About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 56-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

N is for Naval Landing Parties

Another piece of ephemera, nostalgia, family history . . . I think I've mentioned my Grandfather was drafted across from the Merchant Navy to the RN in 1915, in time for the Gallipoli Landings in the Dardanelles, serving aboard HMS London. I've found his copy of the land-fighting manual used by Naval Landing Parties.

.45" Automatic Pistol; Drill Manual; Emily; His Majesty's Fleet 1913; HMS London; JTS Hall; Magazine Lee-Enfield. MLE; Merchant Navy; Midshipman RNR; Military Manual; Naval Landing Parties; P1888 Bayonet; Rifle - Magazine Lee-Enfield; Rifle and Field Exercises; Rifle Drill; RMLE; RN; Royal Naval Reserve; Royal Navy Reserve; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Training Manual; Webley Scott .45"; Webley-Scott Automatic Pistol;
'Rifle and Field Exercises for His Majesty's Fleet 1913', so, written/published the year before it all kicked off, lacking anything on trenching and entrenchment.

I wondered at them having marker-pens in 1915, until I realised it was pencil which has lost its shine after 106 years!

.45" Automatic Pistol; Drill Manual; Emily; His Majesty's Fleet 1913; HMS London; JTS Hall; Magazine Lee-Enfield. MLE; Merchant Navy; Midshipman RNR; Military Manual; Naval Landing Parties; P1888 Bayonet; Rifle - Magazine Lee-Enfield; Rifle and Field Exercises; Rifle Drill; RMLE; RN; Royal Naval Reserve; Royal Navy Reserve; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Training Manual; Webley Scott .45"; Webley-Scott Automatic Pistol;
'JTS Hall Midshipman RNR HMS London', I don't know if this means they made them substantive RN personnel (RNR is the Royal Navy/Naval Reserve) later, or not at all, neither do I know if he was already in the RNR, or was co-opted into it when leaving the MN? I suspect he had to serve in the Reserve as part of the payback for his merchant naval training, crossed as RNR and became substantive later?

.45" Automatic Pistol; Drill Manual; Emily; His Majesty's Fleet 1913; HMS London; JTS Hall; Magazine Lee-Enfield. MLE; Merchant Navy; Midshipman RNR; Military Manual; Naval Landing Parties; P1888 Bayonet; Rifle - Magazine Lee-Enfield; Rifle and Field Exercises; Rifle Drill; RMLE; RN; Royal Naval Reserve; Royal Navy Reserve; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Training Manual; Webley Scott .45"; Webley-Scott Automatic Pistol;
This appears to be an 'emily' or what the Army called the MLE (Magazine Lee-Enfield), the first version of the weapon, dating from 1895, reworked in 1899 and obviously considered good enough for the Navy! The Army had by 1915 switched to the SMLE, lacking the protruding barrel obvious above. The SMLE (Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield) was known as the Mk.1, hence the Mk1* above, to differentiate it from an actual Mk.1! The Mk.1* would still be in use with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles in WWII!

.45" Automatic Pistol; Drill Manual; Emily; His Majesty's Fleet 1913; HMS London; JTS Hall; Magazine Lee-Enfield. MLE; Merchant Navy; Midshipman RNR; Military Manual; Naval Landing Parties; P1888 Bayonet; Rifle - Magazine Lee-Enfield; Rifle and Field Exercises; Rifle Drill; RMLE; RN; Royal Naval Reserve; Royal Navy Reserve; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Training Manual; Webley Scott .45"; Webley-Scott Automatic Pistol;
This is very similar to the SLR bayonet I trained with/carried in the 1980-90's, even down to the mounting-catch design, but the blade is longer; the SLR was 8-inches, not 12. This is not the long 17-inch 'sword' bayonet of infantry charges across no-man's-land, nor the 'Desert Rats' of the 8th army in those iconic press-shots (and Airfix artwork) of World War II either, but rather the P1888 Bayonet carried over from the Lee-Metford rifle.

.45" Automatic Pistol; Drill Manual; Emily; His Majesty's Fleet 1913; HMS London; JTS Hall; Magazine Lee-Enfield. MLE; Merchant Navy; Midshipman RNR; Military Manual; Naval Landing Parties; P1888 Bayonet; Rifle - Magazine Lee-Enfield; Rifle and Field Exercises; Rifle Drill; RMLE; RN; Royal Naval Reserve; Royal Navy Reserve; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Training Manual; Webley Scott .45"; Webley-Scott Automatic Pistol;
The Webley Scott .45" automatic pistol, far more useful than the revolvers a lot of Infantry Officers were still going 'over the top' with at this time, and would still be doing in another war? But that's the Brit's, always slow to rearm, re-equip or modernise, always fighting the previous war . . . presumably, needing fewer numbers, the Navy were allowed to be daring with the 'new-fangled' weapon! Issues with barrel residue had been solved by the time Granddad got his!

.45" Automatic Pistol; Drill Manual; Emily; His Majesty's Fleet 1913; HMS London; JTS Hall; Magazine Lee-Enfield. MLE; Merchant Navy; Midshipman RNR; Military Manual; Naval Landing Parties; P1888 Bayonet; Rifle - Magazine Lee-Enfield; Rifle and Field Exercises; Rifle Drill; RMLE; RN; Royal Naval Reserve; Royal Navy Reserve; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Training Manual; Webley Scott .45"; Webley-Scott Automatic Pistol;
What the figure painters were waiting for, even though they're black and white! I would say the standing firing pose is not pushed forward enough, but he's a big looking chap and can probably take the recoil! The prone figure, not shown clearly, is angled so that the recoil is taken in a line down the right leg.

.45" Automatic Pistol; Drill Manual; Emily; His Majesty's Fleet 1913; HMS London; JTS Hall; Magazine Lee-Enfield. MLE; Merchant Navy; Midshipman RNR; Military Manual; Naval Landing Parties; P1888 Bayonet; Rifle - Magazine Lee-Enfield; Rifle and Field Exercises; Rifle Drill; RMLE; RN; Royal Naval Reserve; Royal Navy Reserve; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Training Manual; Webley Scott .45"; Webley-Scott Automatic Pistol;
How the instructions for firing sitting can take precedence over kneeling (the best firing pose of all) is anyone's guess, but they obviously did things differently a century ago! He is shown firing downhill (or from a crow's nest?), which makes sense, sitting to fire level is the worst of all poses!

.45" Automatic Pistol; Drill Manual; Emily; His Majesty's Fleet 1913; HMS London; JTS Hall; Magazine Lee-Enfield. MLE; Merchant Navy; Midshipman RNR; Military Manual; Naval Landing Parties; P1888 Bayonet; Rifle - Magazine Lee-Enfield; Rifle and Field Exercises; Rifle Drill; RMLE; RN; Royal Naval Reserve; Royal Navy Reserve; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Training Manual; Webley Scott .45"; Webley-Scott Automatic Pistol;
The final images in this section; there's not many other images in what is a very wordy tome of many pages, but there is some interesting stuff on battalion advances in column, line, echelon etc . . . which I'll get up here another time.

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