WW1 / WW2 / 20th Century

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1917 US Bayonet, The *U.S. Model 1913 ‘1917’ Dated Remington Bayonet and Scabbard with Original Frog.

1917 US Bayonet, The *U.S. Model 1913 ‘1917’ Dated Remington Bayonet and Scabbard with Original Frog.

Excellent plus, and an exceptional example. Likely so good it would be impossible to improve upon.

The American U.S. Model 1913 dated 1917 Bayonet in leather and steel scabbard with frog button mount and rivetted leather frog. It has a nice blade with all it's original parkerised finish. Known as a 'sleeper', in the collecting market, in that it was put into storage in 1946 and hasn't seen the light of day since, we have just acquired a super collection of bayonets all in stored condition since the end of the war.

This is a superb 1913- 1917 pattern bayonet marked to the blade with 1917 over Remington in a circle on one side, and U.S. with the grenade and eagle head on the other. These bayonets were originally manufactured by the U.S. in WWI and acquired by the British in WWII for use mainly by the Home Guard.

Pattern 1913/17. In excellent order with frog mount. Made by Remington. The pattern of bayonet that was continually used in WW2 by the British Home Guard. With twin cuts in the wood grip added to differentiate for British forces that it was the American bayonet and not a British 1907 Wilkinson.

Originally the bayonet design was made for the British in September 1917 by Remington in the US as the 1913 Pattern intended to be issued with the P14 Rifle in .303 inch calibre. However, when America entered the war they changed production of the P14 rifle over to .30 inch calibre, at which point it became their M17 rifle. As the calibre change meant no alteration to the bayonet was required they basically took the unfinished/unshipped bayonets and made them American property by over-stamping the British marks with American marks, thus becoming M1917 bayonets.

The P14's principal combat use during World War I was as a sniper rifle, since it was found to be more accurate than the Short Magazine Lee–Enfield, either in standard issue form or with modified "fine-adjustment" aperture rearsights designated Pattern 1914 Mk I W (F) and Pattern 1914 Mk I* W (F) or, from April 1918, Aldis Pattern 1918 telescopic sights designated Pattern 1914 Mk I* W (T) (modified and telescopic sights were mainly used on Winchester-manufactured rifles, the Winchesters being thought to be of superior quality). During WW2 the rifle was also used again as a sniper rifle, the configuration being different from the World War I incarnation.

2 notches can be seen on the wooden handle as to distinguish it from SMLE bayonets as both rifles and blades were, though very similar incompatible with the other.  read more

Code: 25189

220.00 GBP

A Superb South African-Rhodesian Issue, Wilkinson 1907 Pattern SMLE Enfield Rifle Sword Bayonet and Slade Wallace Frog

A Superb South African-Rhodesian Issue, Wilkinson 1907 Pattern SMLE Enfield Rifle Sword Bayonet and Slade Wallace Frog

In very good condition entirely rust free, with a superb near mint leather Slade Wallace frog mount, with Rhodesian maker's stamp. Superb condition bayonet with original blueing on some areas mounts and blade ricasso.

The African colony of Rhodesia contributed a higher percentage of its white male population to wartime service than any other territory of the British Empire. A local game hunter, Major Boyd Cunningham, recruited 2,700 men into his volunteer Northern Rhodesia Rifles. These men fought on the southern frontiers of German East Africa. These were supported by some of the 1,800 strong Southern Rhodesia Volunteers. Others went to the Western Front and by the end of the war, a total of 6,831 Rhodesians, out of around 12,000 adult male Europeans, saw military service. A total of 732 men from Rhodesia were killed during the First World War.

When Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939 following the invasion of Poland, Southern Rhodesia issued its own declaration of war almost immediately, before any of the dominions did.1 Huggins backed full military mobilisation and "a war to the finish", telling parliament that the conflict was one of national survival for Southern Rhodesia as well as for Britain; the mother country's defeat would leave little hope for the colony in the post-war world, he said. This stand was almost unanimously supported by the white populace, as well as most of the coloured community, though with World War I a recent memory this was more out of a sense of patriotic duty than enthusiasm for war in itself. The majority of the black population paid little attention to the outbreak of war.
During the Second World War the indomitable combat prowess and leadership talents of Rhodesia Regiment volunteers were strongly evident in many theatres, including North Africa, Somaliland, the Middle East, Italy, the Adriatic, Western Europe and South East Asia.




