UK Bayonets By year (non Socket).
On this page I intend to outline the various UK bayonets available to the collector by year, in much the same way as I have done for other bayonets, and will use my collection to illustrate the main models. It is not meant to be a in depth review, more a general overview , if you want an in depth account full of detail then I would recommend Skennerton's book on Commonwealth Bayonets as possibly the best book for UK bayonets. I have not included all trials versions of bayonets as these are a very specialised items and typically not commonly found, the ones I have included are typically the fakes found available at the moment and are included to identify these for collectors.
The 1800's saw large numbers of Volunteer units which bought their own bayonets., typically these were modelled with some differences on the mainstream military issue bayonets of the same time scale. I unfortunately do have not versions of all of these volunteer blades but have some examples, the Volunteer patterns do not have military issue marks, and may have steel instead of brass fittings (or vice-versa), crossguards and pommels. They may also have size differences, either heavier or lighter.
I hope details below are of some interest to fellow collectors. You will notice a marked lack of Socket blades, as of yet it is not an area I have an interest in, but then for a long time I had no interest in Sword bayonets either so this too may change. The Bayonets below are listed in the order that they went into service, and I hope some time to be able to fill in the large numbers of gaps in my collection I discovered during the research for this page.
|Page 1||Page 2|
|Baker Sword Bayonet||1902 Trials|
|Vivian Carbine Bayonet||1903 Sword Bayonet|
|Constabulary Carbine bayonet||1907 Sword Bayonet|
|Brunswick Sword Bayonet||VTC|
|Artillery Sword Bayonet.||1913 Sword Bayonet|
|1855 Sappers&Miners - LANCASTER||Ross Bayonet|
|1856 Infantry Sword Bayonet.||Arisaka Bayonet|
|1856/58 Infantry Sword Bayonet.||Pritchard Bayonet|
|1856/58Artillery Sword Bayonet.||Farquhar Hill|
|1858 Infantry Sword Bayonet.||No 4|
|1858 Naval Sword Bayonet.||Sten Trials Spike STEN Machine Carbine Bayonet|
|1859 Naval Cutlass Bayonet.||US Model 1917|
|1860 Infantry Sword Bayonet.||No 5|
|Volunteer Infantry Sword Bayonet.||No 6|
|1863 Whitworth Sword bayonet||No 8|
|1870 Elcho||No 9|
|Martini Henry Sword bayonet||X2E1|
|1871 Cutlass bayonet||L1A1|
|1875 Sword Bayonet||L1A2|
|1879 Artillery Bayonet - Converted||L1A3|
|1879 Artillery Bayonet - Sawback||L1A4|
|1879 Garrison Artillery Bayonet - bushed for the Martini Henry||L3A1 (SA80)|
|1887 Sword Bayonet||Sterling|
|1888 Sword Bayonet||Modified foreign blades|
|1888 Sword Bayonet |
After a trials bayonet with a handle similar to the 1887 but fitted with a double edged blade the first Pattern 1888's were made with a new hilt design to fit the Lee Metford rifle
MkI 1st type has three brass rivets holding the wooden grips on the hilt - the first wooden gripped UK bayonet.
MkI 2nd type has only 2 brass rivets holding the grips in place
MkII gained a cleaning hole in the pommel and the grip rivets were further separated, this being due to changes in the rifle and the deletion of the cleaning rod
MkIII Like the MkII but using crews rather than rivets for the grips. Not many of these were made, but repairs may mean that earlier versions were regripped with the screws. The pommel and crosspiece were browned rather than the white metal of the earlier patterns.
