Lee Enfield charger mk. III, unmarked

In a bandoleer of mk. VII cartridges produced in 1916 by Greenwood and Batley there is, among the mk. II chargers, a single example of the mk. III, and it bears, as far as I can tell, no markings of any sort. The other nine mk. II chargers present are properly marked by makers like Kynoch, Eley, Kings Norton, Rudge Whitworth, G and B, and Gramophone. Was there general production, however brief, of the mk. III without markings, or is this nothing more than ‘one that got overlooked’? Jack

It’s unlikely that it would have been intentional as the drawing specified that “Contractors initials or recognised Trade Mark” should be used, along with the mark designation … if it was noticed it was probably decided that the missing mark didn’t affect the function of the charger and the fault be corrected in the production process.

I’ve sorted through tens of thousands of Enfield chargers over the years and, apart from the notorious and completely unmarked South African MkIV’s, I’ve only seen a handful and there’s only two unmarked MkVI’s and one MkIV* in my little collection.

Pete

Pete: Thanks for the observations.Would be interesting to know who failed to mark this one properly, but these things happen. My only other mk. III is one by Dominion Arsenal, marked with the broad arrow in a C. Jack

I meant to add that one of the few drawings I’ve seen for Enfield charger tooling shews that the marking punch was a seperate element in the die, presumably because it would wear out more quickly … it was retained within the tooling but was free to rotate in it, which explains why a lot of the makers marks don’t line up,

Pete

Pete: Your comment about the marking punch is interesting to me as I noted the two chargers by Kings Norton in this bandoleer had very different orientations from one another of the maker initials and mark number. Jack