WW2 British Royal Navy Officer's Sword, sold
In excellent condition, a WW2 British Royal Navy officer's sword,
scabbard, knot, belts, epaulettes / shoulder boards, all weather
cover, buttons, etc. for John Kenneth Herbert Freeman, R.N.
This is the WW2 sword of a very lucky Royal Navy officer (see further
below for details). We bought this and his (earlier) RN dirk via
a friend of the family. The sword is in exceptionally good condition
and comes with a variety of associated accoutrements.
J K H Freeman was first commissioned as Midshipman on the 21 st
March 1939 on HMS Repulse and made Sub Lieutenant on the 1st December
1939; fortunately for him, he had already been transferred from
the Repulse before it was sunk by the Japanese in December 1941
with a huge loss of life. He was transferred to HMS Somalia, we
believe in April 1941, a Tribal-class destroyer; fortunately for
him again, he had already been transferred from the Somalia before
it was sunk by the German U-703 in September 1942 while covering
Convoy QP 14 during the Russian convoys. He had been transferred
and promoted again to Lieutenant in April 1942 to serve on HMS Wilton
Hunt-class Escort Destroyer, launched 17th Oct 1941, commissioned
18 Feb 1942.
We know he was married at Tewkesbury Abbey on the 6th March 1943,
made Lt Cdr on the 16th January 1944 (we believe while still on
HMS Wilton performing Atlantic Convoy protection) and in 1945 was
commanding Defiance III, a torpedo ship school in Devonport. Also,
he served aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia from 1959 to 1960 and
was awarded the Royal Victorian Order.
The 31 1/8 inch quality etched blade is in excellent condition
and firm in the hilt. The hilt is also very good and retains much
gilt. The fishskin grip and twisted grip wire bindings are equally
good, and the folding guard, engraved "J. K. H. Freeman R.N."
works well and locates properly onto the locking pin of the top
gilt locket of the scabbard. The sword knot is in very good condition
for its age. The leather and gilt metal scabbard is good, though
the gilt has aged / worn a bit. The belts etc are in good though
aged condition. The all weather cover (see further below) is very
aged but sound and has the initials "J K H F" to it. There
is also a large support belt in its original postal wrapper; the
paper has stuck to the belt (just soak to remove if you want to).
It is dated 1953 from Marshall & Snelgrove Vere Street &
Oxford Street London W1 (a department store that is now Debenhams)
to Mrs Elmers, 134 Queens Road, Priors Park, Tewkesbury, Glos; we
do not know the family connection.
An exceptional example and with full provenance. Please quote item
reference K04 (1153). Further / full sized images available upon