A bit niche all this but I have just watched newsreel of the Vaasgo raid (Dec '41) and seen a No. 4 with spike bayonet. Early model on limited troop trials?You can tell him that the "MkII" on the MkIII sight is not incorrectly stamped - because it refers to the sight leaf and not the complete sight assembly. Ergo, the MkI sight leaf is on the Mk1 sight, but the MkII sight leaf is on the MkIII sight, because the MkII sight was the 300/600 flip sight.
I'm sure that you knew that....
p.s. as a proud Canadian, I'm a bit surprised that he didn't mention that the first large-scale use of the No4 was actually in August 1942 - Dieppe.
p.p.s as a proud Canadian he might be a bit disappointed to hear that the only Canadian part of his own rifle is the receiver; the rest is a mish-mash of other British parts added during or since its last service life in India.
A bit niche all this but I have just watched newsreel of the Vaasgo raid (Dec '41) and seen a No. 4 with spike bayonet. Early model on limited troop trials?
Here's some of them in the hands of Scots Guards ski troops in Chamonix during the winter of 39-40Well spotted.
The No4 was in production from about June 1941, so it looks like this unit was about the first to get the regular service rifles.
AFAIK the No1 MkVI and No4 Mk1 Trials rifles had all been withdrawn to Enfield before the outbreak of war, and were not in regular service, apart from those converted to 4(T).
By definition they're either No.1 Mk.VI or trials No.4 Mk.1's since the photos predate any normal No.4 production. Would indeed be fascinating to see which they are, as well as the details, but we've only got the photos we've got...
BTW I've got a project (which is going to take me ages due to dayjob work pressure sapping my mental energy for it) of tracing the Small Arms Committee minutes through the development and to the end of the No.4 Mk.1 trials. Thus far, it's real man-in-shed-who-happens-to-have-a-state-arsenal-at-his-disposal-and-can-do-a-20k-trial-run-of-SMLE-Mk.V's. Literally the spark in the tinder is a note of "err, you know that aperture sight SMLE experiment thingy we did pre-great-war, well we've got some budget so do you want to revisit that?", then the progression from SMLE Mk.V to the No.1 Mk.VI is kinda organic, "err, what if we did this and tried that" and what comes out at the end is the No.4... Which is kinda cool, and completely glossed over by Skennerton.
According to Laidler, there is quite an untapped archive of No1 MkV development data at Warminster. Presumably much of this would be the troop trials reports.
I often wondered whether the development of the No4 was an official and directed WD requirement, or if it just happened to be the outcome of workbench tinkering projects by the men in brown coats. After all, everyone was still happy with the No1, and its supposed difficulty of production was rather disproved by events in WW1. They could have just cut the 07 bayonets down to India Pattern, and focussed on trying to come up with a self-loader of some sort.