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DateOriginal Topic
14th June 2004Ammunition Boxes
By Alex Rossiter
Sorry to be a pain as i know there has been quite a few ammo boxes threads in the past, but , im going to try and make a zulu war ammo box model in a 3d program , but cant find any pictures that show the sides with the rope handles, and was wondering does anyone know where i could find good views of one, also was the only writing on the box "FOR NATAL" ????

Many Thanks

14th June 2004Adrian Whiting

I have separately sent you a picture file of an ammunition box, showing markings and label. I hope it helps.


14th June 2004Jeff Dickinson

Would you aslo send me your pictures of the ammunition box showing markings and label
Many Thanks

19th June 2004Ron Lock
There are three pictures of a contemporary ammunition box,, held at the Warriors" Gate Museum, Durban, on page 128 of Zulu Victory: The Epic of Isandlwana and the Cover Up.
21st June 2004steve
their is an ammo box on ebay at the moment
current bidding 9.99,thats probably cheaper than you could buy the wood.
it has no tin lining,but that shouldnt be a problem.
and in any case their is a great picture of it
ends in three days from date of this post
23rd June 2004Adrian Whiting

Here's an interesting (to me at least!) consideration about the box featured in the photos you mention above, when I was looking through the List of Changes entries that feature in Ian Skennerton's first volume of extracts.

LoC 1616 shows a box of 1868. The point to note is that the rope handle is fixed vertically when the box lid section is uppermost.

LoC 1991 illustrates the MkIII box. This has handles with the same orientation.

LoC 2175 introduces the Mark IV box. The handles remain with the same orientation. I have examples of both the MkI and MkIV boxes. Both have the top sections and the bases either screwed or nailed to the sides. The sides are secured to the ends by screws or nails as well. There is no dovetailing. Both have the rope handle(s) fixed in the above orientation.

LoC 2848 introduced the MkV box. The text describes the differences, and mentions that "it has brass screws for the whole of the fastenings". There is no mention of dovetailing as a difference.

Moving on to LoC 4021, which introduces the MkXI and XII boxes in 1882, this states that they differ from the previous patterns (none of which mention dovetailing as a difference) by "the corners are dovetailed together". The box is also "rotated" through 90 degrees so that the broader side is uppermost, which also means the rope handle is now fixed horizontally when the box lid is uppermost.

This LoC entry also states that patterns of these boxes have been sealed "to govern...the alteration of existing service boxes (Marks III to X) as they pass through the RA Woolwich"

In the photographs it is clear that the ends of the sides of the box in question have been dovetailed to the end. It also appears that the rope handle (missing) is fixed in the horizontal plane, rather than the vertical.

When I tried to look closely at the stamps in the top photograph, it appears to me that the left hand bar of the letter "R" in the "RL" stamp is missing, which corresponds to the dovetailing.

These points have led me to speculate that the box was subject to alteration in accordance with LoC 4021, and that the section of the letter "R" was lost when new dovetailed ends were applied. New ends would be necessary to avoid reducing the internal dimensions of the box, and would also account for why there are no redundant screw holes apparent if the rope handle fixings had been rotated. However I note that the last "8" of the "1878" stamp does appear to run across the dovetailing.

So I am left considering, did the LoC omit to mention that dovetailing had been introduced for the MkV box, but then go on to describe it as a new difference in 1882, or was the box in the picture altered sometime after 1882 ? - which would not automatically mean it couldn't have been recovered from Isandlwana, just that it wasn't constructed then as it appears now ?

Can anyone direct to me any other photos of MkV boxes ?


24th June 2004Jeff Dickinson
Steve, was unable to locate the box you mentioned on Ebay. Do you have the item number?
Many Thanks,
24th June 2004Barry Taylor
The item was ended early with no bids


24th June 2004steve
hi jeff........
ive sent you an email with some details
on the ammo box
best regards
26th June 2004Alex Rossiter
Thankyou all for the emails and replys, ill order that book and i saw the box ebay, it looked fantastic but unfortunetly i didnt have the money to buy it, but by the looks of the description, i think the seller makes them so ill give him a email and find out how much he would sell them for.

KInd Regards