Wallis & Wallis, Cowans, Holts, Bonhams, Thomas Del Mar
- By Pete Moore
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- Last updated: 21/12/2016
We start with a WWII group of five: 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star with France and Germany clasp; Italy Star, Defence Medal and War Medal (un-named as issued), in very fine condition. The group was awarded to Bernard Jordan RN, and came with a black and white photograph of Lieutenant Jordan, in uniform showing the above ribbons.
The medals would be a fairly normal group to find in any militaria sale but for the following reason. On the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings in 2014 Bernard Jordan won the hearts of the nation with his determined trip to the Normandy beaches for the remembrance ceremonies. When he failed to secure a seat on the British Legion coach, he decided to ‘go it alone’ without telling anyone but his wife.
The nursing home raised a missing person alarm and the authorities were contacted before a fellow veteran told police he was safe and well in Normandy. This earned him the nickname ‘The Great Escaper’ in the British national press. A few days later this plucky veteran celebrated his 90th birthday and received over 2500 cards, gifts and good wishes from as far afield as Australia, Afghanistan and the USA. He died on 30th December 2014, his wife following seven days later.
Also included with the lot was his portrait on canvas, a good quality coloured print of a ‘Bob’ cartoon from The Sunday Telegraph 8th June 2014 showing Mr. Jordan astride Steve McQueen’s motorcycle clearing barbed wire as in the film ‘The Great Escape’, and many other letters and awards. The lot sold for £1650.
Note: Bernard Arthur John Jordan joined the Royal Navy aged 17 in 1941 as an electrician within the ranks of the Marine Engineering Artificers. He served on a Royal Navy Tank landing ship, which was in the first wave ashore on D-Day in Normandy. He later gave enthusiastic service to the local council and served as Mayor 1995/6.
Also of interest in the medals on offer was a George V issue Military Cross group. The MC engraved on the reverse Capt I.H.Mosley June 1918, 1914-15 Star, (2 Lieut I H Mosley H.A.C), British War Medal, Victory Medal (Capt), in good to very fine condition. It sold for £900.
Before we move to deactivated firearms we have this rare Canadian Expeditionary Force officer’s bronze cap badge of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps. Of one piece construction, with long wavy scroll (Charlton 45-1-7), with four narrow tang fittings (Charlton states that officer’s badges of this pattern are unknown). It was strongly contested and sold for £210.
Now we have a few lots from the large collection of deactivated firearms. We start with a scarce Japanese 8mm Model 14 Nagoya semi-automatic pistol, number 3225, with plain ribbed wooden grips. The action required some attention and there were patches of recent rust on one side. It came with Certificate of Deactivation (COD) dated March 1994 and made £600.
A 9mm PO8 Luger semiautomatic pistol, number 5003 (the side plate numbered 54), the breech dated 1916, with DWM cypher on the toggle. It was in good working order and generally clean condition with small patches of recent rust and light pitting. The COD dated May 1995. It sold for £550.
A rare de-activated Third Reich MP40 Schmeisser sub machine carbine, No 21131, stamped ‘MP40 BN2 44’ complete with original sling and COD dated 19.3.92. It was in generally good condition and after much competition the hammer fell at £2500.
A de-activated P08 Luger pistol, dated 1941, stamped Mauser (Commercial Model) on the toggle, Waffenampt stamps. In an original leather holster with spare magazine, marked ‘BAXI’ on the flap. It was in generally good condition and retained much original finish. The COD was dated 7.10.96 (Spec A) and it sold for £750.
A 7 shot 7.62mm WWI Russian Nagant DA service revolver, number 38017, the frame with Cyrillic inscription and date 1915, the butt with checkered wood grips and lanyard ring. GWO & basically GC (worn overall); with COD dated Jan 1995 sold for £250.
A 6-shot .38 inch Enfield No 2 Mk I* service revolver, number J2036, the frame stamped with “Enfield/ Crown/ 1940” and “No 2 Mk I”. GWO & C, retaining most original war finish (small patches of deep pitting); with COD dated Jan 1991 made £250.
A 6-shot .38 inch Smith & Wesson service revolver, number 753638, with British military acceptance marks, the frame stamped “Made in USA”, the butt with chequered wood grips with “S&W” medallion, and lanyard swivel. GWO & C (some wear, with patches of recent surface rust and light pitting); with COD dated June 1992 was sold at £250.
A 6-shot .455 inch Eley Colt New Service revolver, number 73667, with London proofs, chequered hard rubber grips, old lanyard swivel. GWO & C, retaining much original blued finish (some wear to barrel and patches of recent rust); with COD dated March 1994, made £410.
A 6-shot .455 inch Webley Mark VI DA service revolver, number 166781, the frame dated 1915, with various ordnance inspector’s marks, chequered hard rubber grips, and lanyard ring. GWO & C (some very minor pitting); with COD dated March 2004 was sold for £380.
A 7.65mm French naval issue M.A.B Model D semi-automatic pistol, number 116438, the right side of the slide bearing fouled anchor mark, with checkered black grips and small lanyard ring. GWO & generally clean condition, retaining most original finish (grips damaged); with photocopy of COD dated July 1995, was sold at £210.
A good 9mm Walther P38 semi-automatic pistol, number 7068, the frame with maker’s code “cyq” (Spreewerk G.mb H, Berlin ?), and Waffenamt marks Near VGWO & C (small patches of recent rust on right side); with COD dated Dec 1998, sold for £320.
A good 9mm Walther P38 semi-automatic pistol, number 9838i, the frame with maker’s code “ac/42” (Walther Waffenfabrik, Thuringen) and Waffenamt marks. VGWO & C (small patches of recent rust on right side), with COD dated Feb 2000, made £370.
A 9mm PO8 Luger semiautomatic pistol, number 3817 on most parts (the toggle numbered 56), the breech dated 1918, the toggle marked with crown over “Erfurt”. Basically GC (worn with some light pitting, action AF, with later magazine), with COD dated Nov 1988, sold for £400.
A 9mm PO8 Luger semi-automatic pistol, number 1681, the breech dated 1941, the toggle with Mauser commercial logo, with commercial proofs and waffenamt marks, the grips of chequered brown bakelite with concentric circle marks. GWO & C (small patches of deep pitting); with COD dated April 1995, made a healthy £500.
Now we move on to uniforms with a scarce Third Reich Afrika Korps khaki visored field cap, with tropical army insignia, red lining with maker’s number and date 1943. The sweat band was a little greasy otherwise it was in very good condition and sold for £800.
Next is an unusual Third Reich M35 pattern double decal steel naval helmet, field grey painted skull with gold crossed swords decal. The skull rim stamped ‘NS66’ and ‘5543’, brown leather lining and chinstrap. The crossed swords motif is similar to insignia painted on the conning towers of certain U Boats. It took £750.
A scarce Third Reich Waffen SS single decal M35/40 pattern steel helmet, grey painted skull, rim stamped ‘ET66’ and ‘611’, brown leather liner stamped ‘Schuberin Braunschweig Z6760’, brown leather chin strap stamped ‘LB’. It made £750.
A very scarce Third Reich Waffen SS M36 tunic Oberscharfuhrer or Lehr Abteilung Technisches Fuhrer, complete with all insignia (the cuff title had been removed), offered in above average condition, was sold for £1900.
Finally for this report was a Third Reich Luftwaffe officer’s first pattern dagger, the 12 inch blade of artificial damascus finish with Luftwaffe eagles and ‘Jagdgeschader Eismeerjager’. Made by Ernst Packe and Sohne Solingen, with plated hilt and wire bound leather covered grip, in its leather covered sheath with plated mounts and alloy chain hangers. It sold for £600.
The next sales at Wallis & Wallis are on 21st July 2015 and 25th August 2015. For more information visit www.wallisandwallis.co.uk or call Wallis & Wallis on 01273 480 208.