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Rifles At Home During World War One

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Posted

I recently came upon this item from the Sheffield Independent in June 1917 (attached). Apart from being a sad tale, I was surprised to learn that soldiers took their rifles on leave. That had never occurred to me before.

I've since learned from Trefcom that it was normal practice. I imagine that it could have led to many mix-ups and problems of insecurity. But I've not seen any other mention of rifles in the city during WW1. Does anyone have more information or examples, please?

Peter

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Posted

Shouldn't be any real mix ups as to whose rifle was whose, all soldiers I would think would know which was their's just by looking at it. Plus the brass butt plate/disc usually had unit,company, rack number on it. (up till 1916 me thinks)

Rifles also had a serial number on them, so you would know your serial number/rifle.

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Posted

Thanks Trefcon.

This theme has led me to think about other personal weapons. Does anyone have information about officers’ swords, please?

I’ve read that officers were required to purchase a sword themselves, but am not sure why. Certainly not for WW1 fighting. Is the suggestion of universal purchase correct? Would they have been brought home on leave also?

I’ve seen that James Dixon and Sons had a licence to produce swords in this period, and imagine that some other Sheffield companies would also have made them If every commissioned officer had to purchase a sword (above) the market would have been quite large (but maybe second-hand sales were common).

Peter

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