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This is a presentation delivered by Graham Priest to a monthly meeting of the Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association (HBSA) of Great Britain in London, UK. Website: www.hbsa-uk.org
Since the writer’s first contact with the No.4 bayonet as a school boy in 1957 its disparagement as a ‘pig sticker’ has continued. Despite a design foundation based on scientific research & economic reality the weapon never gained the affection of the British ‘Tommy’. Although a
slim volume called ‘The British Spike Bayonet’ Skennerton, I.D., Margate, Australia, 1982) refocused attention, it was during some seven years of study for ‘The Spirit of the Pike. British Socket Bayonets of the Twentieth Century’ (Priest, G., Uppem Publications, Wiltshire, 2003) that the real significance of the concept was highlighted.