A guide to some of the markings found on British bayonets.

This short guide could never take the place of proper reference material and I would direct anyone with an interest to look to the Bibliography and links pages for suggestions for further reading.

Reign Mark or Royal Cypher - many British weapons posses a reign mark of the ruling monarch consisting of a Crown over a letter.  e.g. Crowned V for queen Victoria.  They can be useful dating evidence for some of the shorter-lived rulers.
    1907 Pattern Date - many late 19thCentury/20thCentury bayonets have a pattern date below the Royal Cypher which is the official date on which the pattern was sealed.
   9   '89 Acceptance date - a three digit mark e.g.  2  '95.  This represents the date the individual weapon was accepted in to service.  In this case February 1895.
War Department/Board of Ordnance marks - Before 1855 BO with a broad upward arrow. After 1855 WD and arrow.
View Marks - often found in large numbers. Represents the mark of a factory inspector at critical points during the production process.  "B" marks originate at RSAF Birmingham, "E" from Enfield "S" from Solingen (pre 1885) or Sheffield (Post 1885), "L" from Liege etc.  The variations in inspection stamps contains enough material for a book in itself.
Bend Mark - Placed on the side of the blade which formed the convex side of the bend-test.
Obsolete/Sold out of Service.
Condemned mark.
   C  '88 Conversion date mark.
    6 DG
Regimental Markings - Usually an abbreviation of the regiment to which the weapon was issued. eg KOSB (Kings own Scottish Borderers)
     EFD Royal Small Arms Factory,  Enfield
       N Naval service mark.
Royal Ordnance Factory,  Poole, Dorset.
Manufactured by Wilkinson Sword Company
     MOLE Manufactured by R Mole
SANDERSON Manufactured by Sanderson Bros. & Newbold.
     DP Converted for Drill Purposes


Example - British P1907 SMLE Bayonet