No 1 Mk 1 Wirebreaker for SMLE No 1 Mk III* Rifle : Sergeant A E Green, 9 Battalion AIF

Accession Number REL34878
Collection type Technology
Object type Technology
Physical description Steel
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

No 1 Mk 1 Wirebreaker made to be attached to a Pattern 1903 or 1907 sword bayonet. There is a movable cam at the bottom of the wirebreaker which is positioned accordingly depending on whether it is attached to a Pattern 1903 or 1907 bayonet. The V-shaped groove is designed to line up with the muzzle of a Lee Enfield rifle barrel. The wire to be cut was forced into the V-shaped groove and a cartridge would be discharged, severing the wire. There are no markings.

History / Summary

Collected by Sergeant Albert Edward Green, 25 Battalion. A 28 year old farmer from Lismore, NSW, he enlisted in the AIF on 22 July 1915. He was assigned to the 6th reinforcements of 25 Battalion, with the service number 2682.

After basic training he sailed from Brisbane for service overseas aboard HMAT Seang Lee on 21 October 1915. Green continued his training in Egypt and transferred to 9 Battalion, AIF on 28 February 1916, changing his service number to 2682A, before the battalion sailed to France for service on the Western Front. He was awarded the Military Medal on 25 February 1917 during the fierce fighting which caused the German retreat from the Hindenberg Line. In September 1917 Green undertook specialist training in England and qualified as a bomb (grenade) instructor, and in marksmanship. He was attached to a training battalion as an instructor for a number of months before rejoining 9 Battalion. In October 1917 he was promoted to Sergeant.

In July 1918 he suffered accidental gunshot wounds to both hands and subsequently had the tips of the middle and fourth fingers on his left hand amputated. He saw no further active service and was allowed extended leave in England. In November 1919 he married Margaret Annie Waterman before returning to Australia the following month.