The Crumbling Empire
The Lee-Enfield bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle was the main firearm used by the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth during the early half of the 20th century. It was the British Army’s standard rifle from its official adoption in 1895 onwards.
A redesign of the Lee-Metford (adopted by the British Army in 1888), the Lee-Enfield superseded the earlier Martini-Henry, Martini-Enfield, and Lee-Metford rifles. It featured a ten-round box magazine which was loaded with the .303 British cartridge manually from the top, either one round at a time or by means of five-round chargers. The Lee-Enfield was the standard issue weapon to rifle companies of the British Army and other Commonwealth nations in the First World Wars (these Commonwealth nations included Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, among others)