Ross Mk II Bayonet

At the start of the First World War the Canadian Expeditionary Force was armed with an indigenously produced rifle, the Ross. This rifle was to be problematic and was eventually dropped in favour of the SMLE, however it remained in use for snipers and saw further service in WW2 with the British Home Guard. As with nearly all military rifles in service at the time it was supplied with a bayonet and tonight we are looking at the second model of bayonet issued for the rifle:imageThis bayonet is particularly attractive, with a definite weight to it, it has a much shorter blade than that used on the SMLE, but the blade is thicker in cross section and feels sturdier:imageThis shorter length made it a popular choice for a trench knife due to its handiness in the trenches of the First World War during raids and examples were modified by removing the muzzle ring and shortening them even more to tailor them for this use. The pommel on the bayonet is marked ‘Ross Rifle Company, Quebec’ on one side:imageAnd has a number of marks on the opposite side including a /|\ within a ‘C’ Canadian acceptance mark, the date 08/16 (August 1916) and a ‘11’ indicating this is a MkII pattern bayonet first introduced in 1911:imageThe Mk II differed from the earlier pattern which had an extended muzzle ring and a larger quinion , this was changed in the second pattern which provided the right sized muzzle ring and slimmed down the quinion:imageThe bayonet was fitted to a ‘T’ shaped lug on the underside of the rifle’s barrel, with a channel provided for this to slide into. Sadly this bayonet is missing the sprung catch that would have allowed the bayonet to be secured, and removed from the rifle:imageHere we have a fine study of a young Canadian soldier in Canada holding his Ross rifle, complete with the bayonet attached:19th%20bn%20cefA generation later and we see the bayonet in use by the Home Guard in Britain, training with their Ross rifles:captureI have a number of bayonets in my collection now, and this one is competing with my No7 for the title of my favourite. It is a really nice piece to hold in your hand and beautifully made…now I just need a Ross to go with it!

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