Unusual WW2 finds – Part 1

I thought I’d do a series of blogs on some of the more unusual items that I have recovered over the years.

Many WW2 relics that come out of the ground are easily identifiable. Some are so covered in muck and rust that identification isn’t possible until after cleaning. Even then, some WW2 relics take a little while to identify, in some cases weeks or even months!

I can spend hours trying to track a relic down, and sometimes have to walk away from it and come back days/weeks later to have another go. Knowing where you found the item helps a great deal, which is why, when asked for help identifying an item, one of the first questions I ask is ‘where did you find it?’. The next question is invariably ‘how big is it’, (many people send me pictures of items with no scale in the picture….meaning the item could be an inch long or 8 feet!), and then ‘what else did you find near it?’. this is usually enough to narrow down the search to enable you to make reasonable guess at what the relic is from, and from there it becomes a lot easier.

However, sometimes all this information still doesn’t help, and I have lost track of the number of times I’ve been looking through a book, spotted something, dashed into my War Room and retrieved a relic, brought it back to the book and gone ‘HA! That’s what it bloody is!!’.

Here are some examples to start off this series of posts……

I found quite a few of these before finally tracking them down, thanks to a guy in America. Made of brass, the ‘spout’ is about an inch long. The rivets show that it was attached to either canvas or leather, but I couldn’t fathom what. Initially it was thought it could be some kind of spike bayonet holder, but it defied positive identification.


So what are they?

Turns out they were indeed attached to a piece of leather.

These are the spouts from a leather funnel, used to fill the jacket of an M1917 Browning MG. And here they are in an original funnel.

Browning MG water funnel 1
Browning M1917 leather funnel and spout, for filling the water jacket
Browning MG water funnel 3
Browning M1917 leather funnel and spout, for filling the water jacket
Browning MG water funnel 4
Browning M1917 leather funnel and spout, for filling the water jacket

Next up, and found in among these little brass funnels were these brass items.

Again, identification was proving a little difficult until I had the spouts identified. I reasoned that if they were from an M1917, perhaps these were too.


And sure enough they were. These are the adaptors from the condenser pipe of an M1917 MG

Brass adaptor for connecting the condenser pipe to the jacket of a Browning M1917 MG


At first glance, these next relics are relatively straightforward to ID. But they did take a few days to pin down to a specific weapon, and finally a friend of mine pointed out what they were. I realised they were spade grips…..


…..finally tracked to the Lewis MG.


Last ones for this post.

I have recovered quite a few of these now, all of sizes varying from an inch long to big 4 inch versions. Most have the remains of a hole that goes through just below the point, with some having brass circles still in situ. Again, I knew they were a sight of some description, but from what weapon?


Even now I am not entirely sure which weapon, but they are almost certainly aerial gun sights from a Lewis or Vickers K MG

vickers k

Well would you believe it!

No word of a lie, posting that picture of the Vickers K has just ID’d another relic!! Look at the mount coming off the bottom of the weapon…..


🙂 🙂

Wondered what mount that was off…….Another relic ID’d!

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