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Lt. Melvill: Well done, Sir! Did you see that Noggs? Deceived him with the up and took him with the down. Norris-Newman: Well well, this one's a grandfather at least. If he'd been a Zulu in his prime I'd have given odds against your lancer, Mr.Melvill.
 
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Lt. (Brevet Major) J.R.M. Chard, 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers--Rorke's Drift and Ulundi
(Mac and Shad) Isandula Collection)
Rededication Rorke's Drift Defender William Wilcox. 8th May 2011 Dolton Devon.
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 Sparkbrook RSAF Birmingham

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rusteze

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PostSubject: Sparkbrook RSAF Birmingham   Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:03 pm

Came across a few more shots of the old Sparkbrook workshops. Some appear to be Martinis and perhaps some are Lee Metfords? Just look at the number of steel bars waiting to be made into barrels.
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PostSubject: Re: Sparkbrook RSAF Birmingham   Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:02 pm

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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Sparkbrook RSAF Birmingham   Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:08 am

The Sparkbrook works was actually originally owned by the National Arms and Ammunition company who negotiated into the Military Martini contracts for the war office in 1878 to supply 33% of the contract. BSA had 40%, NAA 33% and LSA 27%. They went bust on December 20th 1882 after only producing around 10,000 Martinis. The Government purchased the works in 1884 to extend the repair capabilities but also to manufacture the new Enfield Martini .402 arm, which was cancelled in June 1887, after that it converted most of the 70,000 rifles made in .402 into Martini Henry MkIV's. The men browning the barrels and actions are browning MkIV rifles.

The works began full production of Magazine Lee Metford .303 in 1889 and the barrels you can see look like Lee Metford furthest away, the Lewes fore-sights give them away. the middle are MH. Nice images, I have some of them for my book.
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PostSubject: Re: Sparkbrook RSAF Birmingham   Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:57 am

Hi Neil

Thanks for that. I am posting this next shot simply because the guy has some kind of Martini on his shoulder. The soldiers are apparently part of the National Reserve, photographed in Lewes in 1915. Very late for Martinis, but I suppose they were all that were left!
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Neil Aspinshaw

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PostSubject: Re: Sparkbrook RSAF Birmingham   Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:38 am

Steve.

Not exactly, that is a Martini Enfield Artillery Carbine MkIII. in .303. These were still being converted from Martini Henry MKII rifles in 1903 by having new made .303 barrels fitted. Very much in service in the great war, with home based militias (and with the Home Guard in 1940).

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