COGSWELL & HARRISON
A PAIR OF 12-BORE 'EXTRA QUALITY VICTOR EJECTOR' SIDELOCK EJECTORS, serial no. 45045 / 6,
30in. nitro barrels (No.1) and nitro reproved barrels (No.2, partially struck off), the ribs engraved 'COGSWELL & HARRISON LTD. EXTRA QUALITY VICTOR EJECTOR. 141 NEW BOND ST. LONDON.' (both very faint), and gold-inlaid '1' and '2' and with acanthus scroll engraving at the breech-ends, 2 1/2in. chambers, bored approx. 1/4 and 1/2 choke in both, toplevers gold-inlaid '1' and '2', automatic safeties with gold-inlaid 'SAFE' details, gold-inlaid cocking-indicators, border, acanthus scroll and floral bouquet engraving, brushed bright and reblued finish overall, 14 3/4in. stocks (setting cracks to rear of lockplates) including 3/4in. rubber recoil pads, the fore-end finials gold-inlaid '1' and '2' (No.2 wood with some losses), weight 6lb. 13oz. (No.1) 6lb. 12oz. (No.2)
Provenance: The makers have kindly confirmed that these guns were completed on the 5th October 1912 for 'Mackworth-Praed'
The vendor has kindly supplied the following information:
These guns were the property of 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 and1938.
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 6-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