This is a rarely encountered SMLE bayonet that is marked to the Royal Military College (RMC), Sandhurst. R.M.C. Sandhurst trained gentlemen cadets, as they were known at the time, for a regular commission in the Army which in August 1914 was tiny compared to its European counterparts and contained only 12,738 regular officers. The majority of the 247,061 officers commissioned during the First World War held a temporary commission and therefore, not being regular officers, did not commission from Sandhurst. To put the matter in perspective, 5,131 gentlemen cadets commissioned from the College during the Great War and circa 2700 officers holding a temporary commission received additional training there. Out of the 41,846 British officers killed in the First World War 3,274 were former gentlemen cadets.
Dated January 1918 (1'18), this Chapman manufactured 1907 Pattern bayonet would have been used by these freshly trained officers before they were sent into active service with the British army. It is quite plausible it was taken to war as it appears to have been exposed to the elements.
Chapman SMLE bayonets are fairly scarce with only 300,000 of this variant with clearance hole produced during WWI. To find one with these marking is extremely unusual.
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