The Lee–Enfield rifle was derived from the earlier Lee–Metford, a mechanically similar black-powder rifle, which combined James Paris Lee's rear-locking bolt system that had a barrel featuring rifling designed by William Ellis Metford.

We bought the entire small collection from the widow of a 'Best of British Empire Rifles and Bayonets, Both British and German' collector, who acquired them over the past 40 years, and only ever kept the very best he could afford to keep. Act fast they are selling really fast, three rifles and eight bayonets and a cutlass have sold in two days alone.. Top quality and condition,19th and 20th century scarce British and German collectables are always the most desirable of all.

The Lee action cocked the striker on the closing stroke of the bolt, making the initial opening much faster and easier compared to the "cock on opening" (i.e., the firing pin cocks upon opening the bolt) of the Mauser Gewehr 98 design. The Lee bolt-action and 10-round magazine capacity enabled a well-trained rifleman to perform the "mad minute" firing 20 to 30 aimed rounds in 60 seconds, making the Lee–Enfield the fastest military bolt-action rifle of the day. The current world record for aimed bolt-action fire was set in 1914 by a musketry instructor in the British Army—Sergeant Instructor Snoxall—who placed 38 rounds into a 12-inch-wide (300 mm) target at 300 yards (270 m) in one minute. Some straight-pull bolt-action rifles were thought faster, but lacked the simplicity, reliability, and generous magazine capacity of the Lee–Enfield. Several First World War accounts tell of British troops repelling German attackers who subsequently reported that they had encountered machine guns, when in fact it was simply a group of well-trained riflemen armed with SMLE Mk III rifles.

The First World War manual, Infantry Training read “The rifle and the bayonet are the principal weapons of the individual infantry soldier. The first requirement of the infantry soldier is confidence in these weapons, based on his skill in their use.”

“The bayonet is the weapon for hand-to-hand fighting, and its use, or the threat of it, finally drives the enemy from his position or causes him to surrender.’

The British Army training manual, Bayonet Training (1918) stated that ‘Hand-to-hand fighting with the bayonet is individual … killing is at close quarters, at a range of 2 feet or less, when troops are struggling corps a corps in trenches or darkness.  read more

Code: 25188

220.00 GBP

Original. Most Rare, A1929 Zeppelin Orientfahrt Over Egypt. The Zeppelin's Oriental Flight Over The Pyramids & Sphinx'. An Awarded Table Medal In Solid, Fine Silver. Len Deighton, World Renown Thriller & Spy Novelist Wrote a Book on The Very Flight

Original. Most Rare, A1929 Zeppelin Orientfahrt Over Egypt. The Zeppelin's Oriental Flight Over The Pyramids & Sphinx'. An Awarded Table Medal In Solid, Fine Silver. Len Deighton, World Renown Thriller & Spy Novelist Wrote a Book on The Very Flight

Only the second we have had or seen in 25 years. the only other we have seen is in the Landesmuseum in Wurttemberg.

Of all the medals issued in Europe for the very significant aeronautical occasions involving balloons and airships, this is one of the most artistically beautiful, capturing the flight over the great pyramids spectacularly in the typical Art Deco style. Just regard the amazing font, simple elegant but unique to that brief period. It was just a few short years since Carter had discovered the finest and fabulous golden treasures ever excavated in the history of the world, from the tomb of the boy king, the Pharoah Tutankhamen, and just three years before the great Boris Karloff starred in the iconic Hollywood movie, The Mummy.
Egypt and the art it inspired was all the rage around the world, in the news, art, film and decor, and this is just a fabulous representation of that amazing period.

This is a very rare and valuable medal, in super condition, made in fine silver, awarded and issued in 1929, for Dr. Hugo Eckener, depicting the Orientfahrt Orient flight of the airship Graf Zeppelin in 1929 Another rare surviving example of this fine medal is in the Landesmuseum in Wurttemberg.

