UK Bayonets By year (non Socket).

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last updated 26/06/03

On these pages 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 1Page 2
Baker Sword Bayonet1888 Sword Bayonet
Vivian Carbine Bayonet1902 Trials
Constabulary Carbine bayonet1903 Sword Bayonet
Brunswick Sword Bayonet1907 Sword Bayonet
Artillery Sword Bayonet.VTC
1855 Sappers&Miners - LANCASTER 1913 Sword Bayonet
1856 Infantry Sword Bayonet.Ross Bayonet
1856/58 Infantry Sword Bayonet.Arisaka Bayonet
1856/58Artillery Sword Bayonet. Pritchard Bayonet
1858 Infantry Sword Bayonet.Farquhar Hill 
1858 Naval Sword Bayonet.No 4
1859 Naval Cutlass Bayonet.Sten Trials Spike  STEN Machine Carbine Bayonet
1860 Infantry Sword Bayonet.US Model 1917
1863 Sappers&Miners - LANCASTER No 5
JacobsNo 6
Volunteer Infantry Sword Bayonet.No 7
1863 Whitworth Sword bayonetNo 8
1870 ElchoNo 9
Martini Henry Sword bayonetX2E1
1871 Cutlass bayonetL1A1
1875 Sword BayonetL1A2
1879 Artillery Bayonet - Convertedl1a3
1879 Artillery Bayonet - Sawbackl1a4
1879 Garrison Artillery Bayonet - bushed for the Martini HenryL3A1 (SA80)
1887 Sword BayonetModified foreign blades

 

 

Baker Sword Bayonet

First introduced in 1800, the Baker pattern sword bayonets come in a larger variety than possibly all other UK bayonets. There were several official UK versions, even more volunteer versions, the Indian copies and the modern fakes.

The first pattern had a squared knuckle bow made in 1800

The second pattern introduced in 1805 had a curved knuckle bow

Versions with the knuckle bow removed can be found, leaving only a vestigial cross guard, the quality of the removal is somewhat variable from very good to poor.

In 1815 a saw backed version of the Baker was made with the curved knuckle bow

In 1823 a shortened Baker pattern bayonet was made, the hilt was the same as the full length bayonet but had a much shorter blade, this was termed the Hand bayonet after modifications in 1825, making it probably the first true knife bayonet, rather than the German 71/84 usually given the credit for this.

Volunteer Baker Pattern blades can be found with ornate handles and knuckle bows.

Uk baker pattern.jpg (58368 bytes) Baker 2nd Pattern Bayonet, this is a modern fake
UK baker pattern hilt markings.jpg (108527 bytes) Hilt markings on Baker are typical of the real markings found on Period pieces

 

Vivian Carbine Bayonet

The Vivian was a double barrelled carbine of which only a few were made for trials and Irish constabulary use, there was a knife bayonet made for this weapon, and an even shorter fantasy version which i have in my collection

UK vivian Carbine.jpg (58617 bytes)UK vivian Carbine Pommel.jpg (71378 bytes)Vivian Carbine Bayonet for the Vivian double barrelled carbine. Maybe this should hold the title of the first knife bayonet. Baker style bayonet mount and regular impact marks on modern made fantasy piece

 

Constabulary Carbine bayonet

Another Irish constabulary blade for a double barrelled carbine, this one uses a 17" blade with a distinctive narrow central fuller, and double edged blade.

A 2nd pattern bayonet made after 1848 with the improved Brunswick catch, this had a rib but no central fuller, and a shorter blade than the Brunswick's of this period.

no picture

  No example(s) yet in my collection.

 

Brunswick Sword Bayonet

This bayonet was based on the Baker, using the same mounting T slot in the grips, but having a double edged blade with a narrow central fuller. First introduced in 1837.

An improved catch was made and introduced in 1848, using a less protuberant locking catch

Volunteer bayonets can be found with variations to the crossguard, swept forward and back and with knuckle bows

no picture

  No example(s) yet in my collection.

 

Artillery Sword Bayonet.

Hot on the heels of the French 1840 and 1842 Yataghan sword bayonets, most countries made similar bayonets for their forces. The British started with the brass handled Artillery (type 1), this is very similar to the French 1842 with a swept back finial. Later models have a swept back finial like those of the 1853 infantry bayonets. Most are Belgian made with only the early contracts going to Reeves and Greaves in the UK. From the markings it would appear that the blades of the Belgian contract bayonets came from Germany. Less than 10,000 were made in the 2 years this bayonet was made, and there are few volunteer patterns. Bayonet has a short lead to the mortise slot.

The 1853 Type 2, has the leather grips used on the infantry model, but retains the steel scabbard of the type 1 artillery model.

The 1858 model had the mortise modified as the carbine rifles lost a short bar forward of the bayonet lug. This results in a noticeable difference in the hilts of the different years. These blades were all UK manufactured by Enfield

 

1853 Artillery, later models had the pressed leather grips more typical of UK Yataghans. Interesting points are the full length slot on this version

 

1855 Sappers and Miners Bayonet - The LANCASTER 

The Sappers and miners adopted an oval barrel rifle in 1855 and produced their own distinctive bayonet with a Falchion or pipe backed blade. The leather scabbard had brass fittings. Early models had riveted leaf spring, while later models had a screw. Pre 58 the bayonets were made by Lancaster after this they were made by various suppliers.

After 1857 the Sappers and Miners were renamed the Engineers so the blade is sometimes called the Engineers Bayonet. Many of these were made for Indian use as production is several times the delivery for the Engineers. 

After removal from engineer service it became a side arm particularly for the Medical Corps and many (like mine) will be marked as such. Some of the bayonets used as side arms were shortened by about 6.5",  and the muzzle rings were bushed to 15mm but it is not thought that this was for a particular weapon.

Volunteer versions of this blade were also made,

 

ukk lancaster.jpg (70187 bytes)uk lancaster. VRAMC marks.jpg (83601 bytes)P1855 Lancaster Pipe back blade with Brass cross guard and pommel 

Volunteer Royal Army Medical Corps stamps on pommel 

Shortened Lancaster bayonet complete with shortened scabbard

 

only marking is ricasso inspection mark

 

 

Chape and locket are in fair condition, better than most I have seen and leather is shortened original. The brass on the metal work is very thin and is easily bent or dented

 

 

Lancaster Volunteer, the obvious distinction on the version is the steel cross guard rather than the normal brass one, interesting as Volunteers often went the other way around replacing a Steel cross guard with a brass one.

 

1856 Infantry Sword Bayonet.

The first pattern bayonets had a mortise arrangement similar to the early Artillery pattern arrangements, but used a leather scabbard with steel mounts. Until 1858 each blade was fitted to the rifle and as such would not necessarily be interchangeable between rifles. 

1856 Yataghan Volunteer model made by MOLE

Early 1856 style Yataghan, German made volunteer

 

Very early riveted spring, limited to the earliest production models in the UK, not sure of status on Volunteer blades

 

German makers mark on ricasso

1856 private purchase from London supplier who has etched their name on the ricasso, blade originally made by Weyersberg in Germany and stamped with Knights Head marking. Early pattern has riveted spring and flat bottomed chape.

Thought to be  cadet version of the bar on barrel 1856, made by Weyersberg but without any other markings. Blade is substantially lighter than the military issue item.

UK P1856 Enfield.jpg (49426 bytes)M1856 Enfield

 

1856/58 Infantry Sword Bayonet.

After 1858 the 1856/58 bayonet was introduced to allow interchangeability. Differences are a slightly longer leaf spring using a screw rather than a rivet, and the extended mortise slot eliminated as the 1858 Artillery. (of course date stamps will also indicate year of manufacture. The bayonet lug was fitted directly to the barrel on these early rifles, so bayonets are called bar on barrel.

no picture

  No example(s) yet in my collection.

 

1856/58Artillery Sword Bayonet.

The 1858 model had the mortise modified as the carbine rifles lost a short bar forward of the bayonet lug. This results in a noticeable difference in the hilts of the different years. These blades were all UK manufactured by Enfield

The mortis slot difference can be seen in the section on the Martini Henry rifle

no picture

  No example(s) yet in my collection.

 

1858 Infantry Sword Bayonet.

1858 saw the introduction of the bar on band rifle, where the locking bar was repositioned, leading to a change in muzzle ring heights over the first version.

no picture

  No example(s) yet in my collection.

 

1858 Naval Sword Bayonet.

An increased muzzle ring over the 1856 infantry model was made, and the heavier barrel of the Naval rifle allowed the keeping to the bar on barrel mounting on the 1858 Naval bayonet. Mainly made by Reeves, German made examples can also be found. after 1958 the bayonet became known as the Marine Artillery Sword bayonet, with the introduction of the Cutlass bladed Naval Sword Bayonet.

no picture

  No example(s) yet in my collection.

