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Boer War / WW1 King's Royal Rifle Officer's Wilkinson Sword, sold

In very good condition, the Boer War / WW1 King's Royal Rifle Officer's Wilkinson Sword of R G Jelf CMG, DSO.

Boer War / WW1 King's Royal Rifle Officer's Wilkinson Sword of R G Jelf CMG, DSOimage T91 1

Sold Item Notice

Given to Rudolf George Jelf by Fitzroy Somerset (3rd Baron Raglan) in 1893 when then Lieutenant Jelf was commissioned into the 1st Battn. King's Royal Rifle Corps. Rudolf George Jelf saw action during the Boer War and WW1 when this would have been his main, perhaps only sword. R G Jelf had an auspicious career, ultimately achieving the rank of Brigadier-General (details further below).

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The 32 1/4 inch blade is well etched and in very good condition, serial number 32376 for 1893 to the spine, and firm in the hilt. The hilt also good and would shine very well in our opinion if giving some TLC with a good plated metal cream. Fishskin grip with a little wear / fading but not too much, in very good order, as are the twisted grip wire bindings. Original leather sword knot in good condition, the acorn later reattached. The leather field service scabbard with scrapes etc. but good. The sword sheathes and draws well.

A well above average example with full provenance for a well above average officer. Truly, really good value at £? (too late, now sold). Please quote reference number T91 (0803). Further / full sized images available upon request.


He was born in Aldershot Camp 19 Aug 1873, son of the late Colonel R. Jelf, C.M.G., of the Royal Engineers, and Mrs. Margaret Jelf, daughter of Professor Blunt, of St. John's College, Cambridge. He was educated at Eton, and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and obtained his first commission in the 1st Battn. King's Royal Rifle Corps on 4 Oct. 1893.

He took part in the Relief of Chitral, 1895 (Medal and clasp) and was promoted Lieutenant 2 March, 1896. He served in the South African War, 1899-1902, taking part in operations in Natal in 1899, including the actions at Talana and Lombard's Kop, the Defence of Ladysmith, including the action of 6th Jan. 1900, operations in the Transvaal Jan. 1901 to 31 May, 1902 (Queen's Medal with three clasps; King's Medal with two clasps). He became a Captain on 13th Jan. 1901 becoming adjutant of the the Viceroy of India prior to WW1, and was promoted to Major on the 4th Nov, 1910.

WW1 Serving as a Company Commander with the 2nd Battalion KRRC at Mons where he was Wounded Before Becoming the CO of the 1st Battalion at the Battle of Festubert Before Taking Command of the Inexperienced 73rd Infantry Brigade, Saving Them From Annihilation at the Battles of Loos and Fosse 8, the Brigade’s Survival, According to General Hubert Gough was Totally Down to Jelf’s “Great Qualities he Displayed”

He was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 18 Feb. 1915]. He was Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel, King's Royal Rifle Corps, 15 June to 25 Sept. 1915; Brigade Commander, 73rd Infantry Brigade, 26 Sept. 1915, to 24 Nov. 1916 ; Brigade Commander, 86th Infantry Brigade, 30 April, 1917 (both in France); Brigade Commander, 1st London Reserve Infantry Brigade, Home Forces, 6 March, 1918. For his services in the war he was five times mentioned in Despatches, and was made Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel 1 Jan. 1916, and was created a C.M.G. in 1919.

Then Lieutenant-Colonel R. G. Jelf married, in 1919, Kathleen, youngest daughter of W. Rowe Green. His favourite recreations are hunting, fishing, shooting and golf. His D.S.O. was awarded" for services in connection with operations in the field.

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