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Canadian Military Collectors Forum

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    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated!

    ColonelKlink1942
    ColonelKlink1942
    New Member


    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2023-04-06
    Location : Southern Saskatchewan

    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! Empty Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated!

    Post by ColonelKlink1942 Fri Apr 14, 2023 4:26 pm

    Hey gang!

    Long message incoming, I'll try to condense it as best I can:

    Way back in August of 2022, I purchased a socket bayonet from an antique shop in town, (after looking it over time and time again for a few years). The seller couldn't tell me anything about it, other than it sat in his collection for over 40 years. After studying it, taking measurements, and asking around, I knew it to be a P1853/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet. What I haven't been able to identify is the origin story and life of this bayonet itself. In the images I will provide, it has the inspection markings on the Ricasso, "E/ (crown) /13", and a 5-digit number on the base of the socket, "39283". (Apologies for the poor quality of the photos, my phone can only do so much and I don't have an excellent place to display and study my bayonets yet)

    So far, I have reached out to (by email) the Royal Armouries in Leeds, England, and to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Canada. After having spoken to both organizations' experts, they helped me to further my knowledge of this bayonet. The Royal Armouries clarified that the Ricasso markings mean that the bayonet was made and inspected at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield, with the crown signifying that it likely belonged to the government at the time, and the 5-digit number was likely paired to the Enfield rifle that had the same numbers. Hard to pinpoint the pairing number and whether it was for a P1853 or a Snider-Enfield conversion, there are a lot of variables no doubt. The RA also said that there's a possibility that if the bayonet wasn't issued to the British army at the time (as it lacks a War Department marking), it may have been shipped over to Canada between 1859 and 1867 or a tad later, for Colonial use. The Canadian War Museum backed that up, as they have a fair amount of the same socket bayonets which were issued to militia regiments in the Province of Ontario, and they also lacked any sort of War Department markings, only having the Ricasso inspection markings.

    Furthermore, given the 5-digit socket number being stamped in a sort of "this number over these numbers" fashion ("39 over 283"), both the Royal Armouries and the Canadian War Museum noted the likelihood that this bayonet may be connected with either the British 39th Regiment of Foot, having returned to British North America and being temporarily stationed here between 1856-1859, in theory being rearmed for the Crimean War. Otherwise, this bayonet may have been issued to the Canadian 39th Norfolk Battalion of Rifles, and while I'm hoping it would've been right around the time the regiment was being raised in 1866 around the period of the Fenian Raids, it could very well have been issued to them several years later.

    I believe I've ruled out the plausibility of this particular bayonet ever seeing service in the American Civil War of 1861-1865, as nothing seems to coincide with it seeing service with the Union or the Confederacy, given the markings on mine compared to other P1853 bayonets.

    What still eludes me is the life story of this bayonet. Was it ever used in England? Was it surplus in England and sent here? When? How did it end up in Canada? More importantly, how did it end up in Western Canada in the Saskatchewan prairies if most of the militia regiments were in the Eastern Provinces (likely brought over as a souvenir or purchased as an antique, but who knows)? Did it see service during the Fenian Raids of 1866? Are there any records anywhere that would have pairing numbers listed?

    Please feel free to let me know if there's information that I haven't supplied that you would like and/or extra photos. Any further insight and help with this is most appreciated. Thank you!


    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! 20220610
    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! 20220612
    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! 20220611
    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! Unknow10
    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! 20220810
    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! 20230310
    jholl72
    jholl72
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    Posts : 949
    Join date : 2009-11-24
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    Location : Ontario, Canada

    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! Empty Re: Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated!

    Post by jholl72 Fri Apr 14, 2023 7:43 pm

    It could be Canadian or British, the 39 would be the battalion and the number underneath is a rack number. I have an Enfield MK1 dated 1896 that has the brass butt plate marked the same way. My rifle is the 26th Battalion with the rack number underneath. The buttstock has the Canadian Militia and Defense stamp.
    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! Img_6211
    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! Img_6210
    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! Img_6210


    _________________
    Regards,
    Jeff
    ColonelKlink1942
    ColonelKlink1942
    New Member


    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2023-04-06
    Location : Southern Saskatchewan

    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! Empty Re: Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated!

    Post by ColonelKlink1942 Sat Apr 15, 2023 4:08 am

    jholl72 wrote:It could be Canadian or British, the 39 would be the battalion and the number underneath is a rack number. I have an Enfield MK1 dated 1896 that has the brass butt plate marked the same way. My rifle is the 26th Battalion with the rack number underneath. The buttstock has the Canadian Militia and Defense stamp.
    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! Img_6211
    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! Img_6210
    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! Img_6210

    I can't seem to tell the difference between a rack/pairing number and the rifle number itself or whether they go hand-in-hand. If I'm understanding this correctly, that would mean my bayonet belonged to the 283rd rifle issued to the 39th Battalion. I could be wrong though.

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    Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated! Empty Re: Pattern 1853 Enfield/Snider-Enfield socket bayonet: identifying markings and origins - any help is most appreciated!

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