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  1. #1
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    British No 13 Light Pitcher Grenade

    Photos of the British No 13 Light Pitcher hand grenade and the internal tin cylinder and bayonet lock cap.

    Pitcher 1.jpegPitcher 2.jpegPitcher 3.jpegPitcher 4.jpegPitcher 5.jpeg

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  3. #2
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    What's the weight?
    Author of 'British Rifle Grenades of the Great War', 'Mills Grenade Development 1915-1918' and 'Private Nurse Goes To War'

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    Hi Every one, here is my example, the pitch is still stuck in frag body and bottom of can, i re soldered the fuse holder to can as when i got this it was in kit form, i hope some one can say if its Heavy or Light, I'm thinking it was a training example as just traces of white paint can still be seen.

    Dave






    DSC03215.jpg DSC03187 (2).jpg DSC03192 (2).jpg DSC03195 (2).jpg DSC03193 (2).jpgDSC03206 (2).jpg DSC03208 (2).JPG DSC03209 (2).jpg DSC03202.jpg DSC03213 (2).jpg DSC03223 (2).jpg
    DSC03224 (2).jpg

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    Millsman
    I knew I should have included the empty weight in my info. I went through the books before I made an ID.
    Light Pitcher is 1lb 2oz filled, 4oz filling so 14oz weight empty by the books.
    My example is 475grams empty or 1lb 1/2 oz .
    Heavy pitcher is 1lb 8oz filled, 1lb 4oz empty. I think mine is a light pitcher grenade?? What is your ID?
    Nice example millsbomber. You posted while I was thinking.
    Last edited by ron3350; 21st July 2021 at 09:14 AM.

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  8. #5
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    John, my ones 1 Lbs 1 1/4 oz

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  10. #6
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    Thanks Ron and Dave.

    I posted the question because light pitchers are sometimes machined metal and the heavy seemingly are always cast. Weight seems to be the only arbiter.
    Author of 'British Rifle Grenades of the Great War', 'Mills Grenade Development 1915-1918' and 'Private Nurse Goes To War'

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    From a late-war listing of grenades, long after the pitcher had been consigned to history, the Nos 13 and 14 are described thus:

    Grenade, hand, No.13 Mark I |L| - This grenade consists of a cylindrical and segmented steel body with shrunk-on base, and enclosing a tin cylinder containing the bursting charge of ammonal, the space between the two cylinders being packed with pitch or lead wool.

    Grenade, hand, No.14 Mark I |L| - This grenade consists of a segmented malleable cast-iron body, with an inner tin cylinder containing the bursting charge of ammonal, the space between the two cylinders being packed with pitch.

    It puts a question mark over whether any pitcher grenade with a single piece body is a No.13, as the above description is of a two-piece - as per attached drawing. The only contract documentation referring to separate light and heavy pitchers is for the first War Office contracts for 10,000 of each from Roburite and Ammonal Ltd and Decimals Ltd respectively, in April 1915. From July all Ministry contracts simply refer to pitchers, without differentiation as to their being light or heavy.

    The implication is that any surviving single piece pitcher is a No.14, whatever its weight; the empty weights seem to come in at around 1lb 1oz, give or take.

    The pitcher with original service markings shown below weighs 1lb, 1 1/2oz. Also shown is a brass shell, which is likely a pattern maker's model, made prior to committing to casting in iron.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  13. #8
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    Thanks Tom.

    I think you are spot on with this. I had missed the bit about the separate steel base, so I'm not sure if a No 13 still exists. I've only ever seen complete cast bodies. The Official Nomenclature has a good drawing (attached), but confusingly gives a filled weight of 1 lb 2 oz with the charge at 4oz.

    Again, confusingly Sangster's original patent (No. 5900) of April 1915 does not show a separate base in the drawings, so the cylindrical body plus base may have been a production decision.

    John

    DSCN8245.jpg
    Author of 'British Rifle Grenades of the Great War', 'Mills Grenade Development 1915-1918' and 'Private Nurse Goes To War'

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    Very interesting info. Weights seem to vary so I possibly agree it is a heavy pitcher?? I am lucky to even have an example.
    It is a one piece cast body. How many are plain and how many have stampings on them? All rare now and lucky to have survived destruction.

  16. #10
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    The terminology - light or heavy - seems to be somewhat ambiguous and does not match the measured weights, so maybe better off just calling it a pitcher - or a No.14.

    The pitcher, of whichever variety (and the Light Pitcher appears in memoranda sent between ANZAC and 2nd Australian Division at Gallipoli - see excerpt below) saw fairly limited service with the BEF in France and with the MEF at the Dardanelles, as it proved quite dangerous to use, even more so than the early Mills grenades. Only around 220,000 were made, and most were scrapped and recycled for the brass bits and the ammonal. Survivors do seem to be scarce.

    As for markings I have no idea what proportion had impressed instructions on the fuzes; the example I showed above is so-impressed, as per attached.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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