German 5 1/2 second Model 24 stick grenade : Private S B Jessup, 60 Battalion AIF

Place Europe: Western Front
Accession Number REL35441.001
Collection type Technology
Object type Grenade
Physical description Metal, Porcelain, Wood
Maker Unknown
Place made Germany
Date made c 1916 - 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

German stick grenade or Stielhandgranate with grey painted metal body with attached belt hook. Mounted to wooden handle, with '5 1/2 Sek - MWK' stencilled down the side. Retains screwed fuze cap at end of handle, with ceramic toggle and twisted wire pull still present in the handle hollow.

History / Summary

Grenade captured or collected by 2691 Private Samuel Benjamin Jessup. Jessup was born in April 1896 at Beechworth and was working as a railway porter at Bright in Victoria when he enlisted on 13 July 1915 at Melbourne As he was under 21 he obtained permission from his parents to enlist. After initial training, Private Jessup embarked for overseas service from Melbourne with the 6th reinforcements of the 22nd Battalion aboard HMAT Ulysses on 27 October 1915. He was transferred to 57 Battalion on 23 February 1916 and later to 60 Battalion in early May and proceeded to France in late June. Jessup was one of the survivors of the disastrous Fromelles battle which saw his battalion virtually annihilated. He suffered a bullet wound to his right knee on 22 November 1916 and after recovering he was transferred to 65 Battalion at Wareham in England. In September 1917 he was transferred again to the 60th Battalion, joining his unit in France in October. In August 1918, Jessup was again transferred to 59 Battalion, remaining with this unit until his return to Australia and demobilisation on 13 April 1919.

The German Model 24 stick grenade was one of the standard weapons of the German Army. The handle not only allowed the user extra leverage when throwing it, but also carried the fuze mechanism inside. To activate the grenade, the metal cap at the base of the handle was screwed off, revealing a toggle rope which when pulled activated the five second fuze. The explosive charge was held in the head of the grenade. Note the metal clip attached to the head which allow the grenade to be suspended on the wearer's belt.