WW1 Coldstream Guards Wilkinson Sword, R
G Winn, Sold
In good condition, the WW1 Coldstream Guards Wilkinson Sword of
the famous Rowland George Winn.
The honorable Rowland George Winn, first son and heir of the 2nd
Baron St Oswald and Mabel Susan Forbes (daughter of Sir Charles
Forbes), born 29th July 1893. Educated at Eaton, on the 24th January
1914 commissioned as a Lieutenant, 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream
Guards (sword serial number 44503 for very early 1914, initials
on blade "R G W"). Wounded 29th October 1914 at the First
Battle of Ypres in WW1. While recuperating and unbeknown to his
parents, married stage actress Evie Carew. This broke with class
system rules and was reported on the front page of the Daily Mirror
(this is how his parents found out) which was then widely reported
around the world as the year's greatest scandal.
Promoted to Captain on 11th Sept 1916. Son, Rowland Denys Guy
Winn, born 19th September. Despite his gallantry and service to
king and country, Rowland George Winn was required to resign his
commission with the Coldstream Guards because of their royal association
and rule that no harlot or actress could attend regimental functions,
which made being married to an actress unacceptable. So Rowland
George Winn joined the Royal Flying Corps as a Flying Officer Captain
on the 13th August 1917. It appears he was wounded / shot down as
appointed as General Staff Officer 3rd Class (GSO3), Directorate
of Air Quartermaster General Stores on 8th April 1918.
It appears he did not fully reconcile with his father who died
in 1919, when, none the less, Rowland George Winn became 3rd Baron
St Oswald. He and his wife had a second son, Anthony Edward Winn,
who was killed at El Alamein, serving with King’s Royal Rifle
Corps in WW2. The 3rd Baron St Oswald, that is Rowland George Winn,
died in 1958.
You can listed to an account of the scandal on the BBC site here;
Leeds: A Scandalous Love Affair. The romance that made the national
headlines during wartime Britain.
The 32 1/4 inch picquet (slender, light weight for "levee"
dress swords) blade is in very good condition and well etched with
badge and battle hon ours for the Coldstream Guards. Blade firm
in the hilt. The hilt with patchy plating loss and some patina.
The grip with some age and small "moth patches" but generally
good. The steel scabbard with quite some patches of plating loss
and a few dings one side towards the chape, but still very sound.
The sword sheathes and draws well but is stiff towards being fully
Without the provenance and story, the sword would be worth considerably
less. But, truly, Lieutenant Rowland George Winn's sword is worth
every penny of £? (too late, now sold). Please quote item
reference U62 (0908). Further / full sized images available upon