WW1 / WW2 / 20th Century

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An Officer Issue Princess Mary Christmas Box, With Officer's Silver Pencil, in Bullet Form, with Princes Mary Card & Gallipoli Souvenir Turkish Rifle Bullet

An Officer Issue Princess Mary Christmas Box, With Officer's Silver Pencil, in Bullet Form, with Princes Mary Card & Gallipoli Souvenir Turkish Rifle Bullet

Very Good Princess Mary Box and Original Content of an officer's silver bullet pencil, card from Princess Mary, and a Gallipoli souvenir bullet round, inert and safe, with Turkish crescent moon and star, also date stamped in the traditional Hijri Islamic calendar for 1329, which translates to 1911 in the Christian calendar. Not suitable to export due to bullet shaped souvenirs.

They were sent to the British troops in the frontline trenches in WW1 at Christmas 1914.

During World War One King George V and Queen Mary got very involved in active war work. The King mainly visited battlefields (as recorded on the King at the Front postcards) while the queen organised clothing drives, visited hospitals and other welfare organisations. Princess Mary, then 18, often accompanied the Queen and according to the book Princess Mary, Viscount Lascelless became intensely concerned, with Christmas looming, about the well-being of the soldiers and sailors serving far from home. With her parents consent the following letter of appeal was published in November 1914.

"For many weeks we have all been greatly concerned for the welfare of the soldiers and sailors who are so valiantly fighting our battles by land and sea. Our first consideration has been to meet their more pressing needs and I have delayed making known a wish that has long been in my heart, for fear of encroaching on other funds, the claim of which have been more urgent. I want you all to help me send a Christmas present from the whole nation to every sailor afloat and every soldier at the Front. On Christmas Eve, when, like the shepherds of old, they were wont to hang out their stockings, wondered what the morrow had in store. I'm sure that we should all be happier to feel that we had helped to send our little token of love and sympathy on Christmas morning something that would be of useful and permanent value, and the making of which may be the means of providing employment for trades adversely affected by the war. Could there be anything more likely to hearten them in their struggle than a present received straight from home on Christmas Day Please will you help me, Mary."

In support of this appeal many periodicals of the day published or referred to her letter.

The following example appeared in the Illustrated War News of 4 November 1914 'Princess Mary is appealing for help to send a Christmas present, from the Nation, toevery Sailor afloat and every Soldier at the front. Remittance should be addressed to H.R.H. the Princess Mary, Buckingham Palace, S.W., the envelopes marked Sailors and Soldiers Christmas Fund.' The appeal was very successful for it had reached 131,000 Pounds by 16 December .It was initially decided that the Gift would be received by every sailor afloat and every soldier at the Front wearing the King's uniform on Christmas Day 1914. The difficulty for the committee was deciding how many to get manufactured. They calculated that 145,000 sailors including Royal Marines and 350,000 soldiers including the Indian Contingent qualified. It was therefore calculated that between 55 and 60,000 pounds would be needed to cover the cost of nearly 500,000 gifts. The final Fund total was reported by the Committee on 30 June 1919 as 193,667 pounds 4s and 10d. Monies from the fund is also reported as having been used, to buy War Bonds and, in War Loans. The funds that remained at the end were apparently transferred to Queen Mary's Maternity Home founded for the benefit of the wives and children of sailors, soldiers and airmen of the newly formed Royal Air Force. Abridged from an original article by Grahame Barber. 2nd Lieutenant R C Leach of the 1st Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment wrote to his mother describing Christmas 1914:
I think we must have had a decidedly more cheerful Christmas than you at home. For a start on getting into billet I found 15 parcels waiting for me. They had a special Post Office bag for them. Well on Christmas morn I spent till about 1.30 issuing presents to the men; both yours which were very welcome and those sent in bulk to be divided amongst the troops, each regiment getting a certain share. There were also Princess Mary's presents which consisted of a packet of cigarettes, a pipe, a packet of tobacco and a Christmas card from King and Queen. Not an exportable item.  read more

