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Back in the day,every working man had a kit bag .......the unwritten rule was that the kitbag was sacred ....anything in a closed kitbag went out through the gate..........many years ago ,a navy ship was written off because of a dispute over search of a kitbag..........the captains cap went missing,and the captain ordered some of his men to search kitbags by force.........anyhoo,the thief took out the cap ,spat on it ,and kicked it over into the drydock........the captain attempted to arrest the thief.......there was a scuffle ,with the result the union declared the ship black.....it was stuck in the drydock for years before being cut up for scrap.
 

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Australia was once a penal colony for the British Empire, so some would say it comes naturally to us! There were plenty of our ancestors transported here from Britain for nicking a loaf of bread.
I can almost guarantee that nothing was paid for, not even the receivers, and parts were smuggled out in the employees' lunch boxes. One wonders how they got the barrels and forestocks out - I suppose that is what long trousers are for.
Hi Doc,
Im reluctant to post this but I do believe the old Australian cliché, ’my ancestors were transported to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread’ is a myth. The vast majority of convicts were either hardened or residivis criminals (disregarding social conditions that created an entire criminal class) or political prisoners, predominantly Irish and Jacobite Scottish.
Transportation was often used as a humanitarian alternative to the noose at a time when there was an emerging interest in human rights.
Excuse me for being so pedantic on what was probably just a throw-away line. However, such is the fervour for revisionism and political correctness in Australia and such is our desire to find new historic outrages, new victims and new perpetrators in our unique history that I feel bound to point out this common misconception.
Kind regards
Alan
 

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Hardly a myth or misconception. I have 10 ancestors who were transported here at His Majesty's Pleasure. 4 of them were guilty of armed robbery or burglary, so fair enough. One was convicted of pawning his employer's law textbook (value 10 shillings), another pawning a blanket and sheet valued at 7 shillings, a third for stealing £3 6p worth of kitchen utensils. During my family tree research I've seen plenty of trial transcripts of folks sentenced to 7 years' transportation for far less, including stealing loaves of bread. Equally, there were plenty of hardened criminals and political agitators, but not the vast majority. Your term "criminal class" was exactly the term used by the British aristocracy at the time.
Most of these trial transcripts are in the public internet domain and make interesting reading. I'd encourage you to read them Alan and form your own opinion. And yes, I'm sure if a worker in the Tower Armoury was caught trying to smuggle out a barrel band in his lunchbox, he too would have eventually found himself in front of the beak at The Old Bailey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I thought that the stars started from the first stages of the production, is there any stars at all? A photo would help?
From what I recall I cannot remember seeing any. Its deep into the safe but in the next few days I will have to di it out. I have seen 2 others, one in Hobart and a bare receiver. The complete one is in a collection and the other one is now destroyed. The owner got worried as it was not registered and decided to cut in half. At the time he didnt know what it was and is now long gone.
 

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If you go to the Milsurps Forum, open Lee Enfield forum, open the Sticky called Lithgow SAF steel specification data sheets and breeze down to Inspection criteria you will find that every part was inspected and marked as each stage was completed.

Early actions would have as many as 20 stamps where later ones were 10 stamps on the right side of the action.
All actions would have the steel identifier on or around the main screw boss.
I have only seen one unmarked rifle, mounted on a polished timber slab, the only stamps were the initials of the recipient and the number 7 ...(.JWD 7) in the area now used for PAA number, and a police number making it legal for current ownership.
This particular rifle was one of the 10 made as pre production in 1912 to test the machinery and owned by the family of the Factory Employer. (I hope to own this if I can meet the asking price)

Other cleanskin actions that have come to light were Re Captures returned to OZ in 1946, excessively rusted ones were scrubbed, most of these were taken by Sportco and converted to Sporting rifles, these are easy to pick as most of the view stamps remain intact, others were turned into .22 and other factory converted 410 and Hornet.
A more detailed inspection should unearth a few original stamps. The high prosecution rate at the SAF tells us that not too much escaped the plant, but as usual with Enfields....never say never.
 

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This thread reminded me of an article printed some years 24 years ago. I finally found this in my stack of "International Arms and Militaria Collector" magazine. Magazine series produced by Skennerton, article authored by Brian Labudda. Magazine #14, Volume 4, number 2, from 1998. It documents a one-off rifle of peculiar nature, somewhat similar to the subject of the rifle in this thread. The article makes no mention that it was perhaps "liberated" from Lithgow Rifle Factory, but it does note the lack of serial numbers and proof numbers. As Muffet said above, never say never!
 

