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  1. #1
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    2" Mortar Transit Plug

    Last Saturday was the British ECRA meeting at Bisley and I was able to pick up a couple of items: a No 731 (Kealey) fuze and this 2” Mortar. There’s nothing particularly note worthy in respect of the body. However, what struck me was that it is fitted with a Transit Plug. As 2” Mortar were not supplied un-fuzed, this plug was presumably for use in the filling factory to retain the filling (Baratol loose powder/granules) prior to the fuze being fitted, though I would have thought there was an easier way of doing it.

    The plug reads “42 BI – 1.77” – No. 1 – IIE”

    TimG
    IMG_1409.JPGIMG_1410.JPGIMG_1427.jpg

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    MINENAZ16 (9th March 2019), ron3350 (8th March 2019)

  3. #2
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    Tim, was it not the case that all HE mortar rounds (2", 3" and 4.2") were shipped to theatre with transit plugs, and then fuzed in rear area Divisional dumps and depots for issue to the front line? I might well be wrong, but British policy was not to use fuzed HE munitions from factory - hence the tortuous post war development saga of the L2 HE hand (and rifle) grenade. Maybe AE501 or Bonnex can clarify.

    But a fine transit plug - is the BI monogram for British Insulated Cables?



    Tom.
    Last edited by Snufkin; 8th March 2019 at 06:51 PM. Reason: Missed an HE

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimG View Post
    Last Saturday was the British ECRA meeting at Bisley and I was able to pick up a couple of items: a No 731 (Kealey) fuze and this 2” Mortar. There’s nothing particularly note worthy in respect of the body. However, what struck me was that it is fitted with a Transit Plug. As 2” Mortar were not supplied un-fuzed, this plug was presumably for use in the filling factory to retain the filling (Baratol loose powder/granules) prior to the fuze being fitted, though I would have thought there was an easier way of doing it.

    The plug reads “42 BI – 1.77” – No. 1 – IIE”

    TimG
    IMG_1409.JPGIMG_1410.JPGIMG_1427.jpg
    Hello Tim, could you please post some pictures and details of your No. 731 Kealey Fuze as well! Regards, Depotman

  5. #4
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    Tom,

    I think this explains it -

    Plugged Rounds

    Fixed Q.F. Ammunition and Mortar Ammunition is sometimes issued from the factories fitted with plugs in lieu of fuzes when the latter are not yet available. These are placed temporarily in a plugged series but they are fuzed and properly Batched before issue to Units.

    Ammunition Bulletin No. 36

    Yes, it is British Insulated Cables of Preston, Lancashire. Who merged with Callender Cables and Construction Co., in 1945 to bring us "BICC" - British Insulated Callender's Cables and has now become "Prysmian"

    Further research shows that that correct description of the Plug is "Plug, Fuze Hole, 1.77" No.1"

    Trevor - I'll post photo's next week

    TimG
    Last edited by TimG; 9th March 2019 at 05:41 PM.

  6. #5
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    I have looked at this under high magnification and if 42 is 1942 and and it is fuze related I would say that it is No IIE, with fuze marks being in Roman numerals until 1945. (Inspectorate of Armaments Woolwich)
    Last edited by AE501; 9th March 2019 at 06:52 PM.

  7. #6
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    AE501,

    It proved very difficult to photograph. There is actually a "1" after "No." Making it a No. 1 Mk IIE

    TimG

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    Tim
    I take your point. It did not make sense that 'No' was in its box without an actual number.
    While I cannot make it out clearly I can see that there is something there and that it would have to be pretty thin in the space left, which is probably a '1'.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimG View Post

    Plugged Rounds

    Fixed Q.F. Ammunition and Mortar Ammunition is sometimes issued from the factories fitted with plugs in lieu of fuzes when the latter are not yet available. These are placed temporarily in a plugged series but they are fuzed and properly Batched before issue to Units.

    Ammunition Bulletin No. 36

    Tim,

    Thanks for that. It would appear that British policy did allow deployment of some fuzed HE munitions from factory after all.



    Tom.

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    JU4rNwYlTdGXZ2kwaQQz8g_thumb_588.jpgTwo different types of 2" Mortar fuze plugs taken from "WEAPONS of the WW11 TOMMY" BY D.GORDON.

 

 

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