10th Submarine Flotilla Model Anvil with interesting provenance
A fine presentation example fully engraved to front ‘Xmas 1941 Major Fitzroy Fyers C.V.O. from the E.R.A’s of the 10th Submarine Flotilla.’ The CVO represents the Royal Victorian Order instigated by Queen Victoria and was awarded for ‘extraordinary, important or personal services to the sovereign of the Royal Family’ and Fyer was awarded Commander rank. The 10th submarine Flotilla was known as “The Fighting Tenth" after its tenacious fighting spirit and the heavy losses it suffered. The Flotilla operated from Malta from 1941-43, and despite ceaseless and furiously mounted air bombardment, constantly attacked the Axis convoys all the way from the Italian mainland to North Africa. Clearly this model anvil was presented by the Engine Room Artificers who were essentially Royal Navy fitters, turners or boilermakers, workings on the boats engines and boilers, and trained in the maintenance and operation and uses of all parts of marine engines. Major Fitzroy Fyers pre war was equerry to the Duke of Connaught, son of Queen Victoria, and Governor General of Canada. He attended the 1936 Nazi Party Nuremburg Rally and then a Captain Fyers was one of only two foreign speakers and he delivered his speech in German. In his closing address, the president of the Reichskriegerbund made particularly friendly references to Great Britain! How times subsequently changed! We have no specific provenance as to why Fyers was presented with this unusual gift in December 1941 but assume it must have been during a visit to Malta. The base is we believe made from scrap engine room material (possibly Bakelite) and the model anvil is beautifully crafted. Interestingly the top plate shows evidence of of it being used –perhaps a little extra touched added by the ERA’s who fabricated it 73 years ago! Anvil stands 4” high and is 5” wide (9.5 cm x 12 cm.) Certainly a unique item with a wonderful provenance and worthy of further research.