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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.

WW2 British Royal Navy Officer's Swordimage K04 1

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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.

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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 request.

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