In Britain it is regarded that a medal is only a wearable decoration, worn using either a chest ribbon, neck ribbon, or sash, or with a rear mounted uniform dress mounting pin, but in Europe, a medal is more often than not a display piece, issued for the same reasons as a wearable medal, for individuals as a reward, for commemoration or celebration, but not for personal adornment. Either displayed in a table mounted glass case or free standing cabinet.

On 24/03/1929 - the LZ127 Graf Zeppelin Orient Flight was launched for the reintroduction of air flight post-office mail.
Len Deighton, world renown thriller and spy novelist, under his psuedonym Cyril Deighton, wrote a rare and desirable book on this very flight, due to his love of airships and philately.

The Orientfahrt is distinguished for being one of the most controversial - in purely philatelic terms - of the Graf Zeppelin's history, mostly because there are no detailed sources of the flight that are completely reliable. The book records in great detail the flight from Germany which was like a theatrical event, where dinner was served over the Dead Sea and breakfast would be over the Acropolis; the ship subsequently flew over Rome, Naples and Cyprus.
Dropping mail at Jaffa, Athens, Budapest, Vienna
And flew over Palestine and Egypt.

Dr Eckner Born in Flensburg in 1868. Hugo Eckener came into contact with Count Zeppelin as a correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung through one of his reports on the Zeppelin airship. This resulted in a long-term cooperation. At the end of the 1890s, Eckener moved from Flensburg to Friedrichhafen and became tour leader and authorized representative of the German Airship Company (DELAG), founded in 1909. After the death of Count Zeppelin, Eckener awoke the interest in airships through the Atlantic crossing of the Zeppelin 126 and the world tour of LZ 127 in the 1920s. Between 1931 and 1937 a regular transatlantic regular service between Frankfurt, the USA and Brazil with the two Zeppelinen 127 and 129 was furnished.

The front of the medal from 1929 shows the bust of Eckener to the left. The back shows an airship over the sphinx and pyramids, behind the rising sun. See in reference to this medal; Hans Kaiser, 1998: medals, plaques, badges of German aviation. The coined chronicle of the German aviation, Gutersloh, S. 137 No. 494.1 &
Kienast, Gunter W., 1967: The medals of Karl Goetz, Cleveland, Ohio, S. II, 284 S.: No. op.428  read more

Code: 22151

850.00 GBP

A Special Offer Item! A Rare German DWM Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken Berlin, 1896 Boer Infantry Rifle, Boer War and WW1 Issue. Matching Serial Numbers 2685

A Special Offer Item! A Rare German DWM Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken Berlin, 1896 Boer Infantry Rifle, Boer War and WW1 Issue. Matching Serial Numbers 2685

A very rarely seen Imperial German service rifle, especially from the early ZAR contract, it’s journey from Germany in 1896 to South Africa, then,WW1 and eventually to England in WW2 is most intriguing. With matching serial numbers still makes it even rarer. It cocks well and dry fires. It also bears a British BNP proof stamp. Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken Aktiengesellschaft (German Weapons and Munitions public limited company), known as DWM, was an arms company in Imperial Germany created in 1896 when Ludwig Loewe & Company united its weapons and ammunition production facilities within one company. In 1896 Loewe founded Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken with a munitions plant in Karlsruhe (Baden), formerly Deutsche Metallpatronenfabrik Lorenz, and the weapons plant in Berlin. Shares that Loewe had in other gun- and ammunition plants were transferred to DWM. This included Waffenfabrik Mauser, Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre (FN) in Belgium and Waffen- und Munitionsfabrik A.G. in Budapest. The DWM was orchestrated by Isidor Loewe (1848–1910), as his brother Ludwig had died in 1886. Karl Maybach (who was part of the Maybach company) was employed by the Loewe company in 1901.

One of the first rifles made and shipped to the South African Republic in 1896. The Z.A.R. purchased 47,000 rifles and carbines from Ludwig Loewe and DWM. The low four figure serial number places it within the earliest part of the contract. Distinctive by their lack of receiver markings and German Imperial Military-type inspection marks. Ladder rear sights with open “U” sight picture graduated from 400 to 2000 meters, with matching serial number. Stepped muzzle to accept bayonet with lug on front band underside. Cleaning rod stored under barrel. Full length stock with straight wrist.

DWM introduced the Pistol Parabellum ('Luger Pistol') in the early 1900s. It was worked on by Georg Luger and Hugo Borchardt. DWM manufactured the Maschinengewehr 01 and Maschinengewehr 08, licensed version/clone of the Maxim machine gun. The MG08 would be the main German machine gun of the First World War, alongside the somewhat different, air cooled Parabellum MG 14/17 for aviation use. Along with being one of the main arms suppliers of Imperial Germany, the company was at the forefront of small arms technology. They also supplied the world with the Mauser rifle system, becoming one of the world's largest arms manufacturers. Because the Mauser rifle was one of Germany's main exports before the First World War, DWM proved to be an important part of the pre-war German economy. Many of their weapons were still used by German troops up through the Second World War. And curiously the 1896 rifles were also used by some merchant navy crews in WW2, possibly captured guns from the Boer War or WW1.

UK Deactivated with certificate. Overall: 1232mm (length)

We do have a Spanish Mauser contract bayonet that fits, {at extra cost}  read more

Code: 25183

SOLD

A Sample of Our New Collection Of Bayonets, From The Late Bayonet Collector's Pride and Joy. All In Super Condition. A Few Are Jolly Rare Ones

A Sample of Our New Collection Of Bayonets, From The Late Bayonet Collector's Pride and Joy. All In Super Condition. A Few Are Jolly Rare Ones

Each one shall be photographed and detailed from today and henceforth.

We bought the entire small collection from the widow of a 'Best of British Empire and German' Rifles and Bayonets' collector, who acquired them over the past 40 years, and only ever kept the very best he could afford to keep. Act fast they are selling really fast. All are top quality and condition,19th and 20th century scarce British and German collectables are always the most desirable of all.

Including; a most scarce 1907 SMLE bayonet with a very good South African brown hide leather frog plus the soldiers SA WW2 medals and badges to be sold seperately

A group of superb American WW1 1917 bayonets by Remington,some with British frogs, some American.

A German G98 Bayonet, A Lancaster Oval Bore Rifle bayonet 1st pattern,

Victorian Enfield P53-6 Rifle bayonets. 1856/8 with Yataghan blades for the two band rifle. Made by Reeves, and a Chavasse Export type, a recorded British manufacturer and exporter for the Confederacy, plus another from America, made for the Confederacy by Chavasse but with no maker markings.

In 1861 Chavasse & Co, produced the 1853 Enfield socket bayonet and 1856 sword bayonet under contract, they bear no British government markings or stampings to link with British government, indicating that all the bayonets were made for export to America for the American civil war Confederate States.The company was used because of its manufacturing abilities and its connections and successes in sales in the foreign market. Markings on bayonet rear edge and socket.of the socket type, and blade ricasso of the sword bayonet. The mark of "CHAVASSE & Co" or 'Chavasse'. Sometimes in marked. Total manufactured of socket bayonets 11,173, far fewer of the 1856 Sword-bayonet were made.
It also details in the ..the1853/6 Enfield pattern rifles bayonets batches sent to American Confederate States did not have any British government stamps or markings. All the above details are from their company records, and the company was based at the Crocodile Works , Alma Street, Ashton Newton, Birmingham, England from 1860 to 1869  read more

Code: 25177

Price
on
Request

A 1st Army Intelligence Corps HQ General Staff Officer Medal Group of the British Army 'Desert Rats', With His Slip On Eppaulettes and Cap Badge

A 1st Army Intelligence Corps HQ General Staff Officer Medal Group of the British Army 'Desert Rats', With His Slip On Eppaulettes and Cap Badge

Part of a very desirable collection of service items, of one veteran officer, from the 'Afrika Korps Vs Desert Rat' Campaign 1942-43, between Rommel and Montgomery

Acquired with a rare original Afrika Korps combatant's souvenir, of a tunic breast eagle, rare 1st pattern, in blue bevo weave cotton over tan, but sold separately.
From a former Desert Rat veteran Intelligence Corps of the 1st Army HQ. He was part of the General Staff at Montgomery's HQ tasked with defeating General Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps.

