Trophies via Feisal

Here we see a Short-Magazine Lee-Enfield in .303 British that had a very curious history.

short-magazine-lee-enfield-303-bolt-action-rifle-that-was-presented-to-t-e-lawrence-lawrence-of-arabia-by-emir-feisalIt was issued to a member of the Reserve/1st Garrison Battalion, Essex Regiment (formed in 1881 from the amalgamation of the 44th East Essex Regiment of Foot and the 56th West Essex Regiment of Foot) which fought at Le Cateau and Ypres before being sent on Winston Churchill’s attempt to knock the Ottomans out of World War I at Gallipoli. The unit came away relatively unscathed from the fiasco and went on to fight at Loos, the Somme, Cambrai, and Gaza.

However, our SMLE was left behind somehow in the evacuation of Gallipoli and was captured in very good condition by the Turks. Sent to Constantinople as a trophy, the Turkish Government had it engraved near the lock in gold in Turkish “Booty captured in the fighting at Chanak Kale.”

Enver Pasha then presented it to Emir Faisal bin Hussein bin Ali al-Hashimi (then a Turkish subject representing the city of Jeddah for the Ottoman parliament and the guest of Jemal Pasha in Damascus) in 1916. It was then inscribed near the bayonet mount “Presented by Enver Pasha to Sherif Feisal” in Turkish.

Without any captured .303 British ammo to feed it, Feisal sent the rifle to Mecca for storage with the rest of his family’s trophies.
T E LAWRENCE 1888-1935 (Q 73535) Lawrence in Arab dress seated on the ground. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205022240

T E LAWRENCE 1888-1935 (Q 73535) Lawrence in Arab dress seated on the ground. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source

Then came Captain T. E. Lawrence, a junior British intelligence officer from Cairo to instigate rebellion in Arabia against the Ottomans. Meeting Feisal 23 October 1916 at Hamra in Wadi Safra, Lawrence supplied the leader with some nice, fresh .303 rounds (the Brit was fond of carrying a a M1911 Colt .45 ACP on his person and a Lewis gun in .303 in his baggage).

As the Lawrence/Feisal partnership blossomed to full rebellion against Constantinople, the Arab leader passed his Turkish trophy Enfield to the wild, blonde-haired rabble rouser on 4 December 1916 in a meeting near Medina.

Lawrence carved his initials and the date in the stock and carried the rifle till October 1918 when Damascus was captured .

short-magazine-lee-enfield-303-bolt-action-rifle-that-was-presented-to-t-e-lawrence-lawrence-of-arabia-by-emir-feisal-2

Notice the knocks by the magazine well?

The gun has five notches carved into the stock near the magazine, with one in particular marking the death of one Turkish officer taken with the gun. After the war, the rifle was presented by then-Colonel Lawrence to King George V, passing to the Imperial War Museum upon the regent’s death.

HISTORY OF BRITISH RIFLE CAPTURED BY THE TURKS, GIVEN TO KING GEORGE V BY COLONEL LAWRENCE (Q 61331) History of British Rifle captured by the Turks, given to King George V by Colonel Lawrence. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205026971

HISTORY OF BRITISH RIFLE CAPTURED BY THE TURKS, GIVEN TO KING GEORGE V BY COLONEL LAWRENCE (Q 61331) History of British Rifle captured by the Turks, given to King George V by Colonel Lawrence. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source

The former princely owner, of course, became King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria of Iraq and was played in David Lean’s epic Lawrence of Arabia by Alec Guinness.

A similar rifle (without the ‘Enver’ inscription) was given by the Turkish Government to Abdulla, Feisal’s brother, and is now in the possession of Ronald Storrs.

The IWM has a second Feisal trophy rifle in their collection as well.

