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  1. #11
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    Whilst Roger gave you the meaning of the "VII", i.e. a Mark VII ball round, given the circumstances and location of your finds I suggest that in fact it is the remains of a grenade discharging cartridge.
    In WWI these were made from reject ball cases and so carried a ball headstamp, usually without the original ball marking being struck out.

    The sequence of the grenade discharger cartridges in WWI is quite complex, and once removed from the original packaging they are difficult to identify.

    The first of the rodded grenades was introduced in 1915 and the discharger cartridge for it was approved initially as “Cartridge S.A. Blank .303 inch Short Rifle Grenade Mark I”, but on introduction of other types the title was changed to “Cartridge S.A. .303 inch Rifle Grenade 35 grains Cordite Size 3 Mark I”. This used an uncrimped ball case with the above charge with a tuft of guncotton at either end of the cordite and closed with a cardboard disc or cup sealed with shellac. The original ball headstamp was supposed to be cancelled and overstamped with “I”, but no such examples have been found.

    The next type introduced in 1916 was a short term measure whilst a more suitable round was developed and was the “Cartridge S.A. .303 inch Rifle Grenade 37 grains Cordite MDT Size 5-2 Mark I”. This was simply a Ball Mark VII cartridge without the bullet and with the neck filled with tallow. It was provisionally approved for use with all rodded grenades and only seems to have been in use for a short time.

    Following this came the “Cartridge S.A. .303 inch Rifle Grenade 43 grains Cordite MD Size 4 Mark I” designed for use with the No.22 grenade with 15 inch rod. It was, like the others, made from uncrimped ball cases closed with a paper disc and sealed with shellac. It was blackened all over. Later in July 1917 a second version of this, the “Cartridge S.A. .303 inch Rifle Grenade 43 grains Cordite MD Size 4 Mark II” was introduced for the No.23 Grenade with six inch rod. It was identical in appearance to the previous Mark except that the neck was sealed with a cardboard cup and both Marks had the usual tuft of guncotton at either end of the charge. There seems to be no difference between the specification of the two Marks although it has been stated by others that the Mark II actually used Cordite Size 3.


    The Mark II remained in service until the end of the .service life of the .303 inch cartridge, the nomenclature changing to “H Mark II” in 1927 and eventually to “Cartridge S.A. Line Throwing .303 inch Cordite H Mark 2” in 1948 after it became obsolete for Land service but continued in use by the Royal Navy.


    The cup discharger for the Mills grenade was introduced in 1917 and a new cartridge followed in August, the “Cartridge S.A. 303 inch Rifle Grenade 30 grains Ballistite Mark I”. As before, early production utilised uncrimped ball cases with the top half blackened for identification. Shortly after WWI the headstamp was changed to include the numeral “1” and from 1928 it became the “Cartridge S.A. Rifle Grenade .303 inch Ballistite H Mark Iz”. In that form it remained in service until the end of the Second World War.


    The above details are from my book "Headstamp Guide - .303 inch British Service Ammunition".

    Your case is too corroded to tell which type it is or whether it was ever blackened. Also, I think the headstamp is "K-18 VII" and not KN. K is Kynoch, Birmingham although I am sure you know that.

    Attached photo shows the Short Rifle Grenade Mark I, Rifle Grenade 30 grains Ballistite Mark I, New Zealand H Mark Iz (WW2) and Rifle Grenade 43 grains Cordite MD Size 4 1/4 Mark II. The latter
    was introduced for the No.23 grenade with a six inch rod.


    Regards
    TonyE

    H I and H II.jpg
    Last edited by TonyE; 20th December 2011 at 10:33 AM.

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to TonyE For This Useful Post:

    Andysarmoury (20th December 2011), Edwardc (20th December 2011), smle2009 (20th December 2011)

  3. #12
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    Hi to all,
    took the liberty to 'blowing up' the photo of the .303" case,which I agree with TonyE because of location found,to be a grenade 'blank',however I make the headstamp to be K-16 VII

    Tony

  4. #13
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    Thanks Tony, that was a typo, the headstamp is clearly "16",

    Cheers
    TonyE

  5. #14
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    Tony and err.. Tony. Thanks very much thats exceptionally helpful. I have been logging the finds as i got them with GPS so I know where the cartridge case came from, it is now apparent to me that the area i found it was indeed the rifle grenade range, with the practise throwing area behind it. The area where i have found the majority of the mills fragments seems to be a mock trench network, perhaps these were live throwing areas. As of yet I have found no mills fragments in the rifle grenade range area, but i will continue looking.

    I did find a piece of a rod grenade out of context and completely away from the main area of my finds, but i have put this down to nearly a hundred years of ploughing moving stuff around. The fragment area and the rifle gren area are in 2 separate fields but were originally one big site.

    That answer my question, and helps me as i couldnt work out why they would be doing rifle training at a greande school, i couldnt work out why they would be discharging bullets and i could not find any reference in the journals i have of the site of this type of activity going on. I wasnt sure what a cartridge for launching grens looked like, i assumed it was simialr but thought it would be crimped or something so easily identifiable. This has cleared that up though thanks a lot!

    Ed

  6. #15
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    Here are the rest of the finds



    Top left to bottom right, in rows from left to right:
    1. No36 flat stamped Mills Levers
    2. Lugged type Mills Levers, including an early pierced type
    3. No35 rod grenade remains
    4. various strikers and springs - from what i can work out they are all solid type
    5. No36 Mills fragments
    6. unidentifiable mills frags
    7. No5 or No23 (prob No23) Mills fragments
    8. Cartridges already mentioned in this thread
    9. remains of pin and ring pulls and barbed wire
    10. 5 x No23 base plates (2 with intact threads) and 4 x rods (all with intact threads)

    Highlights from this site for me are the base plates with readable impressions, late type No23 baseplates


    and this early pierced type mills lever


    and the Number 35

    Its quite interesting as so far my finds cover pretty much from the mills rod gren (No23) up to the No35 (but nothing else in between yet) which was quite late design rod grenade. The levers are interesting as they represent transition from No5/23 levers to No36 levers - this indicates to me that these types of gren were used, from first design to last design. So far i have not found any No5 bases or No36 discharger cup plates so i dont know if they were used on this site or if it was just early rod gren variants. Like the No23 that was No36 shaped but with a rod instead, (No23 MkIII?)

    I like my collection as its almost the timeline of Mills and Rod gren development, but in relic form ( i know some bits are missing but you know what i mean!)

    In fact the more i think about it im sure that the pieces i have found are all pieces of No5 or No23 grenades of all Mk's, all rod launched. When was the No36 developed as the No36 that was used in WW2?
    Last edited by Edwardc; 20th December 2011 at 09:01 PM.

  7. #16
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    As photobucket deleted all my photos as i wouldnt pay thier ransom fee, i have written a blog post (a few years ago) and have posted it here for completeness. I had forgotten about this thread until i google searched something else and this came up.....

    https://www.thetimechamber.co.uk/bet...crete-you-know

  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Edwardc For This Useful Post:

    AMMOTECHXT (7th July 2022), kahu1 (2nd July 2022), Weasel (8th July 2022)

 

 
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