The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project
(Registered Scottish Charity No. SC043826). Please visit our homepage at www.scottishmilitaryresearch.co.uk
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

James Paris Lee - inventor

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index -> Borders - Individual Memorials
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
DerekR
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 2980
Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:21 pm    Post subject: James Paris Lee - inventor Reply with quote

Located at the Drumlanrig Square entrance stairs to St.Mary's church in Hawick.
On August 9th, 1981, the 150th anniversary of his birth, a plaque was unveiled outside St.Mary’s Church in Hawick, where he had been baptised, to commemorate James Paris Lee, ‘Inventor’.

I'm probably stretching the point in this forum dedicated to War Memorials but I believe that this person deserves much more attention for the pivotal role he played in the 2 World Wars and conflicts since:




_________________

Time but th' impression stronger makes, As streams their channels deeper wear.


Last edited by DerekR on Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
DerekR
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 2980
Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James Paris Lee was born in Hawick on August 9th, 1831, the son of a watchmaker and jeweller.
And he gave part of his name to the Lee-Enfield rifle which he designed.

When he was just five years old, the family emigrated from Hawick to Gault, in Canada. From an early age James displayed an intense interest in all things mechanical and he began to design and build intricate pieces of metalwork.
As an article in the Hawick Archaeological Transactions of 1969 recorded: ‘In 1879, he patented a bolt-action magazine rifle which marked the beginning of his success. His vertical box magazine, first used in this weapon, was a milestone in rifle design and the principle was to become a standard for all military rifles.’

He did not actually conceive the box magazine but he perfected it. The bolt-action repeating rifle that he invented, the Remington-Lee was tested by both the United States Army and Navy and soon attracted the attention of the British. In 1880, Lee’s basic magazine rifle, modified to fire a British service round and fitted with a Martini-Henry barrel, successfully eliminated several foreign and domestic rivals in British Service Trials. Trials were continued in Britain throughout the 1880’s with modified Remington-Lees. In 1888, prototype Lee magazine rifles were tested fitted with barrels featuring the seven-groove rifling of William E. Metford. This rifle, the “Magazine Lee-Metford Rifle Mark I’, was Britain’s first general service repeating rifle. It was a bolt action, .303 calibre rifle and had an eight-shot box magazine. British firearms experts began work to modify the Lee’s rifling to take better advantage of a newly designed bullet. It was called ‘Enfield’ rifling because it was developed at the Royal Ordnance Factory at Enfield and this led to the introduction of the first ‘Lee-Enfield’ rifle, which was approved for service on November 11, 1895.

While on holiday in Newhaven, Connecticut, in 1904, James Paris Lee died. Some three years later, in the January of 1907, the ‘Lee-Enfield Mk III’ rifle was introduced. Fate decreed that it was to be the decisive British battle rifle of the Great War.
By 1914, with their Lee-Enfield rifle, the British soldier of average competence could be sure of firing fifteen rounds from his bolt-action rifle in a minute, the best could achieve anything up to thirty; in 1914 one man was recorded loosing off 37 rounds in a minute and hitting 22 bullseyes. It was this competence with the rifle that led the Germans to believe that they were opposed by men armed with machine-guns. And it was in part due to the talents of this Hawick man that the ‘Contemptibles’ proved themselves the masters of the battlefield.
_________________

Time but th' impression stronger makes, As streams their channels deeper wear.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Scottish Military Research Group - Commemorations Project Forum Index -> Borders - Individual Memorials All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group. Hosted by phpBB.BizHat.com