There are several Volunteer patterns of this Bayonet. Scabbards for this bayonet originally were leather with steel mounts, later versions went to 2 fully leather covered versions with integral frog, and finally a Naval pattern, which have an external steel throat and an internal chape. At the start of WWII 1888's were issued to Naval troops and new scabbards were made, these have an external chape but are dated 39.
|P1888 Mk I first type|
|P1888 Mk1 second type|
1888 MkI 2nd Pattern made by MOLE, one of the less common makers
Manufacture date is 1899
Inspection marks on obverse ricasso
Pommel markings for MA OTC (officers training corps), I ma not sure of the meaning of the MA mark
MA OCT indicates it was issued to the Junior Division OTC - Morrision's Academy (Instructions to Armourers 1912, with Amendments 1916) Thanks to Derek Complin for the identification
Thanks to Derek Complin for the identification
1888 with RR ricasso mark, very distinctive grinding marks on the blade
Blade is unusual in having a completely blunt blade and no signs of sharpening
|Unmarked volunteer 1888 pattern bayonet |
Hand made blade, with short ricasso and flat spine on Volunteer 1888
|1888 Volunteer by Greener, it has two oil holes due to the use of parts from multiple sources|
|Wilkinson marking on Ricasso, Patt 88 on pommel|
|Volunteer pattern 1888 with brass and steel rivets and no markings (any scabbards out there?)|
|Comparison of blade shapes and grindings of 1888 blades, "square" ricasso is Sanderson made, wider blade is volunteer|
|1888 Volunteer model|
Of interest on this model is the complete lack of cleaning hole
1888 Volunteer with the rare small muzzle ring
|Brown skin scabbard and unmarked bayonet except for L seen on many of these, the only difference is the muzzle ring|
|1888 MkI PtII|
|RR mark indicates reduced in status, there also appears to be a partially stamped removed from service stamp (facing WD arrows)|
Cancelled pommel marks indicates that the blade was issued at least twice
Tang markings on 1888
|Sanderson made 1888 with Royal Engineer issue marks on pommel|
|Royal marine marked 1888, using an Australian 1907 scabbard cut down to suit and with a modified throat|
N for Navy pommel mark and Lithgow mark on chape
RM for Royal Marine use with locket marks from Lithgow WWI pattern scabbard (note the tear drop frog stud)
Modified throat on shortened 1907 scabbard, still has original Australian markings on it.
|Chromed 1888 for parade use|
|Greener marks on Ricasso|
|Greener stamps on Tang of Volunteer|
1888 NoI MkII Naval marked with 1939 Navy pattern scabbard, point has been rounded for an unknown reason
Wilkinson London made blade
Rounded blade point is professionally carried out
1888 with RR ricasso mark, very distinctive grinding marks on the blade
Blade is unusual in having a completely blunt blade and no signs of sharpening
|1888 Mk1 type 2 Naval issue in WWII, "N" stamp on pommel and 1939 marks on scabbard|
|Very well marked 1888 ricasso shows years of use - and possibly an over enthusiastic armourer|
|1902 Trials |
1902 trials bayonet that lead to the 1903, two blade lengths were trialled, the 1888 pattern that was adopted and this 15" version. 375 of each model were trialled and the shorter length adopted.
Comparison of the 1902 with the 1888
Ricasso marks limited to back to back R's for reduced condition of blade
Only other marking is an L on the tang, The condition of the blade and the fact that this was found in France may indicate that this blade may have actually issued and used during WWI although there is only speculation to this as there is nothing in the books
|1903 Sword Bayonet |
After several trials the 1903 pattern bayonet was made using 1888 blades attached to a new pommel to fit the new Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) rifle. early 1903'3 used actual 1888 blades which are dated pre 1903, later versions have post 1903 dated new made blades. There are even more scabbard variations authorised for this model, and the earlier 1888 scabbards will fit as well.
|1903 produced using 1888 blade, with dark blued blade This is an Indian rework, and has IG stamps on the ricasso|
|'00 manufacture date on the 1903|
|Mole made version of blade, has no acceptance or date stamps, often volunteer blades are even without makers marks|
|Grips do show Enfield inspection marks|
|Scabbard is leather covered (pig skin) wood, with copper washed locket with only single rivet (instead of normal 3)|
|1907 Sword Bayonet |
These are separately outlined in their own special page UK Pattern 1907 Bayonets and Variations which also covers non UK made versions.
