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Hand Grenade

The Hand Grenade- also known as the Hand Bomb or Granatus in Latin- can be dated back to 1536, and throughout history has been used in many wars and conflicts. The manufacturer of the Grenade arrived in Belfast during the 1st World War, mainly being manufactured at factories in the Linfield Industrial Estate and the Sirocco Works. These Grenades can be identified by the Red Hand on the bottom of the Grenade.


The then owner of the Sirocco Works Mr. Samuel Cleland Davidson who was a great friend of Edward Carson and a strong supporter of the Ulster Volunteer Force had lost his son James at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. James served as a member 1st Battalion North Down Regiment of the UVF before his death on the 1st of July 1916. Mr. Davidson was desperate to help aid the fight against the German’s and using his factory to make and manufacture the Grenade he also used his skills to invent “The Hand Howitzer” a handheld Grenade lunching pistol.


In the cabinet in front of you is an example of a hand grenade (1) made in Sirocco Works. Notice the small Red Hand of Ulster on the bottom.


The Second Grenade (2) comes with an attachment- hand made in the trenches. The story behind this is a simple one, during an assault, soldiers would go in front with buckets of hand grenades and throw them at the enemy because of pulling so many hand grenade pins, soldiers’ fingers were badly cut, and most ended up with gangrene. To prevent this they invented this simple device to pull the pins so they did not hurt their fingers in the process.

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