The so called British 'Desert Rats', under Montgomery's command, kicked the DAK's bottoms at El Alamein, and then, with the 8th Army, were transferred to Italy in order to fight from the south right through to Rome.

When Rommel was promoted to the newly formed Panzerarmee Afrika, his command included a number of Italian units, including four infantry divisions. Two Italian armoured divisions, Ariete and Trieste initially remained under Italian control as the Italian XX Motorized Corps under the command of General Gastone Gambara.

The Afrika Korps was restructured and renamed in August 1941. "Afrikakorps" was the official name of the force for less than six months but the officers and men used it for the duration. The Afrika Korpswas the major German component of Panzerarmee Afrika, which was later renamed the Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee and finally renamed Heeresgruppe Afrika (Army Group Africa) during the 27 months of the Desert campaign.

On 26 November the Commander-in-Chief Middle East Command, General Sir Claude Auchinleck, replaced Cunningham with Major-General Neil Ritchie, following disagreements between Auchinleck and Cunningham. Despite achieving a number of tactical successes, Rommel was forced to concede Tobruk and was pushed back to El Agheila by the end of 1941. In February 1942 Rommel had regrouped his forces sufficiently to push the over-extended Eighth Army back to the Gazala line, just west of Tobruk. Both sides commenced a period of building their strength to launch new offensives but it was Rommel who took the initiative first, forcing the Eighth Army from the Gazala position.

Ritchie proved unable to halt Rommel and was replaced when Auchinleck himself took direct command of the army. The Panzer Army Afrika were eventually stopped by Auchinleck at the First Battle of El Alamein. Auchinleck, wishing to pause and regroup the Eighth Army, which had expended a lot of its strength in halting Rommel, came under intense political pressure from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to strike back immediately. However, he proved unable to build on his success at Alamein and was replaced as Commander-in-Chief Middle-East in August 1942 by General Harold Alexander and as Eighth Army commander by Lieutenant-General William Gott. Gott was killed in an air crash on his way to take up his command and so Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery was appointed in his place. Alexander and Montgomery were able to resist the pressure from Churchill, building the Army's strength and adding a pursuit formation, X Corps, to the Army's XIII and XXX Corps.

Very good group. Italy Star, Africa Star 1935-45 Medal Defence Medal 1939-45 Star. 1st Army Bar. The British First Army was reformed during the Second World War. It was formed to command the American and British land forces which had landed as part of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa, in Morocco and Algeria on 8 November 1942. It was commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Kenneth Anderson. The First Army headquarters was formally activated on 9 November 1942 when Anderson arrived in Algiers to assume command of the redesignated Eastern Task Force.

The First Army initially consisted of American and British formations only. After the surrender of French forces following the German abrogation of their armistice agreement with Vichy France, French units were also added to the First Army's order of battle. It eventually consisted of four corps, the US II Corps, the British V Corps, British IX Corps and French XIX Corps.

After the landings, Anderson's forces rushed east in a bid to capture Tunis and Bizerte before German forces could reach the two cities in large numbers. They failed. Following that lack of success, a period of consolidation was forced upon them. The logistics support for the First Army was greatly improved and bases for its accompanying aircraft greatly multiplied. By the time General Sir Bernard Montgomery's British Eighth Army approached the Tunisian border from the east, following its long pursuit of Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel's forces after El Alamein, the First Army was again ready to strike.

Supported by elements of XII Tactical Air Command and No. 242 Group RAF, the First Army carried the main weight of General Sir Harold Alexander's 18th Army Group's offensive to conclude the Tunisian Campaign and finish Axis forces in North Africa off. The victory was won in May 1943 in a surrender that, in numbers captured at least, equalled Stalingrad. Shortly after the surrender, the First Army was disbanded, having served its purpose.  read more

Code: 25173

320.00 GBP

A Superb German WW2 Afrika Korps 1st Pattern Tunic Breast Eagle. From a former 'Desert Rat' Intelligence Corps General Staff Officer of the 1st Army HQ

A Superb German WW2 Afrika Korps 1st Pattern Tunic Breast Eagle. From a former 'Desert Rat' Intelligence Corps General Staff Officer of the 1st Army HQ

Part of a very desirable collection of service items, of one veteran officer, from the 'Afrika Korps Vs Desert Rat' Campaign, between Rommel and Montgomery

Now a very difficult to find 1st pattern breast eagle for the Afrika Korps tunic. Bevo woven in blue on tan. As removed from a tunic. Loose threads remain. Excellent original examples, especially uniform removed are now near impossible to find.