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H
Also many babies/children were sent to the colonies just because they happened to be born to a young woman out of wedlock. Shameful at the least.
hi Bomber,
hmmm,
Not sure about that one. I think I’d need to see some hard evidence of that. I think you may be confusing the 100,000 children who were sent to Australia and other Commonwealth countries (against their will) after WW2 as part of a humanitarian scheme. Of course today we view this forced migration very much differently to how it was at the time.

Certainly in convict times (1788-1868) there was a percentage of woman, ergo babies, mostly with lengthy criminal records. We could discuss all day the social injustices that forced people into crime however one fact is clear, those who were transported were given the most amazing opportunity to acquire land, accumulate wealth and create a very new middle class, something that was nigh near impossible to achieve if they had of remained back in the slums of rapidly growing cities in the formative days of the industrial revolution.
The criminal justice system was incredibly harsh with numerous crimes punishable by death and life so appallingly hard in the industrial slums that crime was the only viable option for many, irrespective of the possibility of facing the hangman’s noose. Transportation was considered a humanitarian option as the prison system simply wasn’t sufficiently evolved to deal with the increasing number of people facing the justice system.
In fact I believe that nearly half of all convicts received remission or were paroled on arrival in NSW. With a decade of a hopeless life in the squalor and crime of the London slums, many convicts had received land grants and were becoming prosperous, breaking down the rigid British class system.
Of course we could argue all day the rights and wrongs of the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century British society and we can view convicts as poor unfortunates who were cruelly exploited by an evil establishment or conversely we can see them as the unwitting beneficiaries of rapidly changing social justice systems in an age when humanitarianism was starting to be recognised. It’s just a matter of perspective.
Irrespective of your point of view, the survival and growth of the First Settlement was an amazing feat. It could well of failed and nearly did. Australia would have a very different history today and there is no reason to believe it would be a happier one despite considerable self examination and historic revisionism on the part of many of us.
In deference to Doc Martini’s strongly held and reasonable views, I have tried to be as diplomatic and balanced as possible in this post. It is totally reasonable to have an alternative view.
Just a thought
Alan
 

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Hi Alan
Thank you for your interesting info, a very interesting part of our history. Unfortunately we, as the common observer, will never know the full extent or rationale of what went on, but if we can learn from what we know then we will be better people for it.

Many of the children that formed part the "humanitarian" migration were sent against the their will and their parents knowledge. Many of these children were from orphanages, many of which were run by a certain religious organisations.
Many of those children ended up in orphanages because of their mothers status in society at the time.

As for hard evidence, I do not believe this is the appropriate place to post such but quick searches will reveal the extent, and the involvement of the state and the church.
Bomber
 

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My grandfather came to Queensland as child farm worker on some scheme at 12 yrs of age........six years later he was 18 ,just in time to join up in August 1914.............he knew the war would be over by Christmas ,and didnt want to miss out on a free trip home to Scotland.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
If you go to the Milsurps Forum, open Lee Enfield forum, open the Sticky called Lithgow SAF steel specification data sheets and breeze down to Inspection criteria you will find that every part was inspected and marked as each stage was completed.

Early actions would have as many as 20 stamps where later ones were 10 stamps on the right side of the action.
All actions would have the steel identifier on or around the main screw boss.
I have only seen one unmarked rifle, mounted on a polished timber slab, the only stamps were the initials of the recipient and the number 7 ...(.JWD 7) in the area now used for PAA number, and a police number making it legal for current ownership.
This particular rifle was one of the 10 made as pre production in 1912 to test the machinery and owned by the family of the Factory Employer. (I hope to own this if I can meet the asking price)

Other cleanskin actions that have come to light were Re Captures returned to OZ in 1946, excessively rusted ones were scrubbed, most of these were taken by Sportco and converted to Sporting rifles, these are easy to pick as most of the view stamps remain intact, others were turned into .22 and other factory converted 410 and Hornet.
A more detailed inspection should unearth a few original stamps. The high prosecution rate at the SAF tells us that not too much escaped the plant, but as usual with Enfields....never say never.
Hi mate, well I moved the wood down and there they were, Inspection marks. As I couldn't see any signs of them showing above the wood line I guessed they were not there. I did notice that there is no proof markings on the opposite side below the knox.
Wood Bumper Writing implement Gas Tints and shades

Motor vehicle Wood Gas Cylinder Automotive lighting
 
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