Model 1890 Turkish Mauser Rifle : Major J Heane, 4 Battalion, AIF

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Anzac Area (Gallipoli), Lone Pine Area, Lone Pine
Accession Number RELAWM12332
Collection type Technology
Object type Firearm
Physical description Steel, Wood
Maker Waffenfabrik Mauser AG
Place made Germany
Date made 1891
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Model 1890 Turkish Mauser bolt action rifle. The breech ring is stamped with the Sultans tughra (cypher) and on the left side a Turkish Arabic inscription indicating Waffenfabrik Mauser Oberndorf and numerals 1309 (1891). The bolt, with a straight cocking arm, is polished whereas the other metal parts of the rifle are blued. It has a one piece wood stock and a small top handguard. The sights are a barleycorn front post and an adjustable rear leaf graduated in Arabic numerals. The cleaning rod is missing. The butt has two gouge marks on the right side.

History / Summary

This rifle was captured at Lone Pine in 1915 and is associated with the service of James Heane.
Heane was born in Sydney, NSW, in 1874 and served in the cadets as a young man. In 1899 he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the militia, serving with 3 Australian Infantry Regiment and 2 Light Horse Regiment.
On the outbreak of war in 1914, he joined the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), becoming a captain with 4 Infantry Battalion. By the time of the landing at Gallipoli, he had been promoted to Major and placed in command of D Company.
He quickly earned the nickname 'Cast Iron Jimmy' amongst his men for his coolness and apparent invulnerability to enemy fire, and in May 1915 was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. During the attack on Lone Pine on 6 August 1915, Heane was slightly wounded in the neck while crossing No Man's Land.
Passing the first line of Turkish trenches, he was hit in the thigh by a bullet which passed through the lower pocket of his jacket. He lay on the ground until about 8 pm, when he was again wounded by shell splinters in the hand, knee, and right shoulder. His wounds caused Heane to be evacuated to hospital in Egypt, and he was not fit to re-join his unit before the evacuation of Anzac in December. In early 1916, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and placed in command of 1 Battalion, which was about to move to the Western Front.
He proved a successful leader on the Western Front, rising to command 2 Australian Infantry Brigade as Colonel, and being appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) and Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG). He was also awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre and seven times mentioned in despatches.
Between the wars, Heane was a successful orchardist, and was also leader of the secretive far right wing 'Old Guard' movement in NSW. During the Second World War, he held command of the state Volunteer Defence Corps units, but retired in 1942. 'Cast Iron Jimmy' Heane died in Sydney in August 1954.