No. 2 Mark I and Mark II Grenade

The No.2 Mk I “Hales Pattern” or “Mexican Pattern” Grenade was a percussion type grenade designed by Marten Hale in 1907 and manufactured at the Cotton Powder Company in Faversham, Kent. First used as a rifle grenade during the Mexican Revolution, the No.2 was initially rejected by the British Army before it was belatedly brought into service in 1915 after a shortage of the No.1 grenade led to the purchase of large stocks from the Mexican government.

The British subsequently modified the No.2 grenade by replacing its rifle rod with a 16-inch long throwing handle and single cloth streamer. It was then modified again by fitting a 7-inch long handle, which enabled it to be fired from a rifle, and multiple streamers. The two variants were known as the No.2 Mk I and No.2 Mk II grenades and were both used by the British Army until around 1916 when they were largely replaced by the Mills bomb.

Designed as an impact-detonating percussion type grenade with an internal graze fuze, the No.2 grenade was filled with tonite, an explosive consisting of equal weights of barium nitrate and guncotton. Weighing 1lb when complete and with a brass cylinder body measuring 4.75 x 1.25 inches in diameter, the grenade was stored in multiples of 10 per wooden box with the same number of detonators stored in separate tins.

To use the No.2 grenade, the detonator was first inserted, then the streamers unfolded and the safety pin removed. It was then fired or thrown into the air where its streamers would unfurl to ensure that it landed nose-first on or near its chosen target. Intended for temporary use as a rifle-propelled grenade, only around 140,000 Mk II’s were manufactured during the war and it was soon replaced by the specifically-designed Hales rifle grenade and its subsequent variants.



Official NameGrenade, Hand, No.2BodyBrass cylinder 4.75 x 1.25 inches diameter
TypePercussion stick grenadeStrikerBrass needle pellet 1.5 inches long, conical head, steel needle point, creep spring contained in brass base piece.
Weight1 lb completeDetonatorSpecial No. 2.
ExplosiveTonitePackingPacked x10 in a wooden box with x10 detonators in separate tin.
Safety DeviceSafety pin.