Deactivated WWI & WWII SMLE issued to the 3rd Cheshire Regiment

Deactivated WWI & WWII SMLE issued to the 3rd Cheshire Regiment

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Rarely seen, a First World War dated SMLE MKIII with British Navy property stamp. The capital letter N below the bolt safety bracket was only applied in this manner to Royal Navy service weapons and is an extremely rare mark to be found on an SMLE. The rifle looks to be dated 1916. The magazine cut was omitted from the design in 1915, although receivers that were already completed were still being used in 1916.

The regimental brass disc is marked "3 CH.5" =The 3rd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, weapon number 5. The 3rd Battalion was a reserve regiment that were in 1914 stationed at Chester and then move to Birkenhead as part of the Mersey Defences. This may well explain the Navy property mark, the rifle being used to defend the Mersey docklands. In December 1917 they moved to Newcastle-on-Tyne, then in May 1918 moved again to Seaton Carew, Hartlepool and finally in September of 1918 moved to West Hartlepool.

In 1936 this rifle was re-barreled by BSA and would have seen service again during WWII. It still retains many matched parts including the receiver, barrel and nose cap.

A fascinating SMLE with links to both ground and naval forces and with both world wars, and is a very collectable and desirable rifle. Deactivated with a working action it can be cocked, stripped and dry fired.

To order Call 01547 529093 or 05603 416575 or email

Product Code: 1SMV5


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