Daylight Signalling Lamp

A few weeks ago we looked at the daylight signalling lamp battery box and tonight we have the opportunity to look at the daylight signalling lamp itself. Like the battery box the daylight signalling lamp is stored in a solid metal box:imageNote the same reinforcing strips pressed into the side of the box. The same webbing is attached to the top lids as we saw in the battery box. Unlike the battery box though, this box has two lids, each secured with a sprung catch. Loops are provided on each side of the box to attach a shoulder strap for carrying and a waist strap to steady the box when the user is running:imageThe daylight signalling lamp can be set up in a number of ways. A metal ground spike is included in the box and this can be pushed into the ground to allow the lamp to be used over a parapet. Alternatively the spike can be fitted into the box itself and this used as a base unit:imageFor longer distance signalling the wooden tripod can be used instead and altogether this makes a very impressive set up:imageYou may recognise that the tripod is the same one used with the heliograph. The signalling light itself is controlled by a Morse key on the underside of one of the lids:imageNote also the instructions warning the user not to waste the battery. This was particularly important because the lamp used eight 1.5 V batteries which were carried in the separate battery compartment. The same side of the box has storage for the ground spike with three holes, one for each of the sections. A top lid covers these pieces and a spring helps hold it down:imageThe ground spike is made of galvanised steel and has three sections that screw together to make up the full length of the pole, alternatively one or two sections may be used if the operator wishes to place the lamp nearer the ground:imageThe second compartment holds the batteries and the spare parts. Again this has a sprung lid and on the underside of this there are further instructions to the operator:imageThe eight 1.5V batteries are carried in the bottom of this compartment and a wooden spacer sits on top:imageThe spare parts tin is carried above the batteries. This tin is made of metal with lettering on the top explaining its contents:imageThe underside of the spare parts tin lid has a picture and instructions on how to fit a replacement bulb into the signalling lamp:imageSadly I am missing the spare bulb however I do have the smaller little parts tin that fits inside the larger spare parts tin:imageThe lamp itself is made of heavy duty metal, with a permanently attached power lead to connect it to the rest of the equipment:imageTwo different sized threads are fitted to the bottom of the lamp, the inner smaller one allows the ground spike to be screwed on; the larger, outer thread the tripod:imageA small sighting tube is attached to the top of the lamp body that allows you to line up the lamp with the receiving signal man’s position:imageA large reflector is provided behind the bulb to increase the intensity of the lamp, in daylight it has a range of about three miles, at night this extends to nearer twelve miles:imageAmongst the accessories for the signalling lamp are three different celluloid coloured lenses that fit over the main light body to provide different coloured signalling lights:imageThese signalling lamps were in use from the Great War, through to the end of World War Two. It was the coming of reliable VHF radios that finally spelled the end for much of the visual signalling devices used in the British Army. My set is missing a few of the accessories, but has all the essential bits and I am very pleased with the complete set up.image


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