VTC bayonet has a 1888 style pommel and a 1907 style blade although the latter is not a 1907 blade. There are several variations to the scabbard pattern
|1913 Sword Bayonet |
Made to mount on US produced 1914 pattern rifles, these bayonets have two parallel grooves around the grips to distinguish from the 1907, as although superficially similar they have different Cross guards, the 1913 having a higher muzzle ring. The bayonet is identical except for markings and scabbards to the US model 1917 which was also used by the UK during WWII. Versions made by both Remington (common) and Winchester (less common).
|1913 Winchester made with Winchester Ricasso marks and partial blade blue|
|Winchester inspection marks on 1913|
|Non standard grips with additional grooving to normal 2 grooves of the pattern|
|Ricasso markings on 1913 pattern bayonet made by Remington in 1916|
|M1913 Remington made with rare double stitched scabbard|
|Ross Bayonet |
Over 100,000 of the Ross rifles and bayonets were purchased from the Canadians These are clearly marked with UK WD marks to distinguish them from the Canadian models
|Ross bayonet with 1WOL grip marks. Scabbard is marked to 255th Battalion of the CEF (Canadian Expeditionary Force), pommel has Canadian acceptance mark|
Throat of scabbard has serial number
Cross guard has Enfield inspection stamp and WD arrow
Canadian Ross made for UK issue, these have a straight blade rather than the hollow ground blade found on the Canadian issue bayonets
UK acceptance marks on Tang
Frog has brass button to fix it onto the belt
|Arisaka Bayonet |
Distinguished by their highly blued finish over the Japanese models, as they were all stripped and refurbished before entering service. Few of these blades are marked with UK markings, and many of the contract were shipped off to Russia never having seen UK service.
|Japanese Arisaka trials bayonet. Japanese blades were bought and the pommel crossguard, and scabbard were re-blued. 150,000 were ordered but most were shipped onto Russia during WWI. UK marked ones are uncommon|
|London Regiment pommel markings|
|Original Japanese pommel serial are still on the pommel end|
|and the original Japanese makers marks are evident on the ricasso|
|Pritchard Bayonet |
Made from converted French Gras bayonets, this bayonet was made to fit the Webley revolver. Large numbers of Fakes of this bayonet are around as only a few hundred were produced during WWI
|Bayonet attached to revolver|
|Farquhar Hill |
An experimental semi automatic rifle trialed during the 20's used a reduced length 1907 pattern bayonet and scabbard. Fakes of this are available although often mis identified as fighting knives etc. the blade may have the wrong dates to be correct for the trial, and are typically 5mm short of the actual length of the true blade
Cut down 1907 Faquhar Hill Fake
|No 4 |
I stated at the top that there were no socket bayonets on this page, well I had to slip in the No4 No9 and the No7 bayonets as no modern collection of UK bayonets is complete without these three blades.
The No4 had 4 main variations, due to continual changes in production methods to make production faster and cheaper.
MkI bayonets were approved in Nov 1939 for attachment to the UK No 4 rifle. These socket blades had a cruciform shaped spike blade. Fakes of this bayonet are common as it is a rare bayonet. Care should be taken before paying excessive amounts for this bayonet, checks should be made of the point (a point and not a screwdriver point) and for removed and re-stamped markings. The early MkI were very well made, while later quality began to decline. The bayonet was a single piece forging See the section on Fakes and Reproduction
MkII Like the MkI a one piece forging, however the grooves in the blade were deleted in order to make production easier. These bayonets are clearly marked No4 MkII on their side. These can be found with S markings for the Savage company in the US who made them, as well as a merged LB marking for Canadian Long Branch made versions, as well as several UK makers including Singer sewing machines.
MkII* These were similar to the MkII but manufactured by brazing spikes to the socket, this allowed for all parts to be sub contracted and again made the bayonet cheaper
MkIII The last version was very crudely made from sheet steel pressings with rough welding, 4000 were made using STEN bayonet spikes
These bayonets also came with various scabbards, including a plastic one, and production was such that even the MkI's were still being made when MkII*'s were in production.