They were a souvenir of a British Intelligence Corps General Staff officer with 1st Army HQ in the Africa Campaign against Rommels Afrika Korps. We acquired his medals, cap badge, General Staff Lt's epaulettes x 2 pairs, and his Afrika Korps uniform eagle souvenir. Sold seperately.

Despite achieving a number of tactical successes, Rommel was forced to concede Tobruk and was pushed back to El Agheila by the end of 1941. In February 1942 Rommel had regrouped his forces sufficiently to push the over-extended Eighth Army back to the Gazala line, just west of Tobruk. Both sides commenced a period of building their strength to launch new offensives but it was Rommel who took the initiative first, forcing the Eighth Army from the Gazala position.

Ritchie proved unable to halt Rommel and was replaced when Auchinleck himself took direct command of the army. The Panzer Army Afrika were eventually stopped by Auchinleck at the First Battle of El Alamein. Auchinleck, wishing to pause and regroup the Eighth Army, which had expended a lot of its strength in halting Rommel, came under intense political pressure from British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to strike back immediately. However, he proved unable to build on his success at Alamein and was replaced as Commander-in-Chief Middle-East in August 1942 by General Harold Alexander and as Eighth Army commander by Lieutenant-General William Gott. Gott was killed in an air crash on his way to take up his command and so Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery was appointed in his place. Alexander and Montgomery were able to resist the pressure from Churchill, building the Army's strength and adding a pursuit formation, X Corps, to the Army's XIII and XXX Corps.  read more

Code: 25172

345.00 GBP

A Very Good WW2 German NSKK Sleeve or Kepi Eagle

A Very Good WW2 German NSKK Sleeve or Kepi Eagle

The NSKK were the motorized section of the Political SA Sturm Abeitlung, or Storm troopers they were all part of the political section of the uniformed Nazis under the control of Himmler's SS. They were instrumental in training dedicated men for service in armoured vehicles and even tanks and many NSKK members were subsequently transferred or volunteered to the Waffen SS Panzer Divisions at the outbreak of war. By 1943, almost all of the NSKK was on active service with either the Army or the Waffen SS.  read more

Code: 19801

110.00 GBP

1917 US Bayonet, The *U.S. Model 1913 ‘1917’ Dated Remington Bayonet and Scabbard.

1917 US Bayonet, The *U.S. Model 1913 ‘1917’ Dated Remington Bayonet and Scabbard.

Excellent plus, and an exceptional example. The American U.S. Model 1913 , 9 1917 Bayonet in leather and steel scabbard with frog button mount. Known as a 'sleeper', in the collecting market, in that it was put into storage in 1946 and hasn't seen the light of day since, we have just acquired a super collection of bayonets all in stored condition since the end of the war.

This is a superb 1913- 1917 pattern bayonet marked to the blade with 1913 and 9 1917 over Remington in a circle on one side and U.S. on the other. These bayonets were originally manufactured by the U.S. in WWI and acquired by the British in WWII for use mainly by the Home Guard.

Pattern 1913/17. In excellent order with frog mount. Made by Remington. The pattern of bayonet that was continually used in WW2 by the British Home Guard. With twin cuts in the wood grip added to differentiate for British forces that it was the American bayonet and not a British 1907 Wilkinson.

Originally the bayonet design was made for the British in September 1917 (the 9 17 mark) by Remington in the US as the 1913 Pattern intended to be issued with the P14 Rifle in .303 inch calibre. However, when America entered the war they changed production of the P14 rifle over to .30 inch calibre, at which point it became their M17 rifle. As the calibre change meant no alteration to the bayonet was required they basically took the unfinished/unshipped bayonets and made them American property by over-stamping the British marks with American marks, thus becoming M1917 bayonets.

