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World War One Artefact Find!

July 29, 2017

 

We're still sorting through a few things and making more discoveries to add to our collection. This is the latest artefact we've found. It's an Oiler for an SMLE (Short Magazine Lee Enfield) Mk III Rifle. This weapon was introduced in 1907.

 

The markings on the oil bottle provide us with some interesting information!

 

The arrow and crown show it was owned by the British Government.

 

'V5' and the 'B' are the inspection stamps, which identify it as having been inspected in Birmingham before being issued.

 

It was made by H J & S. Henry Jenkins & Sons Ltd was a company located at Unity Works, Victoria Street in Birmingham. Most interestingly, H J & S produced over one million oil bottles during the Great War between 1914 and 1918. This makes this particular artefact the first in our collection to date back to World War One.

 

The oil bottle slotted into a hole on the end of the rifle butt, enabling the weapon to be maintained in good working order wherever it went. The spoon allowed the oil to be applied to specific parts of the rifle with little wastage.

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