Turkish M1887 Rifle (FIR 7913) The Turkish Model 1887 rifle was the first of a series of rifles produced for the Turkish Army by Mauser of Germany. Its design echoed that of the German Gewehr 71/84 service rifle, being a bolt-action weapon with a tubular magazine beneath the barrel. This particular rife was presented by the Emir Feisal to Captain WHD Boyle, Officer Commanding the Royal Navy Red Sea Squadron, in recognition of a... Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30035040

This particular rife was presented by the Emir Feisal to Captain WHD Boyle, Officer Commanding the Royal Navy Red Sea Squadron, in recognition of a… Copyright: © IWM. Original Source

The Turkish Model 1887 rifle was the first of a series of rifles produced for the Turkish Army by Mauser of Germany. Its design echoed that of the German Gewehr 71/84 service rifle, being a bolt-action weapon with a tubular magazine beneath the barrel.

This particular rife, made in 1892, was presented by the Emir Feisal to Captain WHD Boyle, Officer Commanding the Royal Navy Red Sea Squadron, in recognition of assistance rendered during the Arab Revolt against Turkey. Boyle later inherited the title of Earl of Cork and Orrery and rose to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet. He commanded the Royal Naval forces engaged in the Norwegian campaign in 1940.

Marked as follows: 1. Sultan’s Tugra stamped on top of chamber 2. Turkish proofs stamped on right of chamber 3. Arabic inscription commencing with 1308 (date) stamped on left of body 4. stamped on bolt 5. gold inlay on top of barrel 6. Arabic inscription commencing with 1326-1330 engraved on silver scroll-shaped plaque let into left of butt (detached).

Why were these Mausers and Enfields so treasured? Well, they were modern magazine fed bolt-action rifles and the standard gear in the desert just wasn’t.

The Ottomans armed the local Arab tribes with surplussed U.S. Providence Tool Company-made Peabody-Martini Model 1874s chambered in 11.3x59mmR blackpowder. (Though in 1912 Austria’s Steyr converted a lot of these into 7.65mm Mauser with the resulting kaboom risk, making the M74/12 which served through WWI with various guards and rear line units, freeing standard rifles for the front.)

As for the Brits, they gave their new Arab allies old 1870s Mk II Martini-Henry breechloaders taken from Indian troops headed to France and Egypt– who were themselves reissued new Enfields.

Three Bedouin warriors during the Arab Revolt, 1916-1918. They are armed with 1870s-vintage Martini-Henry rifles, typical of the outdated firearms the British supplied to the Arab forces

Three Bedouin warriors during the Arab Revolt, 1916-1918. They are armed with 1870s-vintage Martini-Henry rifles, typical of the outdated firearms the British supplied to the Arab forces

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as GUNS.com, Univesity of Guns, Outdoor Hub, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the US federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Under Every Leaf.

A Site for the British Empire 1860-1913

JULESWINGS

Military wings and things

Meccanica Mekaniikka Mecanică

The Mechanix of Auto, Aviation, Military...pert near anything I feel relates to mechanical things, places, events or whatever I happen to like. Even non-mechanical artsy-fartsy stuff.

Eatgrueldog

Where misinformation stops and you are force fed the truth III

The LBM Blogger

Make Big Noise

Not Clauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist who fled the toxic Smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat-wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Coastal Elite Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~ with guns, off-road moto, boulevardier-moto, moto-guns, snorkeling, snorkel-guns, and home-improvement stuff.

The Angry Staff Officer

Peddling history, alcohol, defense, and sometimes all three at once

To the Sound of the Guns

Civil War Artillery, Battlefields and Historical Markers

Time to Eat the Dogs

On Science, History, and Exploration

Ethos Live

Naval Special Warfare Command

wwiiafterwwii

wwii equipment used after the war

Nick Of Time ForeX UK

Freelance Blogging, Foreign Exchange, News on Global Foreign Exchange Activities. Education (MOOCs/eLearning) Content.

Granite State Guns

"I love to watch extreme forces at work. Sometimes, It involves destroying things."

Growing Up Guns

Safety Concerns, Strategies, Tactics, and Becoming a Competent Family Defender

Impro Guns

The International Commission on Global Improvised Arms Proliferation....

The Dogtag Chronicles

So there I was...the veteran perspective in their own words.

%d bloggers like this: