'Who will carry the Boys Rifles?'

Event
Tuesday, 17 October, 1939
Arras 1939 Boys Anti-Tank Rifle Royal Irish Fusiliers Faughs
Men of the Royal Irish Fusiliers on the march at Gavrelle, near Arras, 17 October 1939. The two men in the foreground are carrying a Boys anti-tank rifle.

In late 1937 the British Army was awakening to the threat of aggression from another power and, as such, was re-equipping with new or modernised arms and equipment. It was at this time that the Boys* Anti-Tank Rifle was introduced into service. After the preliminary checks, an officer of The Royal Irish Fusiliers was heard to enquire, 'Who will carry the Boys Rifles, Sergeant Major?' A brief puzzled pause was followed by the reply 'Sure the boys will carry their own rifles, sir!'

*
Named after the designer, Captain Henry C. Boys, a member of the British Small Arms Committee and a designer at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield.

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