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Mervyn Mitton

BOER WAR LEE METFORD BANDOLIER

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Sorry the previous post didn't open - in the middle of downloading, GMIC went 'off' line for a few minutes. Needed Rick to put things right !!!

This is the Infantry bandolier for the British Lee Metford rifle - Boer War period. (1899-1902). The ammo. was .303 and each compartment held five rounds - with the points projection through holes in the bottom. There were 8 compartments - i.e. 40 rounds. The bandolier could be worn crosswise round one shoulder, or, around the waist. There were other patterns of cross belts - the cavalry wore a quite different type - I don't have one now and perhaps someone could show them ? The overall length was 38 inches (97cm)

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Sorry the previous post didn't open - in the middle of downloading, GMIC went 'off' line for a few minutes. Needed Rick to put things right !!!

This is the Infantry bandolier for the British Lee Metford rifle - Boer War period. (1899-1902). The ammo. was .303 and each compartment held five rounds - with the points projection through holes in the bottom. There were 8 compartments - i.e. 40 rounds. The bandolier could be worn crosswise round one shoulder, or, around the waist. There were other patterns of cross belts - the cavalry wore a quite different type - I don't have one now and perhaps someone could show them ? The overall length was 38 inches (97cm)

I think I recall that there was a short-lived WEBBING bandolier issued. The story that I remember was that they were prone to stretching - possibly meant to be used oncwe but in fact got refilled? - and that Boer commandos following British columns could glean the cartridges which slipped out of the British bandoliers.

Has anyone else heard such a tale, or are all those cane toads I licked in my youth for a cheap high coming back to muddle my middle-aged brain? :speechless:

Peter

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There was a canvas version - don't know if your history is correct - perhaps someone can tell us ? The Boers Mauser cartridge belt was very similar to the British - I always have to look twice - must see if we have one. I thought cane toads were only in Aussie - did we have them in West Africa???

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Found this Boer War picture of a rare Rhodesian unit wearing either this bandolier - or, the cavalry version. However, I think it looks like this one.

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I take this in a item group  in Japan, i'm very courious why it was so far respect South Africa. 

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Chaco

Interesting question!  Many collectors and ALL military quartermasters have an iron clad rule: Never through ANYTHING away!  Even if you don't know what it is.  The bandolier have gone through a half dozen official and semi-official hands - Singapore militia?  Hong Kong defence force? - before being finally marked off the books.  Or, it may have gone straight from SA to Japan in the possession of a veteran of that war.  Either would make a great tale but, sadly, almost impossible to know.   

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