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Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield, .303 inch, Mk 3

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Catalogue number
  • FIR 8255
Production date
1914
Materials
  • sling: leather
Dimensions
  • general: Length 113.0 cm
Alternative Names
  • FULL NAME: Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield, .303 inch, Mk 3
  • SIMPLE NAME: rifle, bolt action, fixed box magazine
Creator
Object Type
rifle
Category
weapons and ammunition

License Image

Label

This rifle was carried during the First World War Arab Revolt against the Turks by T E Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"), whose initials are carved on the stock. It was given to him by the Emir Feisal, to whom it had been presented by the Turks. The gold inlaid Turkish inscription records the fact that it was captured from the British at Gallipoli. The inscription on the butt disc indicates that the rifle was originally issued to the 1st Essex Regiment. The five notches cut in the stock denote Turks killed by Lawrence with this rifle. The rifle was given by Lawrence to King George V and, later, placed on loan at the Imperial War Museum.

History note

This rifle was carried during the First World War Arab Revolt against the Turks by T E Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"), whose initials are carved on the stock. It was given to him by the Emir Feisal, to whom it had been presented by the Turks. The gold inlaid Turkish inscription records the fact that it was captured from the British at Gallipoli. The inscription on the butt disc indicates that the rifle was originally issued to the 1st Essex Regiment. The five notches cut in the stock denote Turks killed by Lawrence with this rifle. The rifle was given by Lawrence to King George V and, later, placed on loan at the Imperial War Museum. NB Lawrence showed the rifle to the former IWM Deputy Inspector of Trophies, H Beckles-Willson, who described it as "a short fat weapon whose stock bore a series of small notches. "Each notch represents a dead Turk", he remarked callously. He might have been a Sinn Fein gunman". (Quoted in "Tapestry of War" by Sandra Gwyn, P287. Printed Books 31 (71)/3.0) As of 10/5/06 fitted with bolt from FIR 7410. This replaces bolt with incorrect cocking piece which has been fitted since at least 1988. Whereabouts of original bolt currently unknown.

Physical description

rifle & sling Standard SMLE Mk III with long range sights and magazine cut-off. Sling is hand-made.

1. stamped on right of butt socket 2. stamped on butt disc 3. in Turkish, damascened in arabic script on left of body 4. engraved on left of nose-cap 5-6. carved in stock above magazine

1. Crown over ENFIELD 1914 SHT LE III 2. 2.14 1 EX 21 3. "Part of our booty in the battles for the Dardenelles" 4. arabic inscription 5. T.E.L. 4.12.16. 6. 5 notches

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