destruction and iron debris is extreme in places. You only have to walk the WW1 battlefields to realise the comparative small areas in which actions took place. Buttons and personal items can be found, but those could be lost in places other than at time of death. Buy the item if it interests you. Don't buy the story that goes with it, unless it is you who has found it.

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