Boer War / WW1 King's Royal Rifle Officer's
Wilkinson Sword, for sale
In very good condition, the Boer War / WW1 King's Royal Rifle
Officer's Wilkinson Sword of R G Jelf CMG, DSO.
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
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 £1100. Please
quote reference number T91. Further / full sized images available
upon request. Box 0803-121x18x17 (1.912).
JELF, RUDOLF GEORGE.
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.