Code: 24023

155.00 GBP

A German WW2 Nazi DRK Red Cross Medal

A German WW2 Nazi DRK Red Cross Medal

(Deutsche Volkspflege 1939-1945
On the 1st May 1939, Hitler introduced a series of four awards (Ehrenzeichen für Deutsche Volkspflege) to replace the earlier DRK awards.
His thinking was that the new series of awards should cover the whole field of social welfare, and not just the relatively restricted area of the Red Cross.
To be rendered in recognition of loyal service in the connection with the following:
Social Welfare
Winter Relief
Looking after the sick and wounded, both in peace and war
Keeping up old customs
Looking after German nationals in foreign countries.
One of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles prevented the DRK from having any involvement in military matters. As a result, during the Weimar Republic under the leadership of Joachim von Winterfeldt-Mencken, the DRK became a national organization focusing on social welfare . In April 1933 the Nazi Reich Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick made it clear to Winterfeldt-Mencken that this policy would no longer apply; instead, the DRK would be expected to play its part in supporting the armed forces in any future conflict. Shortly after this the DRK was informed that the head of the SA Medical Corps, Dr. Paul Hocheisen had been given responsibility for voluntary nursing organizations.

On the 11th of June 1933 Frick was invited to speak at the Red Cross Day. He declared:

"The Red Cross is something like the conscience of the nation. … Together with the nation, the Red Cross is ready to commit all its strength for the high goals of our leader, Adolf Hitler".

The DRK was quick to respond to the changed circumstances, indeed Winterfeldt-Mencken had always been opposed to the system of parliamentary democracy. The Workers' Samaritan League, a left-wing humanitarian organization, had always been an unwelcome competitor to the DRK. Hocheisen very quickly arranged that it should be taken over by the DRK. Similarly, the DRK moved quickly to rid itself of left-wing members, and in June 1933 it also decided that the Nazi "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service" should be applied and dismissed its Jewish employees.  read more

Code: 23691

135.00 GBP

WW2 SS Polizei Family Collection, 'Fuhrer Class' Cuff Title, Probably by Richter und Rohrlapper of Brandenburg, Original Family Polizei Photos, Pass Books and Paperwork etc.

WW2 SS Polizei Family Collection, 'Fuhrer Class' Cuff Title, Probably by Richter und Rohrlapper of Brandenburg, Original Family Polizei Photos, Pass Books and Paperwork etc.

A complete WW2 and pre WW2 SS Polizei 'Soika' family collection all regarding one older man and the younger probably his son who both served in the German Polizei, and the son in the SS Polizei Division in WW2. Papers, pass books, hand embroidered aluminium wire RZM 'fuhrer pattern' SS Polizei Division uniform cuff title, still sown to cut off uniform cuff, original personal photographs of Polizei briefings, and a personal portrait photo of the younger SS Polizei Division family member, an order of some kind to him signed by SS Polizei Obersturmfuhrer and typed Waffen SS papers in German, and a polizei cap badge. The cap badge has had old cap mount repairs. The 4th SS Polizei Panzergrenadier Division was one of the thirty-eight divisions fielded as part of the Waffen-SS during World War II.

The division was formed in 1939 as part of the Ordnungspolizei or Orpo (uniformed national police). While all German police organisations were controlled by Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler in his capacity as Chief of German Police in the Interior Ministry, they were not at this time considered part of the SS, nor was the Polizei Division on par with the other Waffen-SS divisions. This status was reflected in the quality of the equipment they were issued and their retention of police insignia and rank structure. The division was transferred to the Waffen-SS in 1942 and was upgraded to a Panzergrenadier division. It fought in France, the Soviet Union, Greece (where it orchestrated the Distomo massacre) and Pomerania and surrendered to the Americans in May 1945. The division was formed in October 1939, when 15,000 members of the Ordnungspolizei were drafted and placed together with artillery and signals units transferred from the army. These men were not enrolled in the SS and remained policemen, retaining their Orpo rank structure and insignia. Himmler's purpose in forming the division was twofold: in a period of heated bureaucratic infighting and competition for manpower, it permitted him to get around the recruitment caps the Wehrmacht had succeeded in placing on the SS, it also provided a means for his policemen to satisfy their military obligation and avoid army conscription.

The first commander was Generalleutnant der Polizei (Major-General) Karl Pfeffer-Wildenbruch, a career police commander who had been a general staff officer during World War I; simultaneous with his appointment he was also commissioned as an SS-Gruppenfuhrer. The division was equipped largely with captured Czech materiel and underwent military training in the Black Forest combined with periods on internal security duties in Poland. During the invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa), the division was initially part of the reserve with Army Group North. In August 1941, the division saw action near Luga. During heavy fighting for the Luga bridgehead the division lost over 2,000 soldiers including the commander, Arthur M?lverstadt. After a series of failed attacks in swampy and wooded terrain, the division, along with army formations, fought its way into the northern part of Luga, encircling and destroying the Soviet defenders.

In January 1942, the division was moved to the Volkhov River sector, and on 24 February it was transferred to the Waffen-SS; its personnel changing their police insignia to that of the SS. The formation was involved in heavy fighting between January and March which resulted in the destruction of the Soviet 2nd Shock Army. The remainder of the year was spent on the Leningrad Although its original thin paper RZM label is no longer present, this cuff title gives all the indications from other cuff titles made by the maker, it was likely made by cuff title producer, with RZM license № A4/21, by Richter und Rohrlapper- Band und Posamentenfabrik Brandenburg, with hand embroidery by M. Auer München who had the licence A4/91, for aluminium hand-embroidery on cuff titles. it is in very good worn condition

Souvenirs such as these were taken by the magnificent British & Commonwealth and Allied combatants throughout the world. Although the names of those veterans are most sadly often now lost in the mists of time, their heroic excursions with never be forgotten by most of us, as they are also symbolised by these very war trophies, that hundreds of thousands of allied veterans perished for, in order for the survivors to regain world freedom, cruelly stolen by the Axis Powers. Of course not all the world gained such freedoms at the end of 1945, but at least hundreds of millions did, which is a remarkable achievement, achieved by our finest generation, and by those that sacrificed all.  read more

Code: 23778

2150.00 GBP

Original WW2 Home Guard Memorabilia The 11th City of London Home Guard Solid Silver Challenge Shooting Cup, & Gloss Black Lacquered Circular base with Two Presentation Shields, With Winners Selected As Snipers for Ultra Top Secret WW2  ‘Auxiliaries’

Original WW2 Home Guard Memorabilia The 11th City of London Home Guard Solid Silver Challenge Shooting Cup, & Gloss Black Lacquered Circular base with Two Presentation Shields, With Winners Selected As Snipers for Ultra Top Secret WW2 ‘Auxiliaries’

650 grams, 1.4 lbs of solid silver. Hallmarked and dated Birmingham 1938

Interestingly it was the winner's of such trophies that were specifically chosen as sniper's for Churchill's secret assassin's and guerrilla force, 'The Auxiliaries'.
A unprepossessing name that hid their highly top secret purpose, to assassinate senior ranking Germans, to blow up bridges and enemy communications, if, and or when, the occupation of Britain was accomplished, after any German invasion took place.
Highly skilled, often retired, expert shooters, gamekeepers or former munitions experts, recruited into the most secret force Britain ever created. Men, that were often believed by their neighbours to be shirkers or cowards for not joining up, that were hidden in top secret bunkers around the country after the invasion, to harry the German's and create fear and havoc among the swinish occupiers.
Their top secret orders included the assassination of British women that fraternised with German's, and to assassinate the country's regional Chief Constables. These were leaders of Britain's police forces that were by no means collaborators or assisting the German's willingly, but the men that knew everything about Britain's local defences etc. information that must not fall into enemies hands.
Needless to say none of Britain's Chief constables were ever told of their potential fate after any invasion.

It is said in certain circles such shooting competitions were organised by the British SIS Secret Intelligence Service to root out such men, possessors of their specific set of skills and abilities perfect for the killing of German occupying officer's etc. and men that could be trusted to keep a secret.

Member of the Auxiliaries were sworn to secrecy, signed the equivalent to the Official Secrets Act, and often instructed to denounce the British war effort in public, and resign from the Home Guard. All to allay even the remotest suspicion, if the need arose, that they could possibly be covert occupation assassins. Even after the war's end, for many decades following, these men often never even told their families their secret purpose during the war, some even going to their graves maintaining their incredible secret. Some vilified for all their remaining lives as appearing to be cowards for not assisting the war effort, even denouncing it. The epitome of the definition of true heroes.

