I picked up this rather interesting SMLE this morning at the Liverpool arms fair. The rifle is a 1906 dated SMLE Mk 1* which seems to have had a rather chequered career. At some stage in its life it had been bored out and re sleeved in .22cal. It had also been used on the training ship; 'TS Dolphin'. The woodwork was actually marked to the ship when I obtained it this morning. But when I stripped the rifle and lightly rubbed over the woodwork with oil, the black stencilling lifted off.
The Dolphin was built in 1882, and after her naval career she was pressed into service as a training establishment for Merchant Marine cadets from 1944 to 1977.
The rifle itself is a 1906 dated London Small Arm Company model, and has matching numbers to bolt and receiver - although the bolt-head is obviously not the original. The cut-off was missing, but fortunately I had one in the spares box. As far as I can tell the woodwork appears to be original WW1 - although probably not original to the rifle. It has the cut-out for the charger bridge - which this version never had. The crown of the original barrel is stamped... 'Rifled by Alf J Parker.' The rifle bears several WD stamps, so it obviously didn't start out as a civilian rifle. But it would be interesting to know whether it always had a naval connection.
Hopefully, I will at some time be able to obtain the correct type bolt head with integral charger guide...