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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Saw this on auction a few weeks ago, and luckily it didn't get bid up too high. The bandolier arrived today, and I'm in the process of dusting it off, and gently cleaning it up. I'm going to be gentle while cleaning. The flaps on this bandolier feel much more delicate the Pattern 1903 bandolier I own.
This has some writing under the flaps, writing on the back, and stamp markings. I could not find a maker name nor a maker date. The only imprinted stamp is shown, and it is the Roman numeral "IV" (or, possibly the letter "W"). There are two ink stamps. One under the flap reads "B18". Another, on back (not pictured) reads "7". Also on back (not pictured), the bandolier reads "Property of ........." (too faded for me to be able to read). Under the flap (pictured), it looks to read "Sargt (or Sarat.) M Crawford Mar_ _ 2_ 1915 a fine day Col. Smart going to inspect". Under the flap that has the"B18" inkstamp, the writing is visible, but I cannot make most of it out. Looks to read "P(B)renton Cot. R---- Bosmack". Below are photos of the bandolier as it arrived. Leather is in fair shape. A few tears, and a few areas of cracking from being dried out. It is still flexible, and should clean up well.

The auction had this listed as a "Boer War" bandolier. The date under the flap is 1915 though. I believe these were used for Martini Henry rounds, but I'm not knowledgeable. Wouldn't 1915 be a little late for a Martini Henry? Also, if the writing under the one flap is a date ("Mar_ _ 2_"), isn't that an American style for dates? Or, did/do other countries also use the month, day, year style of writing dates? It might not even be a date, could read "Mark" or something else. It just looks like March twenty something 1915 (to me), but could be something else.

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1915 would still see the Martini in use in many of the British colonies, especially considering the massive need for SMLE-type rifles on the frontline.
 

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Neat!

Starting with "Colonel Smart" & 1915, I get

When the First World War broke out, there was no obvious need for cavalry on the Western Front. Requirements changed as Turkey prepared to attack British-occupied Egypt. Ottawa volunteered to send 12 regiments of mounted rifles. Hughes offered Smart command of the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Brigade, with the 4th, 5th, and 6th regiments. Smart assembled his men at Valcartier, Que., and sailed for England in mid July 1915.
Biography – SMART, CHARLES ALLAN – Volume XVI (1931-1940) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography (biographi.ca)

So, did the Canadian Mounted Rifles carry those 1882 bandoleers in 1915?

Scroll down to the pic of the four Hermon brothers, circa 1915
canadianmountedrifles - the men

Why? Because they were still armed with Boer War era Lee Enfield Mk Is.
WarMuseum.ca - South African War - The Lee-Enfield .303 Mk. I Rifle

Also on back (not pictured), the bandolier reads "Property of ........." (too faded for me to be able to read).

If you take the best pic you can of that and post it, we'll give it a go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Great information. Thanks!

I cleaned the dust/dirt off as best I could, and will provide better photos, including the property stamp. It is ink. I think some types of light will activate the chemicals in ink, and would provide a clear photo. Since I probably wouldn't have that light anyway, I'll take the best photo possible in natural light. I won't be able to take photos until Friday (weather dependent).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Best I can do as of now. Better photos tomorrow. (just got home and adjusted the photos). First word under "Property of" looks to be "UNITED". Then it looks to be "-OST------". Also looks like there is a third line to the ink stamp.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The photos I took today don't show the ink much better. I didn't mention this name on the bandolier, but it is present as well. Looks to be "Sargt" or "Sarat" followed by other writing. Might be the same as what is on the inside of the flap "Sargt M Crawford"

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The "Property of" stamp. I couldn't capture a photo that would be easier to read.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And, photo of the overall condition of the bandolier. The condition of the leather improves as it moves further from the buckle. On the end opposite the buckle, the leather is in good condition. It has cracks when bent, but it is flexible and in good shape--I don't think it could be in much better shape for 100+ year old leather. I suspect this area wasn't exposed to as much dirt/sweat as the area closer to the buckle.

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