US WW1 Requisitioned 1913 Pattern Bayonet, Dated 1917, with Home Guard Frog
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 locking button. Scabbard of olive green-painted leather with iron fittings at mouth and chape, brass webbing hooks, brown leather frog with retaining loop.
The ricasso is stamped on one side with ‘1913 9 17’, indicating that it is the 1913 Pattern, manufactured in September 1917, and the manufacturer’s mark of Remington. On the other side it is stamped with a ‘broad arrow’ War Department stores mark, two crown inspection stamps with ‘A’ for America and an ‘X’ indicating that it passed a manufacturer’s bending test. The broad arrow and one crown inspection stamp have been cancelled with overstamped hatching, while the other inspection stamp and X have been overstamped with ‘U.S.’ The leather section of the scabbard is stamped next to the seam with the manufacturer’s mark ‘G.H.Y.’
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 Remington and Winchester – an early handful were made by Vickers but it was clear that British plants were best left to make the SMLE. Remington produced 1,243,000 of these bayonets, making them the by far the largest manufacturer, and was also the largest producer of the rifles, with its subsidiary Eddystone in second place.
After the United States entered the war in 1917 the factories that had been producing for the British switched to supplying the same products to the US Army. In US service the P1914 Rifle. rechambered in their own .30-06 Springfield cartridge. became the ‘United States Rifle, Model of 1917’ with accompanying ‘Model 1917’ bayonet – a direct copy, now with US markings including a ‘1917’ pattern stamp.
The cancelled British marks, overstamped with US service marks, on this example indicate that it was one of a number originally manufactured as a 1913 Pattern for the British, but requisitioned before export for use by the US Army. Being a direct copy they were fully compatible with the .30-06 rifles. It has been paired with a US-type olive green scabbard, with webbing hooks rather than a frog stud.
However, the distinctive pattern of frog that has been fitted shows that this bayonet did see use in British hands after all: it was issued to the British Home Guard during WW2, who were often armed with the M1917 or P1914 rifles, which were no longer standard issue but still used current cartridges.
The blade is clean and bright with no significant nicks to the edge, original grinding marks. The wood grips have some small dents, one noticeable chip on one side between the incised lines, and one small crack next to a screw. The hilt, tang and pommel are mostly bright steel with some dark blued finish remaining in places. Some patination to the scabbard fittings and light rubbing to the scabbard body, exposing the brown leather in places. Some loss of stitching to the frog below the retaining loop.