No4 MkI reworked and renumber with Arabic rather than Roman numerals. This shows it to be a50's rework of an obsolete bayonet. This is reported in Graham Priests Spirit of the Pike, and is one of only 7 known at the moment. The original marks have been ground off and new ones added.
|No 4 MkII|
Another No4 MkII but this one made by Savage in the USA (1.25 million made so not rare, but the first I'd seen
|No 4 MkIII made utilising the spike from the STEN gun bayonet (one of 4000 made)|
The indicator for the STEN blade is the long space from the spike mark L to the socket, No4 blades are at the end of the socket
Standard joke with the ball tipped No4's is "now to find scabbard" (HaHa) This has been got around on this item by using a much smaller ball and modifying the throat of the MkII scabbard to allow it to fit. Original bayonet is one of the Indian Government marked Baird made examples. It is not known when this was done or if it was for a military unit at all but makes an interesting discussion piece.
|No4 Scabbard Chromed||
|Chromed No4 bayeont scabbard for parade use.|
|Victoria Plastics Scabbard|
|No4 knuckle bow||
|Copy of knuckle bow designed to be used with No4 or No9 bayonets|
|STEN Trials Spike Bayonets|
Reproduction of a trials Sten gun bayonet which had a clip to allow it to be fixed into the folding skeleton stock
Repro By Mark Simm
Sten trials bayonet, this is is a modern copy and not one of the two known examples. There are no official drawings of the item and it may be possible that the originals were made at the local level for a commando unit as they apparently had a wish for a blade.
|STEN Machine Carbine Bayonet |
Another Faked bayonet, although many were made very few were issued and the rest were scrapped at the factory. I've not seen any information regarding the large numbers of these now available in the original packing but am very sceptical about them, and although mine is quite old I do not believe it to be anything other than a fake due to the lack of markings on it. Recent Forum discussions have revealed that the fake bayonets are indistinguishable from the original even when compared to one, this means that a "real" one needs very good provenance to justify it.
|Original STEN bayonet|
|US Model 1917 |
During WWII numbers of US 1917 rifles and bayonets were supplied under lend lease for Home guard issue, these all have the US 1917 pattern mark and either US scabbards modified by the addition of a leather frog for attachment to UK webbing. or fitted with the 1907 pattern scabbard (now known as the No1)
|M1917 with 1918 date stamp|
|No 5 |
Known as the Jungle carbine bayonet due to its issue with the shortened No4 rifle, This bayonet has a bowie shaped blade and a conventional wood handle, the very large Muzzle ring of this model is due to the large flash hider on the rifle.
MkI the first of the No5's have only a single grip screw and are the rarer of the two version. Fakes of these are relatively easy to make, and careful attention to the grips should be made, Ideally the grips should be removed to show the tang, to look for machining of the new central screw hole.
MkII bayonets used two grip screws and are the more commonly found version. Care must be made with these as large numbers of Indian made No5's are being traded as UK No5's
Commercial versions of this blade were also made post war, as well as one for the Sterling Sub machine Gun which is clearly stamped with Sterling on the blade.
|No 5 MkI with the single grip svrew|
|No 5 MkII Jungle Carbine, made for shortened Enfield with large flash hider|
|Commercial No 5 with plastic riveted grips|
|Very short fullered No5, bayonet is thought to have been brought home by a relative who was working in the Poole factory|
with thanks to Andrew Adams
Using the blade of the No5 with a but with a hilt more like the 1907 (No1) bayonet. This was a proposal to replace the No4 and give a more usable bayonet. Few were made, however there appears to have been an order by Israel for the blade and a few of these turn up occasionally. Care must be made with these blades as without good knowledge of the differences in hilts etc. a fake is easily mistakenly identified.
Intended for use on the MkV STEN gun the No 7 combined a blade similar to the No5 with a completely new pommel, since the fitting for the bayonet has like the No4 a novel swivelling pommel design was made to allow the blade to be attached to the machine gun and still used as a conventional bayonet. Typically two colours of grips are found - red and black - and it appears that this is down to manufacturing differences. This bayonet saw limited service.
|No 7 with swivelling socket with standard fitting for SMLE, limited use only, i.e. guards regiments|
|No7 with black grips. Despite the books I find it hard to accept that the colour variation between the red and black grips is a manufacturing variation, the black is not dark red it is black|
Basically the No 5 with a small muzzle ring to fit the No4 rifle not many were produced
|UK No8 one of only 2400 trials blades made|
|Similar to the No5 but it has a small diameter muzzle ring|
|Made in Poole in 1946|
|Pommel has Singer markings|
|Scabbard has brass throat |
Using the blade of the No5 with the socket of the No4 this bayonet stayed in service with the Navy till the 60's. Pakistan also made a version of this bayonet marked POF (see Pakistan), as did Italy who made a version with the blade from a 1891 Carcano bayonet welded to the No9 attachment socket
|Chromed No9 for ceremonial work|
|Is the 1949 the date of chroming?|
|Heavily blancoed frog |
|Is TOPP 840 the troopers name and number?|
No9 MkI by Poole 1949 - close up on markings .(early production model)
No9 MkI Enfield made version
The trial bayonet for the UK SLR a semi auto only version of the Belgian FN FAL rifle. Large numbers of trials bayonets were made for the SLR but this is the only one available in any large numbers.
Trials FN bayonet
After a series of trials the bayonet adopted for the SLR was the L1A1, this used the No5 blade and Scabbard on a new sheet metal hilt.
Box of chromed tips for the bowie blade tipped blades, box contains 12 but has no marks on itI believe these to be for SLR bayonets
Fitted to a blade the tip would effectively blunt the blade
Using riveted cross guard rather than the brazed of the L1A1 this bayonet was not generally manufactured in the UK but was used by Australia and Canada.
L1A2 bayonet a made by the Canadian Arms company for use by Canada as the C1
|L1A2 Steel grips, round ended fullers, and extended button, this is Australian issue|
The proud locking catch of the L1A1 was reputedly a problem in crowd control situations as the blade was easy to remove the bayonet when mounted on the rifle. This required the manufacture of a new pommel, however L1A1's were converted by fitting a new press stud to a machined pommel, these can be identified by the L1A1 markings still stamped onto the hilts After the mid 60's the length of the fuller was shortened to strengthen the blade
|L1A3 with short fuller, this one has a dress scabbard which probably explains the almost mint condition of a blade made in 1966|
Externally similar to the L1A3 the only difference is the pommel is attached to the tang by rivets and not by brazing as on the earlier versions.
|Hilt markings of L1A4|
Bayonet pattern for the UK SA80 rifle.
|L3A1 for SA 80. The L2A1 was only trialed|
|L3A1 scabbards. top is dress version and lower is nylon replacement for plastic issue using the same spring clip mount|
EA commercially made bayonet for the Sterling SMG, MAny were made from excess parts and quality was variable. THis example shows the fullers over ground to result in a perferation of the blade
|Sterling made by BSA|
The blade below is reputedly converted for an unknown firearm for use by the Home Guard during WWII
|Converted French Gras reportedly for use by the Home Guard. It is identified as this by Kiesling tentatively and stated as such by ABC. Can anyone confirm this or offer a better identification|
Bushed muzzle ring to 15mm and modified frog stud on shortened scabbard
Shortened 1874 with "Made In England" stamp on the slot. It is thought that the stamping s due to a law in the US requiring the country of origin to be marked on such items. Although the blade is actually French many of these were used in the UK during WWI by Volunteer training units modified to fit other rifles in many cases. There are no obvious modifications to this blade.
Another shortened 1874 Gras this time with the shortened scabbard. The normal Gras fits on the side of the rifle, whatever the rifle this was attached to had a mounting under the barrel and this has resorted in a need to machine a groove into the muzzle ring to allow the sights to be used. There is a small amount of material removed from the end of the slot to allow the bayonet to mount on the rifle
Interesting conversion of a P13/P17 to fit a SMLE rifle, all ricasso markings have been removed and the original cross guard modified by removing and re-weldng the muzzle ring appropriate to the 1907 location. Close examination of the cross guard shows that it is modified rather than a 1907 cross guard as in the case of the Indian conversions (which also retain their ricasso marks).
Additionally the fixed frog has been modified, these alterations most probably indicate that the whole conversion was done for home guard use in WWII
|A carving set made from a pair of UK 1887 bayonets|