 

1859 Naval Cutlass Bayonet.

This bayonet had a heavy unfullered cutlass shaped blade with a basket hilt. The 1st type had grooved wooden grips. The 2nd pattern having knurled leather grips. For a short period the Verney catch was added to the bayonet to aid in retention of the blade in the scabbard, this was short lived as a new spring arrangement in the scabbard removed the need. Large numbers of fakes of this blade (mine is one of these) can be found, all of which currently are without scabbards.

There are a wide range of volunteer versions of this bayonet

UK hilt of boarding cutlass.jpg (97782 bytes)Hilt of Naval Boarding cutlass bayonet (fake)

Interesting lightened 1859 Cutlass bayonet, the muzzle ring is not the normal 18 mm but the larger 22mm for the Enfield rifle. This has been further modified by not only removing  basket but also it has had the finial on the muzzle ring removed and a semi circle ground out. This latter modification of course mean that the blade now mounts below the rifle instead of down the side so any help on what it fits would be appreciated.

Lightened 1859 Naval cutlass bayonet, two versions exist one made by removing the steel guard from the original bayonet. The second is new made for the Martini Henry as in this case having an 18.5mm muzzle ring instead of the larger 20mm of the original 1859

 

There should be a short quillion opposite the muzzle ring, in this case it has been removed

 

 

 

 

 

Rare original scabbard for the Cutlass bayonet, thi shas now been mated with my Volunteer lightened cutlass to make a rare combo
  

 

 1860 Infantry Sword Bayonet.

1860 saw an improved rifle with a heavier barrel were introduced, to allow for this a slightly larger Muzzle ring had to be introduced on the bayonet (approx 0.5mm) in all other respects it is identical to the 1856/58. Scabbards were made 1" longer to allow for shrinkage in hot climates at this time.

no picture

  No example(s) yet in my collection.

 

1863 Sappers and Miners Bayonet - The LANCASTER 

A later version of the 1855 this is marked by a bar on barrel type muzzle ring location and a dished top to the hilt, these are not very common

Volunteer versions of this blade were also made,

 

no picture

  No example(s) yet in my collection.

 

Volunteer Infantry Sword Bayonet.

In 1859 the War department authorised the raising of volunteer units, which had to provide their own equipment. Many used Surplus equipment including the early 1853's. The later model sword bayonets were still needed by the military and so Volunteer models were ordered from the manufacturers. These had many variations over the official models, with brass cross guards, or straight blades, heavier blades etc. They will all however be devoid of  military acceptance marks. Many of these blades were made by German manufacturers so Solingen marks are common. Hand fitting of these blades made them non interchangeable.

A small version was made probably for a cadet school or similar. While a 10" longer bladed version with a double muzzle ring is also reported possibly as a prototype.

UK_ENFIELD_P1856I58.jpg (85127 bytes)

P1856/58 Volunteer Issue Enfield

UK enfield volunteer hilt.jpg (97570 bytes)Enfield Volunteer based on 1856 with brass pommel and cross guard

 

Jacobs

Designed to fit a double barrelled rifle

t

Jacobs bayonet for a double barrelled rifle, this came with a reproduction scabbard. The actual users of these blades is open to conjecture, many say India but it has not been confirmed. This is the longest of all the UK produced blades at 900mm overall length

 

Full basket hilt with leather grips

 

Pierced basket, with double muzzle ring

 

 

 

 

S&S makers mark for Swindurn and Son

 

Brass fittings on repro scabbard, unfortunately all known scabbards seem to be steel mounted. An all steel scabbard is also known

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1863 Whitworth Sword bayonet

 Virtually identical to the 1856 Infantry sword bayonet, the only differences are a smaller muzzle ring and a circular hole below the mortise groove, this blade was made especially for the  Whitworth rifle and only about 8000 were made.

 

UK 1870 Whitworth.jpg (80048 bytes)UK 1870 Whitworth pommel.jpg (39637 bytes)

1863 Whitworth with a Circular mortis slot

Whitworth Yataghan with Indian brass mounted scabbard

 

 

Chape shows an Anchor symbol, probably a makers mark rather than any Naval connection

 

Throat of Scabbard shows unit and weapon marks apparently for Medical Corps, could this be a side arm use of the blade

 

1870 Elcho

 This leaf shaped sawback bayonet had two trials types, the 1st being slightly large than the second, the approved version had a more beaked pommel and were all bar on barrel models although bar on band models were also produced. To confuse matters further volunteer versions of this blade were also made. And as this is a rare and interesting blade copies are very common, any blade marked with the Alex Coppell A scales C mark is a fake as they did not make the weapon, although some German made blades were produced.

UK Elcho (repro).jpg (38458 bytes)1870 Elcho (reproduction)

 

Martini Henry Sword bayonet (1870)

With the introduction of the Martini Henry rifle large numbers of the earlier Enfield yataghan bayonets were re bushed to fir the smaller barrel diameter of the new rifle. Close examination of the hilt will identify the original manufacture type on which the conversion was carried out. The conversions required the bushing of the muzzle ring and the machining of a flat on top of the mortise slot. This makes for interesting collecting as for every type of Enfield type sword bayonet you can find a Martini Henry conversion

hilt comparison UK yataghans.jpg (111556 bytes)Hilt comparisons of Three Sword bayonets

The top is an 1856 infantry with short spring and extended mortise slot.

The Middle is an 1856/58 with longer spring no mortis extension and the pommel modification for the Martini Henry Rifle 

The bottom is a Volunteer pattern blade with the 1856/58 short mortis slot

 

1871 Cutlass bayonet

With the introduction of the Martini Henry rifle the navy had to produce a new bayonet as the earlier cutlass bayonet was considered too heavy. This resulted in a lighter bayonet, both the hilt and the guard were lightened, and the blade was straightened and lightened as well. Volunteer versions of this were also produced, including one with a Lancaster style blade rather than the cutlass style.

no picture

  No example(s) yet in my collection.

 

1875 Sword Bayonet

This was not a general issue bayonet and is recorded as an Irish Constabulary type. It is a straight bladed sawbacked weapon with either an 18" blade (Type 1) or  20.25" blade (Type 2). There are also Volunteer versions of this weapon, including one with only a 12" blade and one with a hand guard

 

P1875 full .jpg (36468 bytes)P1875 Hilt flip.jpg (62945 bytes)P1875 Hilts.jpg (88066 bytes)P1875 MRD1.jpg (72974 bytes)P1875 x3 full.jpg (75474 bytes)Type 1 with hilt variations
courtesy of Michael Curran in Northern Ireland
An 1875 with the sawback removed

 

1879 Artillery Bayonet - Converted

These are conversions of the 1859 cutlass bayonet this has a very thin knuckle bow and modified muzzle ring, new made versions of this bayonet have the press stud on the right whilst conversions have the press stud on the left.

UK Martini Henri Artilllary.jpg (57077 bytes)Converted 1859

 

1879 Artillery Bayonet - Sawback

Similar to the new build 1879 Artillery but with the addition of a 9.5" sawback on the spine of the blade. Scabbards with square tips (early) and round tips were made

In 1892 a MkII model was introduced with a larger muzzle ring to fit the shorter carbine rifle. A MkIII version was made to fit a carbine with a smaller muzzle ring.

1879 artillery with scabbard

 

 

Unusual hand guard on bayonet, one of only a few bayonets so made

 

ricasso stamping

 

 

1879 Garrison Artillery Bayonet - bushed for the Martini Henry

Simply the Artillery Yataghan modified to fit the Martini Henry rifle by modifying the MRD

In 1892 a MkII model was introduced with a larger muzzle ring to fit the shorter carbine rifle.. 

A MkIII version was made to fit a carbine with a smaller muzzle ring.

no picture

  No example(s) yet in my collection.

 

1887 Sword Bayonet

After several trials bayonets in 1886 were evaluated the production model the 1887 MkI went into service, this is a 18" straight bladed bayonet with a long false edge on the back,

MkI's were conversions of the 2nd model 1886 trials bayonet with some modifications

MkII were new production bayonets with a coil spring in the pommel instead of the external leaf spring

MkIII was produced without the blade fullers of the earlier two marks.

MkIV Another conversion of the 1886 trials bayonets with slight differences, also new made versions

 

1887 MkI in India pattern brass mounted scabbard

 

4 rivet leather grips

 

 

Pommel markings indicate blade was used by Nepal unit (but not Nepalese as these are not marked in English script)

 

Pattern marks and manufacture date of 1898 on ricasso

 

 

Scabbard shows a 1925 date for the leather on the scabbard

 

Indian pattern scabbards have brass mounts instead of steel on the scabbard.

1887 MkIII, this is the most common of the four Marks of this bayonet and is the only one not to have blade fullers

 

1887 leather grips

 

 

Wilkinson 1889 manufactured bayonet

 

 

Inspection stamps and WD acceptance mark

1887 MkIV made by converting one of the few 1886 pattern blades made

 

Bending mark and inspection stamps on right ricasso

 

 

Left ricasso shows original 86 pattern mark, and the C91 indicates the conversion date of 1891