We can hand polish this bayonet beautifully for the next owner, or leave just as is.  read more

Code: 25111

195.00 GBP

WW1 Polish Volunteer French Foreign Legion Medal Group and Badge of the Bayonian Battalion, with Dog Tag Bracelet. One of the Only 200 Polish Volunteers To Serve In The French Foreign Legion In WW1.Tragically 150 Were KIA by 1915

WW1 Polish Volunteer French Foreign Legion Medal Group and Badge of the Bayonian Battalion, with Dog Tag Bracelet. One of the Only 200 Polish Volunteers To Serve In The French Foreign Legion In WW1.Tragically 150 Were KIA by 1915

Possibly one of of only a maximum of fifty groups of medals awarded to the surviving Polish volunteers, from this Polish Volunteer Legion, that survived up to the end of 1915, during WW1. However, between 1915, up to November 1918, how many of those 50 survivors, that transferred to the regular Polish Army, may well have also tragically perished in combat in those two years.

So just how few such groups survive till today is anyone's guess, but there only being a maximum of fifty surviving members of the volunteers by the end of 1915, less all the later casualties, it is possible this set is a unique survivor from the history of the Polish French Foreign Legion Volunteers of WW1. A plaque dedicated to these very men is upon the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” in Poland

A group of four World War One French Foreign Legion Polish volunteer’s military service medals, the Croix De Guerre and star, Croix du Combattant de 1914-1918, The 1914–1918 Commemorative war medal with foreign volunteer bar, French WWI Victory Medal, with a set of matching miniatures, plus the silver and enamel badge of the Polish Foreign Legion volunteers Bajończyk battalion. Made of silver and enamel, it is in the form of a breast badge with a screw threaded mount made by the contract maker, B. Szulecki of Warsaw. With its original maker marked, domed, screw threaded mount. The group, miniatures and badge is complete with the Polish French Foreign Legion Volunteer’s named dog tag bracelet, made and issued in Paris in 1914, and mounted on a wrist bracelet. In October 1915 a Polish Periodical Newspaper Publication in Paris {Polonia : Revue Hebdomadaire Polonaise. A. 2, October 1915, issue no 40} mentions this Polish volunteer’s soldiers name, as he was a Polish Legion Volunteer, and made a listed donation of 5 Francs, on the fifth list of donations received by the administration of the Polonia magazine, for Polish Victims of War.

This group was colloquially called the Bayonian Legion. They formed the 2nd company of the 1st regiment of the Foreign Legion, which received its own banner with the image of an eagle. Command positions were filled by French officers, and some lower functions were in the hands of Poles from the Foreign Legion
Instead of the planned legion ( Legion Bayonne ), two units were formed from Polish volunteers recruited in Paris in August 1914: approximately 200 soldiers were sent to Bayonne for training , hence they were called Bayonians, and approximately 250 soldiers were sent to Rueil, hence their name - Rueilians . While the Bajonians remained a compact unit consisting of one company , the Rueilians were dispersed in various units of the 3rd Marching Regiment of the Foreign Legion. Further recruitment was suspended after a protest from the Russian embassy, ​​which feared that the legion would fight for Poland's independence.

Ultimately, the Bajonians were incorporated into the 2nd March Regiment (commander: Colonel Louis Pein) as part of the 1st Foreign Regiment - as the 2nd company of Battalion C (battalion commander - Major Gustave Alfred Noiré ). Among the volunteers was the son of the famous historian Józef Szujski - Władysław . Initially, Xawery Dunikowski was also a Bajończyk, who, together with Jan Żyznowski , designed the company's banner, presented to the Poles on September 21, 1914 by the mayor of the city, Joseph Garat. The remaining companies of this battalion were composed of Czechs (1), Belgians (3) and Italians (4). Initially, the Bajonians' company was commanded by Reserv. Julien Maxime Stephen "Max" Doumic (who died on November 11, 1914 near Sillery in the Marne department ), and after him by Capt. Juvénal Osmont d'Amilly (died on May 9, 1915 near Neuville-Saint-Vaast in the Pas-de-Calais department ).

The uniform of the Bajonians consisted of red trousers and a red hat, a navy blue sweatshirt and a blue coat . The unit's banner depicted a white eagle without a crown on a red background . Władysław Szujski served as the Bajoni's standard-bearer .

