Bayonet Sword Pattern1887 MKII-MkIII
Bayonet Sword Pattern1887 MKII-MkIII Bayonet Sword Pattern1887 MKII-MkIII Bayonet Sword Pattern1887 MKII-MkIII Bayonet Sword Pattern1887 MKII-MkIII

Bayonet Sword Pattern1887 MKII-MkIII

Weapon Specification
Date of Approval 13th May 1887 MkI 10th July 1888 MkII 22 June 1888 MkIII
Length 23.75" (603mm)
Weight 7lb 9oz average
Weapon Overview

Despite the fact that in 1875 the War office decided not to adopt the sword bayonet, the British Army had learned through hard experience in the battles of the Sudan between 1884-1885, where the men of the Camel Corps were issued with the P60 Yataghan sword, that it was desirable to issue a sword bayonet as a standard arm. The experiments with the Enfield Martini Henry Mk1 were carried out with a new design of sword bayonet,and despite the cancellation of the project, a new breed of sword bayonet was developed during 1887 for issue with new Martini Henry Mk1V Rifle.

The list of change 5604 lists the three new made articles:

Mark I sword bayonet has a fullered blade and flat bolt spring, the grip is attached by four rivets

Mark II Differs from the Mki in having a spiral bolt spring, instead of a flat one, and the grip being attached to the tang by means of two rivets and four washers

Mark III Differs from MkII in having an unfullered blade and being slightly heavier.

The bayonets were manufactured predominantly at Enfield. However, 2300 MkII and 39,7000 MkIII bayonets were made by Wilkinson of London between 1887 & 88 before the contract had been cancelled in favour of the 1888 Sword for the new Lee rifle. The scabbards for the MkII & MkIII were black leather with an  interanl flat spring, and steel mounted. In 1899 scabbards were issued with Brass mountings, believed to be navy issue, however, these carry C & H and Indian arsenal markings and evidence is inconclusive as to thier original issue.

The rarest variant is the 1898 Queensland pattern, bushed to fit 500 Martini Enfield MkI rifles ordered in 1898, uniquely with a bayonet band fitting to the front band. The muzzle ring diameter reduced to suit the reduced .303 barrel.