Rifles, Cycles & Sisters

A bunch of Great War rifles from four of the warring nations.  As usual, click to enlarge.

First four, nearest the camera first: Two different model German Mausers, an 1893 French La Belle, according to the explanation text (or if you prefer, the Lebel Model 1886), and a Russian Mosin-Nagant, 1891 Model.

And the other end of the table, nearest the camera first: Lee Enfield SMLE 1916, a French rifle from 1868, 1899 Martini Henri & 1869 Snider-Enfield.

Bad teeth no bar!  Great war era bicycles.

And some nurses uniforms that I cannot identify, apart from the fact that they are nurses uniforms.

But maybe you can, matron.

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12 Responses to Rifles, Cycles & Sisters

  1. Morag Sutherland says:

    I have shared this on Facebook yo see if the uniforms can be identified.i will let you know

  2. Nick Kilner says:

    Superb selection of rifles! and who doesn’t love a nurses uniform 😉
    I would assume that the first on the left is the standard ww1 nurses field uniform, but have no idea about the other two. Hopefully someone can enlighten us.
    As to the ‘bad teeth’, I do wonder, having watched ‘they shall not grow old’ and been struck by the horrific state in which everyone’s teeth were, just how bad they had to be to excluded someone from service!

  3. John in Canada says:

    Missing is the Canadian Ross Rifle. And, no wonder. It was an exceptionally accurate rifle, due in part to tight machining tolerances. That spelled trouble in the mud of the Western Front. In addition British produced 303 ammunition had varying specs. That was not a problem in the Enfield that had generous machining tolerances. But that did compound the Ross’s reliability deficit. Many a Canadian fallen were found with jammed Ross rifles. Many more surviving Canadians ditched their Ross in favour of an Enfield on the first opportunity. That created huge political uproars at home. By the fall of 1916 the Ross had been withdrawn from service, As was it’s principle proponent Sir Samuel Hughes, Canada’s Minister of Militia and Defence, who was fired from the Canadian Cabinet. The rifle continued in use by Canadian snipers who treasured it’s accuracy. Perhaps they had more opportunities to keep the rifle, and ammunition clean.

    Does anyone know if First War Commonwealth snipers had access to what we would now call “match grade” ammunition ?

    • Magicfingers says:

      I seem to remember reading about Sam Hughes and the political ramifications of the Ross in a book someone kindly sent me across the seas a few years back………………..

  4. Nigel Shuttleworth says:

    Great post MJS. Regarding bad teeth even as late as the ’40’s a common 21st. birthday present for a young lady in Sheffield/Doncaster environs was to have all her teeth extracted and dentures fitted. If she was married then hubby paid, otherwise the family!

  5. Sid from Down Under says:

    Removing all teeth was very common back then – my Great War Dad (and mother) had all teeth removed and replaced with dentures …. way before fluoride in our water system …. thank God I’ve still got most of mine despite the old 1940s-50s dentist foot treadle drilling machine and a big numbing injection syringe shared by the entire town (so-to-speak) followed by black mercury amalgam fillings …. ah, that’s why I’m like I am

    Interestingly the dentist back then gave we kids a lolly at the end of the procedure …. drumming up future business??

    • Magicfingers says:

      That really does explain one helluva lot. Black mercury – mercury from the dark side – not just the normal stuff………
      It’s chicken and egg. Which came first, the dentist or the lolly!

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