Special Forces at Bosleys


Bosleys’ 3 July auction of over 800 lots of original military collectables will see a Special Forces theme throughout the various sections of the sale.

The highlight will be the WWII collection of Special Boat Service and Special Air Service badges worn by Captain George Barnes MM & Bar, Grenadier Guards, No. 8 Commando and Folboat Sections of 1 and 2 SBS (see back cover of The Armourer). A founding father of the SBS, he saw service in North Africa, Italy and Burma, he participated on a number of commando raids, including  the famous Raid on Rommel. Included is his rare enamel SBS cap badge, this being only the second example sold through these rooms in 25 years. Specialist equipment of the D-Day landings is represented by a rare full assault battle jerkin, and a rare Battledress blouse to a Corporal of the REME who is believed to have served with the 21st Independent Parachute Company and retains the unique yellow and red cotton ‘ROYAL ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERS’ shoulder titles.
The airborne forces of the far east are not forgotten with a battledress blouse worn by a Lieutenant of the Indian Parachute Regiment, this with parachute qualification wings and bullion wire embroidered shoulder titles. Remaining in this theatre of operations is a Chindit Bowie pattern fighting knife and leather scabbard. This is one of a number of fighting knives which includes several Fairbairn-Sykes examples, including second patterns with both nickel and Parkerised grips, the latter with indication used by Free French special forces. A scarce BC41 fighting knife, is believed carried by a Sergeant Hide of 4 Troop 1 Commando and one of the rarest knives in the sale is a British Gravity Knife by George Ibberson.
Two WWII period airborne steel helmets are included but an early 1942 fibre rim steel helmet with leather harness, will be of interest to advanced collectors, this example retaining the early style black rubber and yellow felt padding blocks.
Royal Marines are represented by a WWII Royal Marine 45 Commando attributed group of medals and ephemera, complimented with a 1943 dated green beret. An unusual pair of personnel ID dog tags, including a German Prisoner of War tag were worn by a Captain of the Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisation, later to be 11 Commando. He was captured on 14 September 1942 during Operation Agreement, a commando raid on Tobruk. The softer side of the Royals will be found with a fine quality gold and enamel regimental sweetheart brooch.
A late consignment to this auction represents the poor infantry man who was expected to face one of the first Commando forces, a rare Boer War foreign service helmet worn by a Private of the Gloucestershire Regiment who was wounded during the Battle of Paarderberg when facing Boer Commandos. Further details available on Bosleys’ website.


IT'S HERE! A Guide to Collecting German Militaria is the new bookazine from the publisher of The Armourer and is now on sale. This 132 page, perfect bound magazine is your guide to collecting Imperial and Third Reich militaria, from medals and cuff titles, to uniforms, weapons, personal gear and civic awards. We cover rare awards, how to spot fakes and include current prices. There's limited stock of the print version on our website so if they've sold out either head for your local branch of WH Smith, as the main stockist, or buy a digital version.

Don't forget, 100 Years of the RAF, a commemorative bookazine celebrating 100 years since the formation of the RAF, is now on sale. Order your copy by clicking on 100 RAF.

Catch up on militaria news, order a back issue of The Armourer, or pick up the latest issue, in either print or digital format. Like what you see? Why not take out a subscription, save money and have it delivered to your door.