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OILER MAKERS MARKS - CANADA

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Photo notes: Unidentified munitions worker, Dominion Arsenal, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, December 1914. Photographer J.A. Millar, staff photographer, Montreal Daily Star. [1]

 

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Here is a bunch of written content. It will be here to take up space on this page.

Here is a bunch of written content. It will be here to take up space on this page.

 

CANADA - Unknown Soldiers of the Great War

Prior to 1900 Canada relied almost entirely on Great Britain as a supplier of rifles and military equipment. Canada's experiences during the Boer War (also called the South African War or Anglo-Boer War) (Oct 1899-May 1902) led the new Dominion to pursue development of their own home-grown arms manufacturer, the Ross Rifle Company (RRC).

 

Canada entered the Great War in August 1914 armed with the Ross rifle but by 1916 had abandoned the Ross in favor of the British supplied Lee-Enfield.

 

The Canadian marked Lee-Enfield type oilers we have seen are date stamped 1914 and 1915. We surmise that these oilers were originally intended for the Ross rifle.

 

None of the available sources (see list below) specifically mention oilers, although the Ross Rifle Story (page 435) does have a picture of an HB-15 marked oiler.

 

My wife and I spent a snowy afternoon in Quebec City combing through archives of business directories (Les Annuaires de Quebec 1900-1920 ) looking for local manufacturers whose name/initials might match up the the marks on the Ross oilers. We did not find any that were listed within the boundries of the City of Quebec.

 

The manufacturers of these Unknown Soldiers remains unknown.

Unknown Soldier C-Broad Arrow marked. Mk IV brass oiler. "14" presumed to be "1914". No other marks.

Unknown Soldier C-Broad Arrow marked. Mk IV brass oiler. "15" presumed to be "1915". No other marks.

Unknown Soldier C-Broad Arrow marked. Mk IV brass oiler. "15" presumed to be "1915". No other marks.

Unknown Soldier C-Broad Arrow marked. Mk IV brass oiler. "15" presumed to be "1915". No other marks.

CANADA - Other Unknown Soldiers

Unknown Soldier C-Broad Arrow marked. Mk IV brass oiler. No other marks.

 

The C-Broad arrow is small (about 4mm)(1/3 inch); overall good fit, finish and workmanship.

 

The fit, finish and mark lead us to surmise that these oilers may be Long Branch production (1940-1945).

CANADA - National Government

Dominion Arsenal. DA over C-Broad Arrow over 17. Mark IV brass oiler. "17" presumed to be "1917".

 

Canada's first government shell and cartridge factory, the Dominion Arsenal, was established in 1882 in Quebec City. The DA and year combination is a well-known ammunition headstamp. A history self-published by the Arsenal lists "Oil bottles for .303 rifles" among the products manufactured. [2]

 

All of the oilers we have seen are marked "17" (1917).

 

 

 

Page Notes & Sources

[1] J.A. Millar produced a photo album of Canada’s First Contingent, capturing scenes of the newly formed Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) at Valcartier Camp, Quebec and their departure at Gaspe Harbour, including eight photos taken at the Dominion Arsenal. (The town of Valcartier is about 30 km (18.6 miles) from Quebec City. The Dominion Arsenal is located in Quebec City itself, an easy walk from the downtown.) The photo album was published in 1915 and is among the collections at the University of Victoria Libraries, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

 

[2] The Dominion Arsenal at Quebec 1880-1945
Appendix III, page 122.

 

Page Notes & Sources

Book - Defending the Dominion: Canadian Military Rifles 1855-1955

Defending the Dominion: Canadian Military Rifles 1855-1955 (2003) Edgecombe, David W.
Service Publications, Ontario, Canada

Book - the Ross Rifle Story

The Ross Rifle Story (1984)
Phillips, Roger, Dupuis, Francois and Chadwich, John
John Chadwick, Publisher, Nova Scotia, Canada

Book - A Question of Confidence: The Ross Rifle in the Trenches

A Question of Confidence: The Ross Rifle in the Trenches (1999) Duguid, A.F.; Clive M. Law, Editor
Service Publications, Ontario, Canada

Book - The Dominion Arsenal at Quebec 1881-1945

The Dominion Arsenal at Quebec 1881-1945 (1947)
No author listed; appears to be internally written and published. Lists the various managers and supervisors; includes many fold-out pages of photographs. Hardcover; 135 pages.

Book - .303 Inch: A History of the .303 Cartridge in the British Service

.303 Inch: A History of the .303 Cartridge in the British Service (1988)
Labbett, P and Mead, P.J.F.,
Authors and Publishers, London, England

Book - Without Warning: Canadian Sniper Equipment in the 20th Century

Without Warning: Canadian Sniper Equipment in the 20th Century (2004)
Law, Clive M.
Service Publications, Ontario, Canada