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OILER MAKERS MARKS - SOUTH AFRICA

This is the SOUTH AFRICA page

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Photo notes: A diptych of South African poster art. On the left, a 1918 postcard depicts a South African soldier striding across the globe from South Africa to Europe, with the South African Ensign (often called the Red Duster – a British Red Ensign with the South African coat of arms) fluttering in the background while the Angel of Victory hovers in the heavens. The soldier carries a SMLE (Short Magazine Lee-Enfield) Mk III with bayonet affixed. The words “To Victory! “Union is Strength!” “EENDRACHT MAAKT MACHT!” appear at the lower edge of the card. [1]

 

On the right is a 1942 recruiting poster, depicting a bareheaded South African soldier gripping a SMLE (Short Magazine Lee-Enfield) rifle with P1907 bayonet affixed with the South African “OBB” (oranje-blanje-blou – Dutch for orange-white-blue) flag fluttering in the background. The words “Let’s go…SOUTH AFRICA!” dominate the lower third of the poster. The red shoulder tabs (“Rooi Lussies”) worn by those who volunteered for service overseas during WWII (1939-1945) are clearly visible. [2]

 

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.

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

 

SOUTH AFRICA - Unknown Soldiers

YADDA YADDA YADDA.

 

YADDA YADDA YADDA.

 

YADDA YADDA YADDA.

 

YADDA YADDA YADDA.

 

YADDA YADDA YADDA.

 

YADDA YADDA YADDA.

Unknown Soldier "AECO" written as one word. Mk IV brass oiler. No other marks. "AECO" has also appeared on South African marked bayonets.

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] Artist Elio Ximenes; printed by Oilette Connoisseur, London, December 1918, one of a series of six postcards in a “Victory & Freedom” set. Each card in the set depicts a soldier from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, Newfoundland and South Africa in similar poses, with their back foot (near the flag staff) in their home country and their front foot in the battlegrounds of Europe, set against a background of their home flag. A buttstock marking disk is clearly visible on five of the six SMLE Mk III’s depicted.

 

Image courtesy of TuckDB, a free database of antique postcards published by Raphael Tuck & Sons (1866-1959). https://tuckdb.org/items/117995 Retrieved August 2019:

 

[2] Artist unknown; printed by B.P.W. & Moibile Map Printing Coy., Pretoria, 1942.

 

Image courtesy of Online Archive of California, UC Berkley, Bancroft Library. https://oac.cdlib.org/ark:/28722/bk0007v0b6n/?brand=oac4 Retrieved August 2019.

 

Other Suggested Reading

During the Great War (1914-1919) South Africans fought under the “Red Duster”, the South African version of the Red Ensign. For further reading of the history of South Africa’s national flags we suggest The Observation Post, a blog on South African Modern Military History. You’ll find an interesting article here: https://samilhistory.com/2017/03/15/the-inconvenient-and-unknown-history-of-south-africas-national-flags/ [Retrieved August 2019]

 

The Observation Post, a blog on South African Modern Military History, has an article on “Rooi Lussies” (red tabs), branded “Rooi Luisies” (Red Lice) by some that is an interesting read. You’ll find that article here: https://samilhistory.com/2016/04/06/pride-in-rooi-lussiesred-tabs-branded-rooi-luisies-red-lice-by-some/ [Retrieved August 2019]

 

A good place to find information is the The South African Military History Society / Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging. The SAMHS has been publishing The Military History Journal for more than fifty (50!) years. Unlike a blog, these are research articles – meaning each article lists the sources, the books, materials and websites the writers used to develop their information. (Blogs rarely do.)

 

A list of published articles can be found on the SAMHS homepage: http://samilitaryhistory.org/journal.html [Retrieved August 2019]

 

Articles 1967-2016 were published online by the South African National Museum of Military History. These hyperlinks are still active; you can read the articles online.

 

Articles written after 2017 are published in book form. The publication number will look like this: “SA ISSN 0026-4016” You can borrow this item from your local library. (Really!!) Your local library can obtain a copy from The Library of Congress or any one of several universities that will have a copy.