"He that would keep a secret must keep it secret that he hath a secret to keep." -Sir Francis Bacon

A superb looking and sizeable solid silver trophy, and out of interest it is near identical to the US Open Women's Trophy won by Emma Raducanu in September 21. The 11th City of London Dagenham Home Guard, Battalion Inter-Company Miniature Range Cup. Hallmarked silver. Wartime competition dated, with company winners, from 1940 to 1944. Its most notable member was Major William Thomas Forshaw VC

The Home Guard (initially Local Defence Volunteers or LDV) was an armed citizen militia supporting the British Army during the Second World War. Operational from 1940 to 1944, the Home Guard had 1.5 million local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, such as those who were too young or too old to join the regular armed services (regular military service was restricted to those aged 18 to 41) and those in reserved occupations. Excluding those already in the armed services, the civilian police or civil defence, approximately one in five men were volunteers. Their role was to act as a secondary defence force in case of invasion by the forces of Nazi Germany.

The Home Guard were to try to slow down the advance of the enemy even by a few hours to give the regular troops time to regroup. They were also to defend key communication points and factories in rear areas against possible capture by paratroops or fifth columnists. A key purpose was to maintain control of the civilian population in the event of an invasion, to forestall panic and to prevent communication routes from being blocked by refugees to free the regular forces to fight the Germans. The Home Guard continued to man roadblocks and guard the coastal areas of the United Kingdom and other important places such as airfields, factories and explosives stores until late 1944, when they were stood down. They were finally disbanded on 31 December 1945, eight months after Germany's surrender.

Men aged 17 to 65 years could join, although the upper age limit was not strictly enforced. Service was unpaid but gave a chance for older or inexperienced soldiers to support the war effort.

Its base is a separate entity, and not affixed. Bearing, two shield plaques of named ‘company’ winners, dated Dec 1940 and April 1941, there are 6 further named ‘company’ winners on the reverse of the cup.
Most interestingly the shield for April 1941, states the trophy was was won by 'F Company', Home Guard', of the Ford Motor Company, Dagenham

The base is 7 3/4 inches across, 3 inches high.

The cup hallmarked dated to 1938 is 10 inches high, width at maximum including handles 9 3/4 inches

The total height of the cup standing on the base will be 13 inches  read more

Code: 23892

675.00 GBP

Original WW2 Gurkha's Military Kukri, Field Marshall Manekshaw once said,

Original WW2 Gurkha's Military Kukri, Field Marshall Manekshaw once said, " If someone says he does not fear death, then he is either telling a lie or he is a Gurkha".

Part of a collection of 3 original military Gurkha's kukri, two WW2 and one WW1. All without scabbards. with very good blade with signs if combat use and surface marking. They were all formerly on display on the walls of a [defunct in 1968] regimental officer's mess [the Royal Warwickshire Regt, and these items were removed when it merged in 1968 after it become part of the Fusilier Brigade in 1963] also with a WW2 Japanese silk flag. All 4 pieces are being sold by us separately. Tempered steel blade, in very good condition for age, signs of combat use and surface marking as to be expected. serial number to blade still visible, and carved wood and steel ovoid pommel capped hilt.A Superb WW2 Ghurkha's Kukri Combat Knife "Ayo Gorkali" The Gurkha Battle Call "The Gurkhas Are Coming!" Field Marshall Manekshaw once said, " If someone says he does not fear death, then he is either telling a lie or he is a Gurkha". The Gukhas are the finest and bravest, combat soldiers in the world, with legendary loyalty to the British Crown. Superb tempered steel blade, overall in fabulous condition. Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw once said, " If someone says he does not fear death, then he is either telling a lie or he is a Gurkha". On 12/13 May 1945 at Taungdaw, Burma now Myanmar, Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung VC was manning the most forward post of his platoon which bore the brunt of an attack by at least 200 of the Japanese enemy. Twice he hurled back grenades which had fallen on his trench, but the third exploded in his right hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his arm and severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg. His two comrades were also badly wounded but the rifleman, now alone and disregarding his wounds, loaded and fired his rifle with his left hand for four hours, calmly waiting for each attack which he met with fire at point blank range. Afterwards, when the casualties were counted, it is reported that there were 31 dead Japanese around his position which he had killed, with only one arm.In the Falklands War in 1982 the Argentinians abandoned Mount William without a fight simply because the enemy forces advancing towards them were the 2nd Battalion, 7th Ghurka Rifles. The Kukri is the renown and famous weapon of the Nepalese Gurkha. Probably the most respected and feared warriors in the world, the Gurkhas of Nepal have fought in the Gurkha regiments of the British Army for around two centuries. With a degree of loyalty and dedication that is legendary, there is no greater soldier to be at one's side when in battle than the noble Gurkha. With a Kukri in his hand and the battle cry called, "Ayo Gorkhali!" ["the Gurkhas are coming!"], no foe's head was safe on his shoulders. Battle hardened German Infantry in WW1, or WW2 Japanese Shock Troops, have been known to tremble in their boots at the knowledge that they would be facing the Gurkhas in battle. Some of the most amazing feats of heroism have resulted in the most revered medal, the British Victoria Cross [ the world's greatest and most difficult to qualify for gallantry medal] being awarded to Ghurkas. The blade shape descended from the classic Greek sword of Kopis, which is about 2500 years old.
Some say it originated from a form of knife first used by the Mallas who came to power in Nepal in the 13th Century. There are some Khukuris displaying on the walls of National Museum at Chhauni in Kathmandu which are 500 years old or even older, among them, one that once belonged to Drabya Shah, the founder king of the kingdom of Gorkha, in 1627 AD. But, some say that the Khukuri's history is possibly centuries older this. It is suggested that the Khukuri was first used by Kiratis who came to power in Nepal before Lichchhavi age, in about the 7th Century. In the hands of an experienced wielder Khukuri or Kukri is about as formidable a weapon as can be conceived. Like all really good weapons, Khukuri's or Kukri's efficiency depends much more upon skill than the strength of the wielder. And thus so that it happens, that a diminutive Gurkha, a mere boy in regards to his stature, could easily cut to pieces a gigantic adversary, who simply does not understand the little Gurkha's mode of attack and fearsome skill. The Gurkha generally strikes upwards with his Kukri, possibly in order to avoid wounding himself should his blow fail, and possibly because an upward cut is just the one that can be least guarded against however strong his opponent. 16.5 inches long  read more

Code: 23723

285.00 GBP

A Most Rare Imperial German State's 'Postal Protection Officer's' Sword

A Most Rare Imperial German State's 'Postal Protection Officer's' Sword

Nickel plated hilt, wire grip, plain single shell guard, single edged etched blade. This is a very scarce sword, we have only previously had the Prussian type [with Prussian Eagle Guard] see page 399 John R Angolia 'Swords of Germany 1900/1945'. This has the plain guard for another Imperial State's service, not the Prussian. Blade half etched with fancy scrolls and trumpets drums, stands of arms, cannon etc. Upon the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and the break-up of the German Confederation in the Peace of Prague, the North German Confederation was established, instigated by the Prussian minister-president Otto von Bismarck. Originally a military alliance, it evolved to a federation with the issuing of a constitution with effect from 1 July 1867. In the course of the war, Prussian troops had occupied the Free City of Frankfurt and the King of Prussia (later to become Emperor of Germany) had purchased the remnants of the Thurn-und-Taxis Post organisation. According to article 48, the federal area of the Northern German states, de facto an enlarged Prussia, came under the united postal authority, led by director Heinrich von Stephan.

With the German unification upon the Franco-Prussian War of 1870?1871, the Deutsche Reichspost was established as a state monopoly and became the official national postal authority of the German Empire including the annexed province of Alsace-Lorraine. Its official name was Kaiserliche Post und Telegraphenverwaltung. The Southern German federated states of Baden (until 1872), W?rttemberg (until 1902) and Bavaria initially maintained separate state post authorities, that nevertheless were integrated into the nationwide administration. On 1 January 1876 a Reichspostamt under Postmaster General von Stephan was split-off from Bismarck's Reich Chancellery as a government agency in its own right. In the First World War, a Reichsabgabe tax was levied on the postal traffic from 1 August 1916 in order to finance the war expenses.


Deutsche Reichspost logo, 1925
With the establishment of the Weimar Republic upon the German Revolution of 1918?1919, the former Reichspostamt in Berlin became the Reichspostministerium. After the hyperinflation period, the Deutsche Reichspost (DRP) agency was again spun off in 1924 and operated as a state-owned enterprise. On 2 June 1932 Paul Freiherr von Eltz-R?benach was appointed Reichspost Minister by Chancellor Franz von Papen and he maintained his office upon the Machtergreifung of the Nazi Party in 1933, "assisted" by Nazi state secretary Wilhelm Ohnesorge. The postal area was significantly enlarged with the incorporation of the Saar territory in 1935, the Austrian Anschluss in 1938, and the annexation of the Sudetenland according to the Munich Agreement. It was during this time that the Reichspost installed the first public videophone.

In the Second World War the Reichspost authority spread out to the Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany, such as the Reichsgau Wartheland, the Reichsgau Danzig-Westpreu?en, and the Polish General Government. In 1941 postal codes were introduced. The Feldpost military mail organisation of the Wehrmacht not only served Army, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine service members, but also SS-Verf?gungstruppen, Waffen-SS and Reichsarbeitsdienst members in the field, becoming the general postal authority of the occupied territories. No scabbard.  read more

Code: 21714

425.00 GBP

A Superb & Historical, Original USAAF, WW2 American Pilot's, B3 Bomber Flying Jacket, With Large White Stencilled USAAF Wings and Name, Upon The Back. Exactly As Used By General Patton And The WW2 US Aircrew.

A Superb & Historical, Original USAAF, WW2 American Pilot's, B3 Bomber Flying Jacket, With Large White Stencilled USAAF Wings and Name, Upon The Back. Exactly As Used By General Patton And The WW2 US Aircrew.

Type B-3 Contract No. 42-22899. Named to the pilot on the back, in large white stencil 'RALPH' with the traditional large USAAF Wings symbol below. With its original maker label and contract number. This has been a seriously ‘well loved’ jacket, that has had numerous contemporary old service and combat tears, repairs, and patches, but what a jacket!!, and what a piece of original WW2 American Air Force history! We have has original WW2 US B3 flying jackets before, but bearing its large, stencilled, USAAF wings and owners name of the officer across the back, is so rare that we can’t remember seeing another one still surviving like it in over 40 years. In our opinion, it is as good an historical WW2 aeronautical museum piece as we have ever seen.

There is no doubt that jacket has seen incredible times, but true historical collectors will absolutely love it just 'as is', warts and all, with all its amazing character and significant signs of age. This is not something that is near mint, or remotely anything like it, but for this piece of history, no one would ever want it to be. It we had had it when Steve McQueen visited us in the 60’s, we could likely have named our price. He would simply not have left our shop without it!

Made and issued for the Army Air Forces, from 1933 till 1943. Original examples of these super WW2 Aeronautical gems are so very scarce indeed, and the beauty of them is, they are still superbly wearable, in fact the more aged the better!. It is very unlikely to have its first manufactured zipper.
US legend General George Patton wore his favourite B3 during the entire Battle of Bulge campaign {and we show a photo of him wearing it,}. Plus we show a movie still of the legendary Steve McQueen and Bob Wagner in their B3's that they both wore in their iconic WW2 movie during 1962, 'The War Lover'. It was while he was filming in Cambridge that he came down to see us in Brighton to view a vintage car we had for sale.

It was a year later in 1963, he starred in one of the greatest war movies of all time 'the Great Escape', as Captain Virgil Hilts 'The Cooler King'.

A faithful modern reproduction copy today will cost well over a thousand dollars, so how much more can you value an early, wartime ‘well loved’ original, with the original owner's name, and the USAAF wings motif emblazoned upon the back!

Over two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War. In 1944, at the height of activity, up to half a million were based here with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF).
This USAAF pilot from whence it originally came, apparently also served in the Philippines.

The job of the half million British based USAAF officers and servicemen was to man and maintain the vast fleets of aircraft needed to attack German cities & and industry.

Working alongside the Royal Air Force (RAF), their aim was to severely weaken Germany's ability to fight. This was a central part of the Allied strategy for winning the war. American women also served, working for the American Red Cross or as members of the Women's Army Corps.

Over 200 airfields were occupied or newly-built by the USAAF. Each one would house around 2,500 American men many times the population of the nearest village. Thousands more were based at smaller sites. Halls and country houses became headquarters for commanders and planners. Some were converted to hospitals or rest-homes for combat-weary fliers. Barns and outbuildings would house teams of truck drivers and their vehicles. Even specialist bakery units were dotted around the UK, providing fresh bread for the airmen.

No wonder, then, that the Americans' arrival was known as the 'friendly invasion' their impact on British life was huge and they profoundly changed the places they inhabited.

The majority of the Americans left Britain in 1945. They left an enduring legacy and are fondly remembered by those they met. Including, all our six aunts! our mother’s sisters. Hundreds of volunteers across East Anglia still help preserve these memories. They look after memorials in village squares, on corners of former airfields, or at crash sites. They manage museums in former control towers, or preserve precious collections in pubs or farm buildings. Ideally what this jacket deserves is someone who will scour through the United States Army Air force war records to discover the history of young Mr.Ralph and his service in Europe and abroad.

Brighton was home to thousands of US and Canadian servicemen in 1944, billeted at all the hotels on Brighton seafront. Despite much of Brighton being off limits to civilian visitors due to it coastal location. With barbed wire fenced off beaches and the mined sea. And our piers were cut in half so they couldn’t be used as Jerry landing jetty’s.  read more

Code: 22547

1675.00 GBP

Rare WWI Remington 1913, 1917 Dated Sword Bayonet With Black Leather Scabbard and Belt Mount, Made For The P14 Rifle

Rare WWI Remington 1913, 1917 Dated Sword Bayonet With Black Leather Scabbard and Belt Mount, Made For The P14 Rifle

Excellent plus, and an exceptional example.

The American U.S. Model 1913 dated 1917 Remington Sword-Bayonet in leather and steel scabbard with steel clip American military belt mount. It has an excellent bright polish blade. Known as a 'sleeper', in the collecting market, in that it was put into storage in 1946 and hasn't seen the light of day since, we have just acquired a super collection of bayonets all in stored condition since the end of the war.

This is a superb 1913- 1917 pattern bayonet marked to the blade with 1917 over Remington in a circle on one side, and US and cancelled out British mark. These bayonets were originally manufactured by the U.S. in WWI and acquired by the British in WWII for use mainly by the Home Guard.

Pattern 1913/17. In excellent order with belt mount. Made by Remington. The pattern of bayonet that was continually used in WW2 by the British Home Guard. With twin cuts in the wood grip added to differentiate for British forces that it was the American bayonet and not a British 1907 Wilkinson.

Originally the bayonet design was made for the British in September 1917 by Remington in the US as the 1913 Pattern intended to be issued with the P14 Rifle in .303 inch calibre. However, when America entered the war they changed production of the P14 rifle over to .30 inch calibre, at which point it became their M17 rifle. As the calibre change meant no alteration to the bayonet was required they basically took the unfinished/unshipped bayonets and made them American property by over-stamping the British marks with American marks, thus becoming M1917 bayonets.

The P14's principal combat use during World War I was as a sniper rifle, since it was found to be more accurate than the Short Magazine Lee–Enfield, either in standard issue form or with modified "fine-adjustment" aperture rearsights designated Pattern 1914 Mk I W (F) and Pattern 1914 Mk I* W (F) or, from April 1918, Aldis Pattern 1918 telescopic sights designated Pattern 1914 Mk I* W (T) (modified and telescopic sights were mainly used on Winchester-manufactured rifles, the Winchesters being thought to be of superior quality). During WW2 the rifle was also used again as a sniper rifle, the configuration being different from the World War I incarnation.

2 notches can be seen on the wooden handle as to distinguish it from SMLE bayonets as both rifles and blades were, though very similar incompatible with the other.

We have seen these scarce US bayonets in the States regularly sell for between $450 to $500  read more

Code: 25193

220.00 GBP

A Good Original Imperial German Pickelhaube German Spiked Helmet Case

A Good Original Imperial German Pickelhaube German Spiked Helmet Case

In pressed fibreboard and leather strapping. Overall in very nice condition but the straps have either partially of fully seperated. A rare collectable that is now very scarcely seen. Ideal to accompany any good pickelhaube, either spike or ball topped. The Pickelhaube was originally designed in 1842 by King Frederick William IV of Prussia, perhaps as a design based on similar helmets that were adopted at the same time by the Russian military. It is not clear whether this was a case of imitation, parallel invention, or if both were based on the earlier Napoleonic cuirassier. The early Russian type (known as "The Helmet of Yaroslav Mudry") was also used by cavalry, which had used the spike as a holder for a horsehair plume in full dress, a practice also followed with some Prussian models.
Frederick William IV introduced the Pickelhaube for use by the majority of Prussian infantry on October 23, 1842 by a royal cabinet order. The use of the Pickelhaube spread rapidly to other German principalities. Oldenburg adopted it by 1849, Baden by 1870, and in 1887, the Kingdom of Bavaria was the last German state to adopt the Pickelhaube (since the Napoleonic Wars, they had had their own design of helmet, called the Raupenhelm.

From the second half of the 19th century onwards, the armies of a number of nations besides Russia, (including Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Portugal, Norway, Sweden and Venezuela,) adopted the Pickelhaube or something very similar.

The Russian version initially had a horsehair plume fitted to the end of the spike, but this was later discarded in some units. The Russian spike was topped with a grenade motif. At the beginning of the Crimean War, such helmets were common among infantry and grenadiers, but soon fell out of place in favour of the fatigue cap. After 1862 the spiked helmet ceased to be generally worn by the Russian Army, although it was retained until 1914 by the Cuirassier regiments of the Imperial Guard and the Gendarmerie. The Russians prolonged the history of the pointed military headgear with their own cloth Budenovka in the early 20th century. All helmets produced for the infantry before and during 1914 were made of leather. As the war progressed, Germany's leather stockpiles dwindled. After extensive imports from South America, particularly Argentina, the German government began producing ersatz Pickelhauben made of other materials. In 1915, some Pickelhauben began to be made from thin sheet steel. However, the German high command needed to produce an even greater number of helmets, leading to the usage of pressurized felt and even paper to construct Pickelhauben.
During the early months of World War I, it was soon discovered that the Pickelhaube did not measure up to the demanding conditions of trench warfare. The leather helmets offered virtually no protection against shell fragments and shrapnel and the conspicuous spike made its wearer a target. These shortcomings, combined with material shortages, led to the introduction of the simplified model 1915 helmet described above, with a detachable spike. In September 1915 it was ordered that the new helmets were to be worn without spikes, when in the front line  read more

Code: 20806

345.00 GBP

A Most Scarce Edwardian Hampshire Yeomanry Carabiniers Regimental Silver Place Badge With 'Battle Honour' Scroll, South Africa 1900-1901

A Most Scarce Edwardian Hampshire Yeomanry Carabiniers Regimental Silver Place Badge With 'Battle Honour' Scroll, South Africa 1900-1901

The Hampshire rose to the centre of a crowned oval bearing the title, Hampshire Yeomanry, backed by a pair of crossed rifles, with the 'Carabiniers' scroll across the rifle butts and surmounted by Edward VIIth's King's crown, with the regimental 'Battle Honour' scroll of South Africa 1900-1. Tension sprung silver half hoop at the rear to insert a card, menu or regimental seating place name. In very good condition for age.

Between 1794 and 1803, a large number of cavalry units such as the North Hampshire Yeomanry Cavalry, the New Forest Volunteer Cavalry, the Fawley Light Dragoons and the Southampton Cavalry were raised in southern England as independent groups of Yeomanry. The Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger, proposed that the English Counties form a force of Volunteer Yeoman Cavalry that could be called on by the King to defend the country against invasion or by the Lord Lieutenant to subdue any civil disorder within the country. These units were brought together under the collective title of North Hampshire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry in 1834, renamed Hampshire Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry by 1848. The Regiment adopted the title 'Carabiniers' in 1887.

On 13 December 1899, the decision to allow volunteer forces serve in the Second Boer War was made. Due to the string of defeats during Black Week in December, 1899, the British government realized they were going to need more troops than just the regular army, thus issuing a Royal Warrant on 24 December 1899. This warrant officially created the Imperial Yeomanry. The Royal Warrant asked standing Yeomanry regiments to provide service companies of approximately 115 men each. In addition to this, many British citizens (usually mid-upper class) volunteered to join the new regiment.

The first contingent of recruits contained 550 officers, 10,371 men with 20 battalions and 4 companies, which arrived in South Africa between February and April, 1900. Upon arrival, the regiment was sent throughout the zone of operations. The Hampshire Yeomanry raised the 41st Company, 12th Battalion, and the first company left Southampton on 31 January 1900, bound for Cape Town  read more

Code: 25190

275.00 GBP