Remains of 'cricket ball' grenades : Gallipoli Mission

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number REL/09588
Collection type Technology
Object type Munition
Physical description Cast iron
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1914-1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Description

One whole 'cricket ball' grenade and two pieces of shrapnel, all rusted. The body of the grenade is complete, and includes the screw in plate which once held the fuse. The grenade is missing the fuse and has been rendered inert.

The larger shrapnel piece consists of half a 'cricket ball' grenade, showing the thread at the top where the plate holding the fuse would have been screwed to the grenade. The second piece of shrapnel is much smaller and may have come from the same grenade as the larger piece.

History / Summary

These remains of cast-iron cricket ball grenades were collected at Gallipoli in 1919 by members of the Australian War Records Section (AWRS) or the Australian Historical Mission (AHM).

The small party of AWRS staff, led by Lieutenant William Hopkin James, worked on Gallipoli between December 1918 and March 1919, taking photographs and collecting items for the national collection. The AHM, led by Official Historian C E W Bean, visited Gallipoli from February to March 1919 to collect items for the nation, to record the area through artworks and photographs, and to explore the battlefields to answer some of the 'riddles of Anzac' for the Australian official history of the war.

This style of Turkish grenade was made in a dedicated factory in Constantinople, and were in plentiful supply at Gallipoli, as opposed to the paucity of grenades and bombs available to the Allied forces. The short fuze and concussive effect of these cast-iron grenades were designed to shatter and either disable or kill their victims.