Ross MK II (1905-1914) Rifle (Quebec)

(48th) Long #438; Bolt action, Barrel length 775 mm; Cal .303 British (7.7 mm); magazine (5 round capacity); on butt “48 / 438” “Quebec” 11** 638 / 1913 CR ; Bayonet with 48H inscribed on the handle.

The 48th Regiment (Highlanders) was issued Mk II Ross rifles in the Spring-Summer of 1914 and the unit went to the field with them at Petawawa in June 1914. Those members of the Regiment who volunteered for the 1st Contingent left Toronto in September 1914 with Mk II Ross rifles. When the 15th Battalion was formed in Valcartier, the photographic history shows that the unit (800+ from the 48th and 300+ volunteers from the five other Militia Regiments that joined them) was equipped with Ross rifles,  all Ross Mk IIs. The Ordinance Department reported in October 1914 that Lt Col Currie (CO 15th Bn) chose to depart Valcartier with Mk. IIs rather than Mk IIIs and that due to a shortage of parts for the former, the Department had to acquire spare Mk II parts directly from the Ross Rifle Company.

In the UK the 15th Battalion was the last of the 1st Contingent battalions to give up their Ross Mk II rifles for the 1910 Mk III rifles. Apparently this was because Lt Col Currie wanted to retain the Mk II because he viewed it as a more accurate rifle than the Mk III.  In early February, 1915 prior to embarkation for France, the battalion was ordered to exchange their Mk II for Mk IIIs and the Mk IIIs came from rifles turned in to the British by the PPCLI when that unit was issued SMLE Mk IIIs. Although there is clear documentary evidence that men of the battalion were discarding and replacing their Ross rifles with SMLE Mk III following 2nd Ypres, the 15th Battalion officially exchanged their Ross Mk III rifles on 18 June 1915.

Associated place
Associated event
Associated name(s)
1891 – 1913 Early years
Location of artifact
Case 38 Rifles 86-14

Notify me of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments