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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Picked this up and wanted to share as well as to pick forum members' brains on this. What we have is a nice 1942 Enfield No 2 Mk 1* revolver along with a South African marked open top holster and lanyard. The non-import marked Enfield is interesting in that it doesn't have any of the typical NP proof marks which would indicate that it was sold through the British commercial market. For me personally, this is somewhat scarce as these guns typically have those commercial proofs. The revolver has original finish so it isn't like the proofs were buffed out or covered up in a repark job.

It is housed in an open-top holster with the "U/broadarrow" 1943 marking indicating South African ownership. The pistol itself has no Commonwealth ownership proofs. It also has an interesting lanyard which has the characteristics of the typical British lanyard, but is made from a simpler material. I am wondering whether this might be S. African made as well? It seems like the Commonwealth countries, who generally didn't have the same manufacturing capacity as the UK, copied their gear on the British patterns but the actual gear was of a simpler quality, which makes me think this might be SA made. The brass cleaning rod is pretty firmly stuck in the holster and I don't want to risk damaging the leather to pull it out. From what I can see, it is a legit British brass rod.

The Enfield is in the Q-block serial range and sports the wooden grips without the marking disc feature. I think that per Skinnerton's book, these were correct for the Q-R block guns. Anyway, I am interested in adding to my existing knowledge on these and appreciate any input others might have.

Wood Gun barrel Trigger Gun accessory Metal

Revolver Wood Gun barrel Everyday carry Personal protective equipment

Everyday carry Gun barrel Gun accessory Air gun Metal

Revolver Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory

Automotive design Bumper Wood Line Rim

White Automotive tire Bicycle part Rim Auto part

Revolver Air gun Trigger Wood Gun barrel

Kitchen utensil Air gun Gun accessory Metal Ingredient

Tool Wood Blade Metal Knife

Bicycle tire Wood Automotive tire Rope (rhythmic gymnastics) Sleeve

1,177 Posts
Been rather slow in posting, but here is my contribution.
South Africa obtained the bulk of its revolvers for WW II direct from S&W prior to Lend Lease in mid-1941. Lend Lease resulted in all munitions for the British Commonwealth being controlled by assignments from the London Munitions Assignments Board. In September 1942 SA found that in the past few months they had been supplied by London with other than S&W revolvers. The quantities turned out to be 280 Webley & Scott Mk IV and 482 Enfield, together with 1940 Lend Lease S&W 38s.

SA immediately insisted on S&Ws only, as these had been adopted as the standard Union Defence Force (UDF) handgun. I very much doubt that any Enfields were issued out to troops because the UDF had no spares, etc.

As to the lanyard, the standard UDF one was a flat leather strap with a metal clip on the end. Photographs of SA soldiers operating alongside British troops in Italy 1944 show British lanyards on S&W guns.

The holster, to an uncommon British War Office pattern, is interesting because these were intended for 6” Webley Mark VI 455 revolvers. The UDF had had a few hundred of these since the early 1920s, but only had holsters for its many 4” Webleys! The Pattern 37 web holster for the 38s will not take a 6” Webley.

How the Enfield, lanyard and holster came together, and when, we shall probably never know.

As to:

“It sounds like the S. Africans fought in the North African campaign and the SA 6th Armored Division served in Italy as well”. South African troops played the major role in the defeat of the Italians in Somalia and Abyssinia in 1941/2. In North Africa the SA Air Force was heavily involved and over 10722 troops were captured when Tobruk fell to the Germans. In Italy the 6th Armoured Division fought, as I mentioned above, and the SAAF again played a major part.

Peter (Not South African, but I live here)
South Africa
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