Mr. Mills' grenade


Not set Type Serial component part

Place of publication

Not given

Date of publication

Not given


Arms and Armour, Journal of the Royal Armouries Vol. 1 No. 1 (2004)


The article looks at the early development of the grenade from its use by the Chinese in the early medieval period, through to the more sophisticated forms of cast-iron types that were issued to grenadiers in the 19th century. Experimentation pre-WWI by a Belgian designer named Roland led to the first self-igniting hand grenade. The War Department believed their use in trench-warfare would be invaluable and an engineer and designer named William Mills of Birmingham was asked to look at improving both the mechanism and means of manufacture. Mills redesigned the grenade to make it safer and more efficient, and decided to manufacture it by casting. By 1916 the Mills, No. 5 Mk I hand grenade was in widescale production by four British contractors, including the Mills Manufacturing Company in Birmingham