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I have a nice .455 Webley MkV revolver with the officers name on the back strap. Its engraved Lieut T.C Simpson W.L.D.R.E. (T).
Does anyone know what unit the letters refer to as it might help me find out about Lieut Simpson's army service?
Thanks for any help.
 

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Unfortunately, the OP hasn't clocked in since 2013, and his ubiquitous name is not one that you can likely trace online. In fact, the only thing more common on the web than "Eric Jones" is "Eric Jones obituary", so the odds are definitely not good. The Eric Joneses appear to have the life expectancy of German sentries in 60's American war movies.

I for one, would love to see you connect with the current owner of your grandfather's Webley, WigglyAmp. Please update us if there are any developments.
 

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Thank you mnmkeller and cdsx for your kind and sage advice. My late grandfather died in Malta, where I can dimly remember my four year-old self in 1972 seeing him lying in what was to be his death bed. Many years before he had been a Territorial Force (these days we would call him a Reservist) Royal Engineer who was mobilised for what became the Great War. He served in Gallipoli, where he won the MC and was subsequently shot and wounded. He had been leading a team responsible for the digging of a sap at the time and he was afterwards told that the Turks had stopped firing to let his men drag him back into the trench and get him medical attention; he forever afterwards felt warmly toward the Turks and that they were gentlemen.
During part of his convalescence, he spent time in Malta. By the time he was fully recovered, the Gallipoli campaign was over and he was reinserted instead into the Salonica (also written as “Salonika”) Campaign - part of a multi-national Allied force fighting against the Bulgarians and their allies in the Balkans. The West Lancs Division did not fight in either Gallipoli or Salonica. But my grandfather was in an a West Lancs Field Company Royal Engineers that was detached from its parent Division for (I think) the whole war.
My grandfather “avoided” promotion throughout a bloody conflict which must have offered more opportunities for advancement that just about any before or since! So he was demobbed as a Lieutenant but served again in the Second World War, as a Major in the War Office. I have his medals from both wars, maps of Gallipoli, dozens of photographs and papers from the Great War. And I have a journal of hand-written memoirs from the War, which I must get round to transcribing.
Later in his life, my grandfather became increasingly affected by his wound - some bits of metal, etc, had not been completely removed at the time he was patched up in the War. He was advised to move to a warm country in order to be more comfortable and - long since retired by this point - he determined to do so. Malta was still British at the time and he remembered it from his wartime convalescence there, so he and my grandmother moved there in the ‘60s.
When I was in my teens in the ‘80s and visiting Malta, my grandmother many times showed me her late husband’s Webley service revolver. Even in my youth I was set on a military career and this led my grandmother to promise me that the revolver would be mine as soon as I was old enough. This development rather upset my father, who was the youngest, and only surviving, of two sons and who thought the Webley should come to him by right.
My grandmother was still in Malta but ageing and not well by the 90s. Before and after she died, my father conducted several road/boat trips to Malta - ferry across the English Channel and then the long drive across France, down the length of Italy and more ferries to Sicily and then Malta. On his return trips, the car was full of paintings, family heirlooms, etc.
I was already a junior Royal Marines officer when I visited my father at his home in West Sussex, England, in the early 90s, shortly after his return from one of these trips. And I was more than a little surprised to be shown the Webley. He had stuffed it in the bottom of the car, got it though multiple border crossings, including some at which he had had to stop to unload items and declare them to customs, and so had smuggled this fully-serviceable weapon illegally into the United Kingdom with no thought of what the consequences might have been had he been caught with it.
With a twenty-something’s dogmatism, I damned my father for a fool and told him he had better get the Webley out of the house, probably deactivated and into the hands of a museum or similar as soon as he could and before the police turned up and banged on his door. I expect he thought that his military son knew what he was talking about and so he did as he was told; unfortunately, I do not know how or into whose hands my grandfather’s Webley fell and it is, of course, too late to ask him now!
Of course, I was an idiot - the Webley would have been perfectly safe in my father’s house in, for example, his shotgun cabinet. And we could, I am sure, have declared it and kept it in the family’s possession.
As it is, I am still (just about - I will retire within a year) a Royal Marines officer - a slightly wiser one these days, I hope. The Webley is out in the world somewhere, perhaps still in the hands of Mr Eric Jones, or of one of his heirs if he has indeed gone the way of a Wehrmacht sentry in a US war flick. Should it ever surface again, I would dearly like to reunite it with its original owner’s medals, maps, papers and journal.
Wiggly Amp
 

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Many members would love to see some of your grandfathers items, if you ever get the time & feel like sharing.
Thanks DD. Here is a photo of my grandfather’s medals. Sadly, they have been in this display mount for decades and the medals badly need to be removed, cleaned and polished. The Military Cross is on the left of the photo, on the right as it would have been worn.
 

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Thanks DD. Here is a photo of my grandfather’s medals. Sadly, they have been in this display mount for decades and the medals badly need to be removed, cleaned and polished. The Military Cross is on the left of the photo, on the right as it would have been worn.

Outstanding! Thank you for sharing that.
 

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Just wondering what your father did with it. Only options would have been surrender to Police or find a Section 5 firearms dealer who could have entered it on his books and sold it on, or more likely had it deactivated then sold (would have got more money for it de-activated). Would have to have been a dealer. Also the posts by Jones are all British themed and his profile doesn’t say where in the world he was - could still be in the UK.
You need to research British firearms law if you think that it could have been kept at home!
 

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Just wondering what your father did with it. Only options would have been surrender to Police or find a Section 5 firearms dealer who could have entered it on his books and sold it on, or more likely had it deactivated then sold (would have got more money for it de-activated). Would have to have been a dealer. Also the posts by Jones are all British themed and his profile doesn’t say where in the world he was - could still be in the UK.
You need to research British firearms law if you think that it could have been kept at home!
Thanks Blighty. I guess a Section 5 dealer got it, then, but no idea which one before it got to Eric Jones. Without knowing the dealer, is there a way of tracing it? Something like a UK-wide register?
 

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Had a good think about this…..

After the handgun ban in ‘97 many, many dealers lost interest or couldn’t afford to stay in business so chances are that any dealers local to your dad no longer exist, along with their records.

I have seen no mention of a serial number so even if a transaction was recorded where do you start? There were a hell of a lot of Webley revolvers floating around.

Police wouldn’t tell you anything due to data protection.

If it stayed in the UK and it was de-activated you could not buy it from its current owner as it would have been deactivated to an old standard. It would have to be further deactivated then sent to either the London or Birmingham proof houses for a new certificate.

Question for the mods - does any record of the Jones account still exist (e-mail, location or did he ever pm other members?)

I reckon even Bilbo Baggins would think twice on embarking on this quest!

There is a national firearms register but it isn’t accurate.
 
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