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Stock No. OC415

Price = n/a


WWI Verner's Mk VII Marching Compass - Click for the bigger picture

WWI Verner's Mk VII Marching Compass

A fine original example of the classic British Army WWI Mk VII model. Colonel William Willoughby Cole Verner (1852-1922) was commissioned into The Rifle Brigade in 1874 and retired in 1904. He served on the staff in the Egyptian campaign of 1884-85 and during the Boer War. Whilst the basic prismatic compass design has its origins in Schmalcalder's patent of 1812, Verners Pattern was a significant move forward. Around 1905 the term 'Verners Pattern' was first used with a Mk V model. Generally the compass card is the main area of change in the early models whilst the same basic features are displayed from the Mk V through to the Mk VIII and the Mk IX of WWII, with minor details changing depending on the manufacturer. The Mk VII is a prismatic dry card compass with a both a momentary bearing and transit lock fitted. This model is lighter than the WWII pattern that superseded it and is generally considered easier to use.

This example is in excellent issued condition. It is engrave 'B-L Made in Switzerland' on the base with serial number 27599 and a further nos 22637 stamped inside the lid. The base also carries a War department property mark arrow and the instrument is dated 1915 and it also retains its original anti slip ring which is often now missing from these compasses. It has a magnifying prism fitted for precise angle calculation for accurate target engagement. Whilst we can't guarantee the accuracy of the instrument it appears to be in good working order despite the 102 years since leaving the B-L factory and serving through at least one world war!

The leather case that comes with it is again in excellent condition with just a little wear to the carrying strap. This is clearly stamped L.F. & Co, is dated 1916 and is also broad arrow property marked. It also carries a hand written letter D on the case and D.A. on the shoulder strap possibly to identify the original ownership although details of that owner have long since been lost. The instrument measures 2.25" diameter or 5.4 cm. We believe it would be hard to find a crisper original example of this classic compass from the Great War.

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