British WW1 1913 Pattern Bayonet, Dated 1916 by Winchester
Straight single-fullered knife blade, steel hilt with muzzle ring, wood slab grips with characteristic pair of cut grooves on each slab, secured by two screws. Steel beaked pommel with oil hole and locking button. Black leather No. 1 Mk 2 scabbard with steel locket & teardrop frog stud and steel chape piece.
The ricasso is stamped on one side with ‘1913 8 16 W’, indicating that it is the 1913 Pattern, manufactured in August 1916 by Winchester. On the other side it is stamped with a ‘broad arrow’ War Department stores mark, three crown inspection marks with ‘A’ for America and an ‘X’ indicating that it passed a manufacturer’s bending test. The scabbard has small crown inspection stamps to the throat and chape pieces, partly covered by the staples, the throat piece is also stamped with a small ‘2’. The leather section is stamped next to the seam with a further ‘broad arrow’ mark, a worn crown inspection stamp which I believe reads ‘B’ for Birmingham, the production date ’17 and the manufacturer’s mark ‘H.G.R.’, indicating Hepburn, Gale & Ross Ltd. Of Bermondsey, London. The U.S. made 1913 Pattern bayonets, having identical blades to the British 1907 Pattern, were entirely compatible with British scabbards and vice versa.
Inspired by the German Mauser M98 rifle, the experimental Pattern 1913 Enfield was intended to be the next generation British infantry rifle, firing the new .276 cartridge. The outbreak of war curtailed its development and the well-established SMLE was retained in service instead. However with an urgent need for rifles the government opted to redesign the 1913 to take the existing .303 cartridge, calling this new rifle the Pattern 1914 (NB: the bayonet’s design did not require modifications, therefore it remained the ‘1913 Pattern’ bayonet). The production of these rifles and their bayonets was contracted to American manufacturers – an early handful were made by Vickers but it was clear that British plants were best left to make the SMLE.
Winchester produced the 1914 Pattern and its associated bayonet between 1916 and 1917. It was the rarer of the two US manufacturers of the bayonets, producing 225,000 bayonets compared with the 1,243,000 produced by Remington, and the rarest US manufacturer of the rifles, behind Remington and Remington’s subsidiary Eddystone. The 1914’s design was vindicated in that it proved to be more accurate than its predecessor and it was deployed principally as a sniper rifle, the Winchester-made rifles in particular thought to be of high quality, suitable for fitting with telescopic sights. It saw service again during WW2 as rear echelon equipment, e.g. with the Home Guard, although some were again used in a sniper configuration.
The 1913 Pattern should not be confused with the M1917 Enfield, also known as the ‘American Enfield’, which was essentially the same rifle design, this time adopted by the Americans and rechambered in their own .30-06 Springfield cartridge. Its bayonet was also essentially the same as the British model, but with US service marks and a ‘1917’ pattern stamp.
Founded in 1760 as Hepburn and Sons, Hepburn, Gale & Ross was a large manufacturer of leather goods based in the ancient tannery district of Bermondsey, which at times supplied the British Army with items such as saddles and bayonet scabbards. The firm still exists under the name Barrow, Hepburn & Gale, notably manufacturing the red leather despatch boxes used by government ministers since 1853, and the leather purses used in the 800-year-old tradition of Royal Maundy.
The blade is clean, sharp and undamaged, and retains its original blued area at the ricasso. The wood grip has some small dents and chips. The hilt, tang and pommel have been coated in a black lacquer or similar, which has worn away in raised areas exposing the steel beneath. The throat piece of the scabbard has some scratching which shows up bright against its blueing.