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Thread: RIC Carbines with Graffiti + B Specials use of Carbines

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  1. #1
    Legacy Member coggansfield's Avatar
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    RIC Carbines with Graffiti + B Specials use of Carbines

    I am currently writing a scholarly book on Lee-Enfield Royal Irish Constabulary pattern carbines, 11,200 of which were in the early 20th century converted to the police pattern from the UKicon cavalry-pattern carbines of the day. For your reference, an example is shown in the first photo attached. Note the distinctive flat-knobbed, forward-curved bolt handle, and the fact that the first 5 inches of the barrel are exposed.

    The carbines were supposed to have been recalled to the mainland UK in autumn 1920. However, various photos exist of Ulster Special Constabulary B Specials armed with the carbines later than this date, some as late as 1921.

    As a related matter, a few of the surviving carbines — which are nearly all in North America — have pro-British and/or anti-Vatican graffiti carved onto them. It is inconceivable that the well-disciplined RIC constables did this themselves (most were Catholic anyway). And modern owners would have no incentive to make such carvings, thereby reducing the value of their investment. Therefore, I think it likely that such etchings were made by members of the overwhelmingly Protestant Specials in the early 1920s.

    What I am asking for in this thread are two things:

    1. I am interested in hearing from any RIC carbine owners if theirs have any graffiti carved on them. I am most keen to know of pro-Protestant/anti-Catholic markings, but any other scratchings will be of interest. If your carbine has any such markings, please let me know. An example of the sort of thing I mean is attached. The carving says, “No Pope Here.”

    2. For the purposes of book illustration, I am also interested in obtaining is photos of the Specials armed with such carbines. A couple of photos attached show the sort of image I’m keen to use. I have added an arrow pointing to the RIC carbines. If anyone has any photos of B Specials armed with RIC carbines, please let me know.

    Any photos anyone may have, or know about, of such carbines being used will be much appreciated. Then captions under any photos used will credit you for your generosity. Should you have a pertinent photo and be willing to share it, but for some reason to be used, that’s fine. I can have the credit read, “Photo courtesy of owner. Name withheld for reasons of privacy.”

    Thanks very much,

    Douglas P. Munro, Ph.D.

    1/ An RIC pattern Lee-Enfield carbine.
    2/ “No Pope Here” grafitto.
    3/ B Specials with RIC carbine.
    4/ Ditto.

  2. Thank You to coggansfield For This Useful Post:

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  4. #2
    Contributing Member Enfield-Stuff's Avatar
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    I, for one, would be very interested in getting a copy of your book when it becomes available. I am very interested in knowing where the various RIC carbines ended up after the dissolution of the RIC.

    My RIC carbine does not have any of the interesting marks you are looking for.


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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    Showing that Rev. Ian Paisley's famous slogan "no popery here" was nothing new in Ulster.
    “There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”

    Edward Bernays, 1928

    Much changes, much remains the same.

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