Archive for United Kingdom

Princess Mary Christmas Gift Box

Posted in Odds & Ends with tags , , on May 27, 2019 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomA really common item, which strangely I had never got round to getting one of. These were manufactured by the millions and the last ones weren’t distributed until 1920. There’s a great summary here of their history. These boxes were an idea that was based on the reception to the Queen Victoria ones from the Boer War, example here.

A Birchall Electrician in WW1

Posted in 1914-1918 Service Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , on January 9, 2019 by The Dude

This trio are a 1915 Star, Allied Victory Medal and British War Medal awarded to Private C. Burchell (M2-048414). I haven’t found his first name yet but his army number indicates that he served as an electrician in the Army Service Corps. His record shows he entered France on the 16th of March 1915 and that he was released into the Class Z reserve on the 21st of April 1919. I hope he had a decent war.

Enfield Number 5 Mk 1 Bayonet

Posted in Bayonets with tags , , , , , on August 19, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThe Number 5 infantry carbine had a very short production run and basically came in too late to be taken into large-scale production. The impact on the number of bayonets produced for it was mirrored by this. There were four UK wartime manufacturers, one being Wilkinson Sword. The bayonet is marked on one side by the broad arrow and an x. The x is a bending proof mark. The other side of the blade is marked W.S.C. and with their dispersal code S294. Wilkinson made 188,354 of these bayonets.

A Birchall, dead at Cawnpore

Posted in 1850-1900 Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , , , on August 14, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomThis group epitomises why I collect medals to both my surname and its variants. In the 19th Century, surnames were still quite fluid. With many people still being illiterate in the mid-century (~40% of men), the spelling of the surname often depended on the hearing of the recorder. In this group we have a Crimea Medal with Sebastopol Bar and an Indian Mutiny Meda, the latter impressed to SERGT TIMY BIRCHELL, 82 REGT. On the medal roll for Crimea he is recorded as Birchill. On the Regimental roll for India he is spelled Birchile. Either way, Timothy Birchell, 2232, Sergeant in the 82nd (Prince of Wales Volunteers) Regiment of Foot, served and died at Cawnpore, India on the 16th of December, 1857. The Mutiny medal is typical of many casualty medals, never worn and in almost mint condition.

Enfield No5 Mk 1 Jungle Carbine

Posted in Firearms with tags , , , on August 12, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomAlthough I try to stick to Axis firearms, sometimes the pickings get slim. So when I slide off the true path I have to be careful because there’s a world of pain in store for my bank account if I go full retard. I have always had a sweet spot for Enfield rifles though, my first long arm centerfire was a Number 1 Mk 3. The Number 5 always held a fascination for me. Partly because of it’s late war nature and partly because when it was issued, the vast majority of them went to the Far East, a theatre I have read a lot on. This example is one of 81,329 produced by BSA. It’s fully matching, unmucked with and never got the Ishapore redo post-war.

Another Birchall in Malaya

Posted in 1945 + Medals, Family Groups & Singles with tags , , , on June 4, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomIt has been a good month for finding Birchalls on the intertubes. This GVI GSM is impressed to 23522812 PTE J.BIRCHALL RAOC. Because this is a GVI issue GSM, Private Birchall must have served early in the Emergency, prior to 1956. Interesting side note, it was called the Malayan Emergency because if it had been a war, then insurers would have been able to refuse claims for damage.

WW1 Ridgways Tea Souvenir Tin

Posted in Odds & Ends, Propaganda Items with tags , , , , on May 12, 2018 by The Dude

Flag_of_the_United_KingdomWhen war broke out in August, 1914, many companies rushed to get souvenir premium items onto the market before it was all over by Christmas. Basing their hopes on the bounty that was earned by the chocolate companies during the recent Boer War, Ridgways put out this patriotic tea tin in 1914. Obviously manufactured before the reality of war hit home, the lithographs include a fanciful cavalry charge, a nursing scene, a homage to Baden-Powells Boy Scouts, Sir John French, Admiral John Jellicoe and finally the soon to be famous and then dead Lord Kitchener.