WILLIAM EVANS A .303 NITRO EXPRESS ROTARY-UNDERLEVER DOUBLE HAMMER RIFLE, serial no. 4477, 25 3/4in. nitro barrels with partially matt rib (some matting later), open sights and folding leaf sights with silver sight lines, marked for 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 yards, bead fore-sight, tubes engraved 'WILLIAM EVANS. FROM PURDEY'S. 63, PALL MALL ST. JAMES'S. LONDON.', treble-grip action, carved percussion fences, later matting to top of standing breech, rebounding back-action locks with bolted hammers, border and scroll engraving, retaining some renewed colour-hardening and finish, 14 3/4in. replacement pistolgrip stock with cheekpiece, repaired triggerguard, steel pistolgrip-cap, sling eyes and steel buttplate, fore-end with grip-catch release, weight 8lb. 11oz., in its canvas and leather case, lid marked 'A.M. CRAWLEY'
Provenance: This rifle is the former property of Aidan Crawley, M.B.E. He gave it to the vendor's father soon after the last war as they had become firm friends after being interred in the same P.o.W. camp in Germany.
Aiden Merivale Crawley was born 10th April 1908 and was educated at Harrow and Oxford where his talents as a cricketer were quickly recognised; he went on to play several first-class games in his time. His career was spent mainly in politics and television; and in the case of the former he served as both a Labour and Conservative M.P. His first term was for Labour representing Buckingham but he lost his seat after being defeated in 1951 by the Conservative candidate (who had recently defected from the Labour party). He was then appointed the first Editor-in-Chief for Independent Television News in 1955 before leaving to go to the BBC.
Just as he had changed allegiances with regards the media, so he did with his political leanings and in 1962 was elected as Conservative M.P. for West Derbyshire, a seat he held over two general elections. He resigned his seat in 1967 and returned to television as Chairman of LWT. He was also appointed President of the M.C.C. in 1972. Crawley wrote several books including a biography of De Gaulle, his last being his memoirs entitled 'Leap Before You Look' and published in 1988.