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1888 pattern bayonet with P1914 pattern frog

Article about: Hello chaps, recently picked up this 1888 pattern bayonet hanging resplendently in a P1914 frog. It has no makers marks or acceptance stamps of any kind other than L 21 H on the pommel and a

  1. #1

    Default 1888 pattern bayonet with P1914 pattern frog

    Hello chaps,

    recently picked up this 1888 pattern bayonet hanging resplendently in a P1914 frog. It has no makers marks or acceptance stamps of any kind other than L 21 H on the pommel and an L on the guard which leads me to believe it was a private purchase or commercial volunteer piece.

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    Judging by the lustre of the locket compared to the chape I would reason the two have been together a long time.

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    Try as I might I still can't find out who or what 'L 21 H' might represent, but I did find a reference to an 1888 pattern having an L stamped on it which meant (according to the article) that it had seen service in France. I have read that some units in the early stages of the war were still armed with the earlier long Lee Enfields that fitted these bayonets hence the P1914 frog. I'd be grateful to anyone who could clarify this one way or t'other.

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    Cheers chaps,

    Ian.
    Last edited by canti44; 03-25-2014 at 01:30 AM.

  2. #2

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    Ian,

    Long Lee Enfields saw service until at least 1916 so the fact yours has a 14 patt frog is entirely consistent for the period. regardsMark

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    Thank you for your reply Mark, that's very interesting. After I bought the bayonet I emailed the seller and asked him if he knew any of its history and he told me that his father (who fought with the Royal Artillery in ww2) had 'liberated' it from Germany and always thought he'd brought back a German bayonet. I've no reason to doubt his story because he only mentioned it after he'd sold it to me. Makes me think that perhaps it was originally a German souvenir taken from a Tommy.

  4. #4
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    Is there a clearing hole in the handle or pommel ?

    Jim

  5. #5

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    Hello Jim,

    no clearing hole.

    Cheers,

    Ian.

  6. #6
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    Can you get a picture of the marking?

    Jim

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    Hello Jim,

    I did take a picture of the marking but for some reason it wouldn't upload. I always try to take pics during daylight hours but I'll try again now. Forgive the poor quality.

  8. #8

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    Hello Jim,

    these are the only markings on the bayonet or scabbard and the blade itself is completely unsharpened.

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    Can I also ask what your opinion is of the notch carved into the grip?

    Cheers,

    Ian.

  9. #9
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    Ian, You certainly have an interesting bayonet. It is definitely what is usually considered a volunteer model. The L on the crossguard is not an uncommon mark on unmarked volunteers, but I don't believe anyone knows for sure what it means. I have no idea what the l 21 h stands for and I have never seen a british marking in this position on the pommel. I'm thinking with the overall construction of this one that it is possibly for the Irish export Martini-Enfield rifle, but it should have a 16mm muzzle ring diameter for that to be true. Or it could have been made from surplus parts for the Volunteer Training Corps during WWI.

    Jim

  10. #10

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    Jim,

    thank you for all that information, fascinating stuff. I've measured the muzzle ring countless times now but it still appears to be 15mm in my reckoning. Does that change anything?

    Ian

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