FORMERLY THE PROPERTY OF LORD BRABOURNE
A 9mm (PARA) SEMI-AUTOMATIC PISTOL, MODEL 'P08 LUGER', serial no. 2142,
dated for 1917, with blued 4in. barrel, blued frame, receiver and maker marked toggle, traces of straw finish to ancillaries, chequered walnut grips, matching numbers except magazine, 9 1/2in. overall, complete with an incorrect leather holster, probably from a P38
Provenance: This and the following (two) pistols were confiscated from German officers by Lt. John Knatchbull of the Coldstream Guards (later 7th Lord Brabourne) in various actions during 1944 and brought home as 'trophies of war'. Details of the actions in which they were acquired unfortunately has been lost but the Coldstream Guards diaries state 'Lieutenant John Knatchbull (later 7th Lord Brabourne) of 3 Company, 5th Battalion, Coldstream Guards arrived ashore near Bayeux on June 25, 1944. He was involved in fighting to take Carpiquet Aerodrome near Caen. Here there is mention of an encounter with a German staff car which was carrying officers and soldiers of 12 SS Division Signals Battalion and valuable codes and diagrams were recovered. He then went onto Operation Goodwood to enlarge the bridgehead in front of the newly captured Caen; Operation Blue Coat to seize the high ground around Bemy Bodcage to prevent enemy attack on the US advance; was involved in attacking & capturing La Busq close to the Estry Ridge, attacking and capturing Chenedolle and cutting the Vire-Vassey road. At the end of August 1944 the battalion crossed the Seine at Vernon and reached the Somme at Corbie. Here there is mention of SS surrendering and over 800 prisoners of war being taken. The battalion then advanced on to Arras and on September 9th, 1944 during fighting at Beveloo and Heppen just west of Bourg Leopold, Lt Knatchbull was unfortunately severely wounded and subsequently evacuated.'
The pistols came home with Lord Brabourne and over 40 years later were discovered in the cellar. They were then inspected by the police and after forensic tests, in 1997, went on loan to the Imperial War Museum. In 2009, when they were no longer covered by the government indemnity scheme, they were temporarily stored with a family friend. In 2011 they were loaned to the Birmingham Proof House Museum and later put on display with the Mountbatten Browning pistol (Lot 1075).
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S5 - Sold as a Section 5 Firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act, Section 7.3 Eligible.
Unless prior arrangement has been made, two weeks after the Sealed bid sale, all Section 5 (and Section 7.1 / 7.3) items will be moved to a Section 5 carriers where storage charges will be incurred.
Goods will not be released until all outstanding charges have been met. Collection will be by arrangement.