Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC:

British ABW longarms - one with a personal motif!! 7 years 11 months ago #22510

  • LinneyI
  • LinneyI's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2459
  • Thank you received: 1247
Forum members
Long before the collecting of ABW "trophy marked" longarms enjoyed a vogue, your correspondent managed to assemble a reasonable collection directly associated with the conflict. The first pic shows a Magazine Lee Enfield rifle, an example of the P88 bayonet, a Lee Metford carbine and a standard Mounted Infantry leather bandolier. This particular pic was used to illustrate an article I penned for the Australian Shooters Journal back in 1979. Please excuse my blushes, djb!

The Magazine Lee Enfield rifle was obtained from a Victorian dealer (back in the days when the collector was not strangled with paperwork) and supposedly came with photostats of a Boer War diary written by a Victorian MR veteran with the surname of "Sherlock". Of course, the diary never surfaced - despite my follow up. Assuming the dealer's spiel was correct, I commenced looking for someone in the VMR with the name "H.H.Sherlock".
In those days, all one could hope to use as an ABW reference was Murray's "Official Records" and when I finally obtained a copy, I was intrigued to find a person of that name who served with the 3rd Victorian (Bushmen's) Contingent. To be more precise, "570 Cpl. Harold Herbert Sherlock" was promoted QMS 21051900 and RQMS 190600; finally being appointed QM and Hon. Lt. 25101900.
Of course, we cannot now know if HHS actually carried the illustrated rifle (it bore no regimental stamps or markings whatsoever) - or whether it was a re-captured rifle. Whatever the case, the cross roughly carved on the butt flat seemed to indicate that SOMEONE wanted to keep an eye on it. And then there is the rather flamboyant, if rustic "HHS"; possibly done on the way home.


Regards to all who have read this far
IL.
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

British ABW longarms - one with a personal motif!! 7 years 11 months ago #22513

  • Frank Kelley
  • Frank Kelley's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 6738
  • Thank you received: 938
Hello Ian,
I like your carbine, do you still have it, not easy to find these days, but, back then, pretty much useless, some squadrons were lucky enough to have been able to hand them over in exchange for rifles.
The cavalry came into it's own as soon as they were issued with SMLE's and by 1914 they were the best in the world, years ahead of their opposite numbers on the continent.
Regards Frank

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

British ABW longarms - one with a personal motif!! 7 years 11 months ago #22517

  • LinneyI
  • LinneyI's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2459
  • Thank you received: 1247
Frank
No, the LMC went quite some time ago. LMC's turn up here in OZ every now and again - and are usually very well worn. However, the Lee Enfield Carbine simply does not. The problem with all carbines was that the sighting radius (the distance between the back sight and the front sight) was very short and thus accuracy of aim was inferior to that of the rifle. As well, the muzzle velocity of the carbine was considerably less - due to the shorter barrel. I once was able to fire a number of exploratory rounds through an LMC and I can tell you that they packed a real wallop on the shoulder. The MLE, in contrast, was extremely mild.
The carbine problem was well recognised by 1900 and the Army was soon experimenting with shortened versions of the Lee; intended as a universal rifle for cavalry and infantry. This thinking was well in advance of that of any other major power and resulted in the SMLE. The US adopted a similar form of short rifle shortly thereafter.
To conclude, the history of the 18thH records that they exchanged their carbines for MLE's quite early; however, the Fifes can be seen to be clearly carrying LEC's later in the war.
Regards
IL.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

British ABW longarms - one with a personal motif!! 7 years 11 months ago #22521

  • Frank Kelley
  • Frank Kelley's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 6738
  • Thank you received: 938
Hello Ian,
Both carbines are actually quite scarce here, you very seldom see either, I doubt if very many survive today, those cavalry who were lucky enough to receive rifles were quite few in number during the war, both "A" and "D" squadrons of the 9th Lancers were issued with rifles towards the end of 1900, before going over to Edenburg, from there, they joined the hunt for De Wet.
At least they would have been able to compete on equal terms, but, of course, De Wet showed them a clean pair heals, again! :(
Kind regards Frank

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

British ABW longarms - one with a personal motif!! 7 years 10 months ago #22892

  • LinneyI
  • LinneyI's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 2459
  • Thank you received: 1247
Frank
Concerning the issue of rifles to Cavalry to replace carbines, the following reference might be of interest: "A History of the British Cavalry Vol 4" (ISBN 0 436 27321 7) comments that in late October 1900, the process of making the cavalry nearly indistinguishable from the MI was begun. First, carbines and lances were withdrawn and then all regular regiments (other than those under French) lost swords - though 16L lost theirs before the RofK and 5L not until June 1901. The author of the abovementioned work states that HQ ordered that "the rifle will henceforth be considered the cavalry soldier's principal weapon" and that the first regiment to actually use rifles instead of carbines was PROBABLY 18H.
Regards
IL

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

British ABW longarms - one with a personal motif!! 7 years 10 months ago #22893

  • Brett Hendey
  • Brett Hendey's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Senior Member
  • Senior Member
  • Posts: 2924
  • Thank you received: 694
Ian

Thank you for another very useful post.

I have an interest in the MI in the Boer War and I believe that the greater use of the MI, rather than Cavalry, should have begun early in the war, or, preferably, even before it started.

My 'learn something new every day' lesson today was, "in late October 1900, the process of making the cavalry nearly indistinguishable from the MI was begun". It seems that I have been doing the British high command a mental injustice by not knowing that it took them only a year to embrace the Cavalry to MI change.

Regards
Brett

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Moderators: djb
Time to create page: 0.790 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum