COGSWELL & HARRISON
A 12-BORE 'EXTRA QUALITY VICTOR EJECTOR' SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 54343,
30in. nitro barrels, the rib engraved 'COGSWELL & HARRISON LTD. EXTRA QUALITY VICTOR EJECTOR. 141 NEW BOND ST. LONDON.' (faint), and gold-inlaid '3' at the breech end, 2 3/4in. chambers, bored approx. 3/4 choke in both, treble-grip action with hidden third bite, toplever gold-inlaid '3', automatic safety with gold-inlaid 'SAFE' detail, cocking-indicators, bold acanthus scroll engraving with floral bouquets, the fences carved in relief with cornucopias, brushed bright and reblued finish overall, 14 3/4in. figured stock including 3/4in. rubber recoil pad, the fore-end with small scroll engraved oval plate, weight 6lb. 12oz., in a leather case, the lid exterior marked 'C.W. MACKWORTH-PRAED'
Provenance: The makers have kindly confirmed that this gun was completed on the 24th June 1926 for C.W. Mackworth-Praed as a 12-bore Victor with 30in. barrels and 2 3/4in. chambers
Lt. Col. Cyril Winthrop Mackworth Praed. (21st September 1891 - 30 June 1974).
He served in the Scots guards in WWI and maintained his interest in rifle shooting after the Great War reaching the King's final on six occasions between 1921 and 1938.
Most notably he competed in the 1924 Paris Olympic Games where he raised and led the British team, winning the Gold Medal for the Running deer contest and he himself become a double Silver Medallist. The following year he became the very first winner of the Daily Telegraph Cup with a winning score of 63 out of 80. He was also a well-known Ornithologist and Entomologist, specialising in the birds of Africa and was the author of the 7-Volume Handbook of the Birds of Africa
During WWII, Mackworth-Praed was drafted to help instruct at the newly created Commando Special Training Centre at Lochailort in the Western Highlands. He was in fine company, other instructors being key figures in the development of 'irregular warfare', the likes of David Stirling (later founder of the SAS) teaching fieldcraft alongside Lord Lovat, George Murray Levick (ex-Scott South Pole Expedition) teaching survival skills and the inimitable duo William Fairburn and Eric Sykes (ex colonial policemen who had spent years policing the slums and opium dens of Shanghai and inventors of the lethal Commando dagger) teaching close quarter combat of a most ungentlemanly nature. Naturally Mackworth-Praed's shooting skills were a valuable asset to the training. Whilst the 'passable' level of marksmanship would involve firing fifteen shots a minute, Mackworth-Praed, using his third finger on the trigger and his second to work the bolt could fire thirty shots a minute, all in or beside the bullseye at a range of three hundred yards.
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S2 - Sold as a Section 2 Firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act