Manufacturers’ Markings

Many Vickers MGs are not directly marked as to who the manufacturer was as the War Office contract guns did not require anything further than a serial number. The exception to this rule are the Commercial Guns as the manufacturer wished all to know who produced the gun as an additional marketing technique. Component parts and accessories often included a manufacturer marking for traceability.

In the Second World War, this was reduced to a alpha-numerical code with N for Northern, M for Midlands and then S for Southern, followed by a number. Manufacturers’ markings are sometimes accompanied by a year of production, which could be the full four digits or just the two end digits.

For additional information on the history of UK companies, the links go to Graces Guide.

MarkingManufacturer detailsExamples found on
B & Co Ltd.Bradley Bar & Sheet Iron Company, Bradley, BilstonNo 6 and No 7 Belt Boxes
BABathurst Annex (a feeder factory for the Small Arms Factory, Lithgow, Australia)Extractor
BAGCRAFT LTD.Bagcraft, Sackville House, 39-40 Picadilly, London, W1VGO ammunition pouches
B.A.M.Burroughs Adding Machine Company, Nottingham and Glasgow.Muzzle cup
B.H.&G.Barrow, Hepburn & Gale, Grange Mills, Grange Road, Bermondsey, LondonOil can cases
BSA (and three rifles)Birmingham Small ArmsMonopod
BUSBritish United Shoe Machinery Company, Leicester.Extractor
B.W.Ld. LondonBowden Wire Co., Willesden Junction, LondonMuzzle cup
C.P. Ltd.Caoutchouc Products Ltd. – possibly Continental Caoutchouc and Guttapercha Co, Holborn Viaduct, LondonVGO single ammunition pouch
E inside DRoyal Small Arms Factory, EnfieldDirection dial pointer, Mark IV tripod
EFDRoyal Small Arms Factory, EnfieldMark I ammunition belt
EvertautEvertaut, Walsall Road, Perry Barr, BirminghamNo 2 Mark I .5-inch ammunition box
FBPFábrica de Braço de Prata, PortugalPortuguese-made Vickers MG, Clinometer, Ammunition belts
G S WGeneral Steel Wares, Canada2 Gallon Can
H & E Ltd.Hooper & Edman, BirminghamNo. 8 Belt Box
H. BrindleyH Brindley, Ltd, Birmingham.Belt repair tool
J & J.T. Ltd.John & Joseph Taunton, BirminghamNo. 8 Belt Box
J.B.& CoJones Brothers & Company, WolverhamptonNo. 6 Belt Box
JIJohn Inglis and Company, CanadaBarrels
M 78Elkington & Co. Ltd, Newhall Street, BirminghamMonopod
M 602Alfred Bray & Sons Limited, Leicester.Mark IV tripod
M 603British United Shoe Machinery Company, Leicester.Extractor
MAMade in AustraliaFeedblock top and bottom pawls springs
MCMonotype Corporation, Salfords, RedhillExtractor
M.E.CoMills Equipment Company, 56 Victoria Street, Westminster, London, SW1VGO ammunition pouches
P & P Ltd.Peyton & Peyton, BirminghamNo. 8 Belt Box
PAParkes Annex, (a feeder factory for the Small Arms Factory, Lithgow), Parkes, New South WalesExtractor
RCDRoyal Carriage DepartmentTripod mounting blocks
RFIRifle Factory Ishapore, IndiaExtractor
R.P.LtdR Parkyn LimitedWebbing ammunition box carriers
RPL over SRheem Australia Proprietary Limited, SydneyNo. 8 and No. 10 belts boxes
RTRandwick Tramways, SydneyMark IV tripods
S 26Climax Rock Drill Company, Carn Brea, CornwallFeedblock casing
S 81Monotype Corporation, Salfords, Redhill Extractor
S 254Portadyne Radio, Portadyne Works, 18-19 Gorst Road, London, NW10.Mark 5 tripod direction pointer
S 343Nicholls & Janes, St. Mary’s St., High Wycombe, BucksSpare parts box Mark III
S.J.&E.F. Ltd.S.J. & E. Fellows Limited, Vulcan Works, WolverhamptonNo. 6 belt box
T.F.&S.LdThomas French & Sons, Dyer Street, Chester Road, Manchester.Stripless ammunition belts
VAVickers Armstrongs.5-inch Mark V
VACVickers Armstrongs CrayfordExtractor
V.A.ER.Vickers Armstrongs ErithClass C Vickers machine gun
VANVickers-Armstrongs (believed to be Newcastle)Feedblock casing
VSMVickers, Sons and MaximTrigger bar, crosspiece
VSM MVickers, Sons and Maxim – the ‘M’ is believed to indicate the ‘Maxim’ works at Erith.Fusee
W.T.&Co.Wynn, Timmins & Co Ltd., BirminghamBelt repairing tool
Manufacturers markings on Vickers MGs and components.

Sources