Experimental 8 Barrel Projector: Bates Textile Finishing Co

Some time ago I came across an order in one of the big Ministry of Supply ledgers at the National Archives in London.
The order to Bates Textile Finishing Machine Co Ltd, was for 1,000 cartridges at 5 shillings each, for ‘experimental 8 barrel projector’. The order was placed on 18.11.41, with a second date of 4/2/42 also written. The order is noted as being completed in ‘Nov 41’.
Another note mentions the Superintendent at a range in Shoeburyness. Which is presumably where a trial was to take place.

I have written to the Bates Textile Finishing Co in Leicester from an address on the internet, but it appears they were wound up a while ago, so I am not hopeful of a reply.

Does anyone know anything about this 8 barrel projector?


Alan David

Are you sure it wasn’t possibly referring to anything having to do with the 8" barrel Livens Projector, and just omitted or implied the “inch” symbol? I only mention because of the terminology “projector” so often used with the Livens mortar type launchers (which was 8-inch), and Britain would have been keen on defensive armament of any type for beach protection, which could explain testing at Shoeburyness? The Livens had an electrically-initiated charge in the tube, but maybe the experimental nature of this involved a cord-pull kinetic-initiated charge of some sort with a launching cartridge (to explain the 1000 5-shilling cartridges)? To that end; are there any unexplained British mortar-looking launching cartridges with questionable origin or purpose to substantiate this? Just a thought.

Or it may refer to one of the “Hedgehog” or “Mousetrap” type projectors for anti-submarine warfare which were actually spigot mortar type weapons, and were made with varying numbers of spigots for different size vessels.

The Livens explanation does make sense.

At the top of the page it says: ‘Cartridges for 8 Barrel Projector’ further down in the body of the page it says: ‘Experimental Ctgs for 8.barrel’.

Personally, I think it is for some kind of expedient Home Guard sub-artillery similar to the Smith Gun and Northover Projector, the time frame is just about spot on.