Gunboards Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to find out the meaning of the markings on the brass butt stock id disc on my 1916 BSA SMLE .
3840126

I assume 7.16 is the date of issue for the rifle and 322 is the rack number. I'm guessing 5 EK means 5th battalion of the East Kents Regiment (Buffs) But, what does the "V" mean? Is it a Roman numeral standing for ... or a letter meaning ...

Thanks for any help you can give.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
V= Volunteer
Thank you. Now I find myself in a confusing situation. I know what a volunteer is - and that it's something you didn't usually want to do when in the Army - but, in the context od the disc id, what does volunteer mean? That the person issued the rifle was not drafted but "volunteered" for service? That the unit the rifle was issued to was other then a line infantry outfit or was a unit composed of reservists? Or ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,946 Posts
Volunteer regiment IIRC?
Try here for more info, not my area of experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,575 Posts
The Volunteer Force was formed in 1859 as a form of national defence. It is suggested that the Duke of Wellington was closely involved in it's creation.
Under the Territorial and Reserves Act of 1907 the Volunteer force ceased to exist on 31st March, 1908 and the Territorial Force came into being. Old volunteers were invited to enlist in the new force.
The 5th (The Weald of Kent) was in being from 1880-1908 as a Volunteer force becoming the 5th Battalion Buffs TF in 1908.
The volunteer mark appears anomalous and raises doubts on authenticity.
The 1/5th served in Mesopotamia while the 2/5th remained on home station during WWI.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,184 Posts
The "V" often appears on blank disks, both on and off rifles. I'm not sure its ever been explained.

"V" for volunteer would be stamped as part of the unit name, if required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,575 Posts
It is the combination of the V and the 7.16 that causes my concern, when considering the unit designation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It is the combination of the V and the 7.16 that causes my concern, when considering the unit designation.
Staffy - After the initial post I asked the same question on the Great War Forum. One of the replys suggested the digit I've been reading as a "5" is really a "6". If a "6" it would be a "New Army" line unit. I asked my wife and she read it as a "6". I've just cleaned the disc with a soft cloth and looked at it straight on, without any perspective problem that may exist in the photo I posted. I'm now inclined to read it as a "6" and not a "5". It's an imperfectly struck number - the top of the digit looks faint and flat, but the remainder of the digit is consistent with a "6."

This inquiry started as a mere curiosity thing. I had a 100 plus year old rifle with this disc and wondered what it meant. I stumbled onto the EK reference and made guesses based on my Army experiences for the rest. I don't pretend to any knowledge in the area and will now try to find out what a "New Army" is. I had thought the term related to the English Civil Wars but I seem to be mistaken. I appreciate your thoughts and any other you may have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,575 Posts
Rather fancy the idea of the New Model Army. But although it had been intended for the TF to be expanded as part of the Regular Army, Kitchener didn't take to the idea and advocated for a New (Kitchener's) Army, which was an Volunteer Army, conscription coming in later. A possible answer to the V conundrum. Presumably, the 'New' being to distinguish it from the 'Old' Regular Army.
As to the number, I still think it is a badly struck 5 as the top stroke and down stroke has a definite kink - it does not flow in a smooth arc as it would for a 6. Check the difference on yours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
Rather fancy the idea of the New Model Army. But although it had been intended for the TF to be expanded as part of the Regular Army, Kitchener didn't take to the idea and advocated for a New (Kitchener's) Army, which was an Volunteer Army, conscription coming in later. A possible answer to the V conundrum. Presumably, the 'New' being to distinguish it from the 'Old' Regular Army.
As to the number, I still think it is a badly struck 5 as the top stroke and down stroke has a definite kink - it does not flow in a smooth arc as it would for a 6. Check the difference on yours.
Under magnification the number is seen as a 5, and is very different in form to the 6 of 16.

Regards,
JMB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Under magnification the number is seen as a 5, and is very different in form to the 6 of 16.

Regards,
JMB
Thanks all. Accepting the accuracy of Google and Wikipedia in this area, if it's a "5" the rifle was with the 5th Battalion which became a Reserve Unit in April 1916 and was absorbed into the 4th Battalion (Reserve) in Sept. 1916, with the date of issue for the rifle falling between those dates. If it's a "6" then the rifle saw service on the Western Front. But in either event it's a WW1 veteran that served in an identified unit. This makes it unique among my collection. Most of my collection consists of rifles that have been rebuilt a number of times. One may infer from serial numbers, part drawing numbers, dates on the rifle or, in the case of a Russian capture K98k, other marks, that they saw service in some capacity or another with some unit or another in one location or another but that is more generalized info.

There's more I'll look at (for example, if used by a reserve or line unit would there be some mark on the disc), but I've learned about the difference between the "New Army" and the "New Model Army." Now to figure out why there is a Royal Air Force and Royal Navy but a British Army. Probably something to do with the Digits "5" and "6" and the New Model Army ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,575 Posts
You will find the "Royals" in Army Regimental/Corps designations. The Regiment/Corps is the core of the Army, the other services have make do with a generic term.
Former R.R.A., Cheers. Great Uncle served in 2nd South Staffs in WWI from 'The retreat from Mons' to the end.
What about captured Mosin-Nagants which passed through several combatants hands, as an interest?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You will find the "Royals" in Army Regimental/Corps designations. The Regiment/Corps is the core of the Army, the other services have make do with a generic term.
Former R.R.A., Cheers. Great Uncle served in 2nd South Staffs in WWI from 'The retreat from Mons' to the end.
What about captured Mosin-Nagants which passed through several combatants hands, as an interest?
My Grandfather never talked about WW1. I know he was from Liverpool, was gassed and served in the US Army (and maybe British). I always thought there was a story there, but he never talked about it. You're right about the Mosin-Nagants. I hadn't thought of them and they play well with my affinity for the Finns.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top