Object Title

Hand grenade - No.5 Mk. 1 Mills Bomb

Hand grenade - No.5 Mk. 1 Mills Bomb


about 1915

Object Number



Purchased 9 December 1994, see acquisition.

Physical Description

Standard issue Mills Bomb, comprising of a heavily segmented cast iron body. Filler hole visible at the top, filled by a brass screw plug. The external lever is held in position with a split pin, on which a steel ring is attached. The base plug is of cast brass and has two drilled holes.


Mass manufacture



OverallLength4 in
OverallLength102 mm
OverallWeight603 g
OverallWeight1.3 lb
OverallWidth3.1 in
OverallWidth78 mm


Serial Number None visible

Inscriptions and Marks

Manufacturer's mark
No5 Mk1 12/15 Burman & Sons Ltd Birmingham
base plug



Introduced in 1915, its segmented 'pineapple' shape provided a firm grip in trench conditions. Contrary to popular belief the external segmentation on the body does not have any effect on fragmentation. The striker spring is compressed by an external lever held in place with split pin, attached to a steel ring for pulling the pin out. Once the pin is pulled out the user holds the lever down and prepares to throw. When thrown, the lever releases and the striker drops on to the .22 calibre blank cartridge in the chamber, the blast from which lights the fuse. This burns for five seconds before reaching the detonator.