The company was sent to the front on October 22, 1914. Bajoons fought against the Germans on the Western Front in Champagne in 1914–1915. They served near Sillery from November 1914 to April 1915. Then they were sent to the town of Arras , where on May 9 they participated in the attack on the Vimy hills near Neuville-Saint-Vaast. They captured the German positions, at the cost of their success with heavy losses amounting to ¾ of the company's strength.

“The surviving soldiers of the division
were almost completely lost”. “The
commitment and sacrifice of this first rate unit was demonstrated in particular on 9 May 1915, when, placed at the head of the column attacking the “Ouvrages Blancs”, it distinguished itself brilliantly in
capturing enemy positions hitherto defended stubbornly, not stopping until it had fulfilled
its objectives, despite very heavy losses”, the
citation states in the military order of the day.

After this period, only about 50 Bajonians remained alive, and after resting on June 16, they were sent to German positions at the cemetery in Souchez, where other soldiers died, and therefore the unit was disbanded in the summer of 1915. a. On
16 June 1915, the “Bayonnais survivors”
attacked with bayonets to take the cemetery at Souchez.


Their heroism is still documented by the company banner with traces of 34 bullet holes, which is kept in the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw . Some former Bajon soldiers enlisted in French units or went to Russia to fight in Polish troops . The vast majority joined the Polish Army in France, organised since 1917 .

On June 10, 1922, the Minister of Military Affairs awarded the Cross of Valor for the first time "for the bravery and courage shown in the fights against the enemy of the Homeland" to the late. major of the French army Noiret (Noiré), late the captain of the French army, Ossman (Osmont d'Amilly) and three officers, ten non-commissioned officers and thirteen privates - soldiers of the former 1st Polish Division of the "Bajones" .

On September 27, 1922, the Commander-in-Chief and Chief of State Józef Piłsudski awarded the Silver Cross of the Order of Virtuti Militari No. 6155 to the banner of the "former 1st Polish Division in France (Bajones)" and awarded the order of the same class to 18 former soldiers of the Legion, including 6 officers and 12 privates


Bayonne Company

In 1914, Poland had been divided between Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary for more than a century. At the outbreak of the war, Polish subjects largely expressed loyalty towards their relevant sovereigns. On 31 July 1914 – shortly before the outbreak of the war between Germany and France – Polish emigrants in Paris formed the “Committee of Polish Volunteers for a Service in the French Army”. Since the French authorities considered the Polish issue an internal Russian problem, they permitted the creation of Polish units exclusively within the Foreign Legion.

Although there were sufficient volunteers for two companies, only one – the Bayonneans – went to the front as a complete unit. The French decided to split the second company and allocated its soldiers to other formations. The Bayonneans suffered heavy losses, and in spring 1915 they were ordered to withdrew from the immediate front line.

Thanks to the efforts of the Polish community in France, a monument to the Bajone people was unveiled on the site of the Battle of Arras in La Targette on May 21, 1933. In Bayonne , on July 15, 1934, the "Aux Volontaires Polonaises" plaque was unveiled, and at the Notre-Dame de Lorette necropolis, a similar plaque "In Honor of Polish Volunteers" was unveiled, funded by the French Polish Congress in 1978. A number of names of Bayonians were engraved on the "L'Anneau de la Mémoire" monument. ” unveiled on November 11, 2014 next to the above-mentioned cemetery . In Poland, the Bajonians were commemorated with the inscription "Arras 9 May 1915" on the plaque of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw . On April 5, 1929, the Minister of Military Affairs gave the 43rd Infantry Regiment the name "43rd Infantry Regiment of the Bajonan Legion" , and on July 25, 1939, changed it to "43rd Rifle Regiment of the Bajonan Legion". Apart from the tombstones and names of the few Bajo people commemorated in cemeteries in France and Poland, the only monument outside the cemetery to a Bajoan, 2nd Lieutenant . Lucjan Malcza is located in his birthplace in the village of Olszowa .

Pictures in the gallery of the Polish Volunteers Bajonian French Foreign Legion
Dream of Polish volunteers in French army 1914

Wladyslaw Szujski death 1914  read more

Code: 25169

15995.00 GBP