Greenwood and Bately packets

I should not have attached this photo to the headstamp query.

A strange thing is this photo of an 1898, .303 Mk II packet (bundle). Other than the string used to tie it, identical packets are known in both New Zealand and Australia. The printing on the wrapper is completely different to any other packets known down here, which has led me to the conclusion they may have been printed in Britain. I also believe the contents, regardless of headstamp, were produced by G&B. The influence of G&B on the Colonial Ammunition Company was so huge, it’s very difficult to isolate facts.
Any thoughts on this would also be appreciated.

John

Here is a GB MkII packet for you I have quite a few early CAC packet photo’s, your packet does look like it was UK printed/styled

Rich

Hi John
Ii might be of help to explain the differences in the printing to the other known packets so we might be of help. I have only one CAC packet & if I knew what to look for… Are you talking about the font differences? layout? None of my .303’s are marked as by G&B.

The font used for C.A.C. on this packet does look very similar to my 1926 C.A.C. MK VII packet, for whatever that is worth.

Looks like Rich has your answer.

Hi Pete,

Sorry for the sparse information. Basically it is the font which is different. The layout of packet printing, particularly in those days, was the same Commonwealth wide.

Rich;

Thank you, that does confirm my thoughts that those bundles (packets to most people), were printed and packed in the UK. It’s really nice to have confirmation. Now, all I need to find is an 1897 CAC packet if one exists.

Thanks again.

Cheers

John

Sorry John earliest CAC packet photo I have is 1902 MkII

Richard.

Richard,

No worries, I have photos of most dates of Aussie .303 bundles, including the 1898 and 1899. Also the NZ 1898.
For those who don’t understand the official term bundles, substitute packets.
The problem we have is trying to determine local manufacture versus imported complete cartridges. With G&B being so much a part of CAC, throw in Kings Norton and Birmingham Metal & Munitions relationships with G&B, and we have quite a mess to try to sort.
Some of the early bundles have mixed cartridges, with both no headstamp and KN in the same bundle.
Apart from that, each of the Colonies at the time had an Agent General in London, who placed orders on the War Office, who then farmed out these orders to a number of suppliers, without any reference to CAC, and have left us with a mess to sort out. Oh, I forgot to add, that on occasion the order was placed with CAC in London, and supplied direct without any reference to Auckland or Footscray.

It has been known to keep me awake at night.

Cheers

john

Funny you mention KN because I have a 1899 dated packet photo which has an almost identical font as your photo even down to the curly no 3 so it could have been printed by KN for CAC

Richard.

Richard,

I’d be interested to see that photo.
As you will know, Arthur Greenwood of G&B, was also chairman of the Kings Norton Company, another Greenwood was involved with BM & M, and actually the list goes on, but doesn’t affect my research. At least as far as I can tell.

Cheers

John

Richard,

Just another question. Do you know if G&B and KN did their own wrapper printing?

I would have said that they did there own wrapping/printing due to the differences in font type to other manufacturers but that is only a guess looking at the fonts

This has similarities with the GB as well though

Rich

The “Standard Layout” of the Packets/Bundles Lable was stabilised during the Snider Era ( 1866>). This, with minor Font variations, (Serifs, sans serif, Block) was utilised throughout the Empire and then Commonwealth; between WW I and WWII, they were catalogued and given a “H” number (Usually seen at top Left hand corner of Label on Cardboard Packets) for the different types and sizes and calibres. Also, all the Packets, Containers, Outer chests etc, were also given a “H” number. What “H” meant, I don’t know (??Handling-Materials??). Even today, there is still a “H” number on ammo tins, cartons, Labels etc. ( some up to four digits). Old systems die hard.

AS to the mixed origin of actual cartridges, “all the world did it” (Cartels)…The Germans via DWM, The French through SFM, the British through associated control of the Explosives, Metals and Arms companies, eventually forming the “Mond Group” (ICI…). and nothing is new under the sun today…

Doc AV

Thanks Richard,

Even if they didn’t do their own printing, they appear to have used the same printer. The 3 is particularly interesting as a similar font is scattered through different years of CAC packets. Most of the early ones have it, but with odd packets that have a different 3 in the same year. Quite confusing but we are making progress at understanding these early years.

Doc AV
Like yourself, I have never been able to find out the origin of the “H” designation. Could be anything, including an initial of whoever came up with the idea.