Grenade, Hand, Battye

Catalogue number
  • MUN 1523
Display status
IWM London
  • whole: metal/cloth
  • whole: Diameter 50 mm, Length 85 mm
Alternative names
  • full name: Grenade, Hand, Battye
  • simple name: grenade : British
Weapons and ammunition

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Physical description

grenade, fuse segmented cast iron cylinder with simulated explosive insert; fuse inside copper tube (3.5cm of fuse left exposed) inserted into inner; painted black

History note

Designed by Major Battye RE, and manufactured at Bethune, 1915 'Towards the end of 1914, Captain B C Battye, RE (later Colonel, DSO), then serving with the Indian Corps, designed and produced for that Corps cast iron segmented hand grenades, filled at first with gun-cotton dry primers and later with ammonal. At then end of December, 1914, Captain H H Bateman, RE (later Lieut-Colonel, DSO, MC) of the 26th Field Company, acting under the orders of Brigadier-General S R Rice, then Chief Engineer of the I Corps, organized a bomb factory for the supply of the whole BEF, at 78 Rue de Lille, Bethune, where he produced, with French civilian labour as well as sappers, bombs of the Battye design filled with ammonal and fitted with Nobel lighters. For nine months, often under shell-fire, which luckily never scored a hit on the room where ammonal was being filled into the bombs, Captain Bateman with his band of workers continued to turn out bombs to an average daily output of 1,000 to 1,500. Including a special issue of 80,000 for the Battle of Loos, the total output for the factory came to about a quarter of a million. The output of the Bethune factory was the only reliable source of supply for the BEF until issues of cricket ball grenades with fuse lighters, which, however were useless in wet weather, came from England in September, 1915. The well known Mills bomb began to be supplied soon after.' (The History of the Corps of Royal Engineers', Volume V, p.456).

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