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.450 Webley RIC

Previously owned by Aubrey Gordon de Appleby Moore

Lieutenant A Moore was in charge of a 49 man brigade tunnellers unit, when asked to join the tunnellers full time and leave the 5th Leicestershire regiment in spring 1915 he refused. He had twice met with the Germans underground and had won his Military Cross.

Extract from the 5th Leicestershire war diaries:

26th Feb., 1915 to the 16th June, 1915.

During this same tour, the Brigade suffered its first serious disaster, when the enemy mined and blew up trench "E1 left," held at the time by the 5th Lincolnshire Regiment. This regiment had many casualties, and the trench was of course destroyed, while several men were buried or half-buried in the debris, where they became a mark for German snipers. To rescue one of these, Lieut. Gosling, R.E., who was working in the G trenches, went across to E1, and with the utmost gallantry worked his way to the mine crater. Finding a soldier half buried, he started to dig him out, and had just completed his task when he fell to a sniper's bullet and was killed outright. As at this time the Royal Engineers' Tunnelling Companies were not sufficient to cover the whole British front, none had been allotted to this, which was generally considered a quiet sector. Gen. Clifford, therefore, decided to have his own Brigade Tunnellers, and a company was at once formed, under Lieut. A.G. Moore, to which we contributed 24 men, coalminers by profession. Lieut. Moore soon got to work and, so well did the "amateurs" perform this new task, that within a few days galleries had been started, and we were already in touch with the Boche underground. In an incredibly short space of time, thanks very largely to the personal efforts of Lieut. Moore, who spent hours every day down below within a few feet of the enemy's miners, two German mine-shafts and their occupants were blown in by a "camouflet," and both E1 left and E1 right were completely protected from further mining attacks by a defensive gallery along their front. For this Lieut. Moore was awarded a very well deserved Military Cross.

Note: Brigadier-General Walter Rees Clifford was in command of the 138th Brigade of the 46th (North Midland) Division. The division suffered heavy casulties during the first flame-thrower attack at Hooge in July 1915. Billy Congreve (previous) was also present during the attack.


(Pool of Peace near Wytschaete Belgium)

Capt. Moore was also mentioned in Despatches. During the initial attacks for the start of operation Georgette on the morning of the 9th April 1918 Capt. Moore and 43 others were gassed he was then sent to England to recover but did not return. It took 10 years for him to recover from the effects of the gas. As a member of the TA Reserve, he was recalled in September 1939 and posted to command an Infantry recruit company at the Regimental Depot at Glen Parva Barracks. He then commanded an RAF Regiment unit guarding Sywell aerodrome, near Wellingborough, Northants. Eventually retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.


The above mentioned Lieutenant Douglas Gosling R.E. age 21 killed by a sniper and buried in Dranouter churchyard.


.455/.476 Webley Government Army model

Previously owned by 2nd Lieutenant Charles Frederick Heatly

16th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers attached to the 38th Division Sniping Company

Webley Government retailed by Cogswell & Harrison, the Strand London and owned by 2nd Lieutenant Charles Frederick Heatly who died age 23 whilst serving with the 16th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers attached to the 38th Division Sniping Company. He was mortally wounded near Armentieres on the 10th April during the Georgette offensive and taken to the large hospital centre at St Omer where he died of his wounds on the 17th April 1918.  He is buried at Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery. His elder brother Henry had also been killed on the 22nd February 1915 at Croix-Barbee.

All British officers had to supply their own kit, including their revolver.  After Charles’ death his personal effects would have been returned to the family, including his revolver.

After the Russian revolution and fear of possibly the same happening in Britain due to the massive social changes brought about from the war. Many of the returned soldiers were disillusioned with what they had been through and why, especially after returning to no work these were men that had been used to living on the edge and making decisions, not only that they had brought back there trophies of war and knew how to use them. It was decided to implement the first Firearms Act in 1920. It is interesting that officers or families of officers did not need a firearm certificate as they were deemed to be trustworthy.  This is borne out with the certificate that I have with the revolver issued to Charles’ father, Henry Louis Heatly and issued in 1922 stating that a firearm certificate can be dispensed with as a trophy of the European War. I have seen, but do not have the certificate whereby NCO’s and others had to register their trophies.





Registered Firearms Dealer, Belgium

BTW No: BE0631.911.151

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