A fine and rare example of a cased Webley Fosbery revolver. In its original leather travelling case with some accessories including two original Prideaux speedloaders. This example belonged to Brigadier Vincent Tennyson Randle Ford.
Brigadier Vincent Tennyson Randle Ford D.S.O.
Vincent was born in 1885. He was the son of Charles Ford and Emily Tennyson. He was educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He joined the York and Lancaster Regiment.
During WW1 he served in France and Gallipoli, was twice wounded, and commanded a battalion from 1916 to 1918. From 1923 to 1927 he was the first Commandant of the Army Boys’ School, Chepstow. In 1927 he was promoted to colonel. From 1937 to 1940 he was brigadier in charge of the 127th Infantry Brigade of the Territorial Army. From 1938 to 1940 he was Aide-de-Camp to King George VI. In 1940 he retired, only to be almost immediately re-enlisted, seeing action with the British expeditionary Force in France, and then becoming commander of the Chester sub-area. He finally retired from the army in 1945. He died suddenly while motoring in Spain in 1957.
Son of Charles William Randle Ford and Emily (Tennyson) Ford Brother of Muriel Dulcibella (Ford) Waters, Wilbraham Tennyson Randle Ford KCB KBE, Gladys Ida Mary Ford and Hallam Tennyson Randle Ford.
The Webley–Fosbery Self-Cocking Automatic Revolver is an unusual, recoil-operated, automatic revolver designed by Lieutenant Colonel George Vincent Fosbery VC and produced by the Webley & Scott Company from 1901 to 1924. The revolver is easily recognisable by the zig-zag grooves on the cylinder.
Semi-automatic pistols were just beginning to appear when Colonel Fosbery (1832–1907) devised a revolver that cocked the hammer and rotated the cylinder by sliding the action, cylinder and barrel assembly back on the frame. The prototype was a modified Colt Single Action Army revolver. Fosbery patented his invention 16 August 1895 and further improvements were patented in June and October 1896.
Fosbery took his design to P. Webley & Son of Birmingham. P. Webley & Son, which merged with W.C. Scott & Sons and Richard Ellis & Son in 1897 to form the Webley & Scott Revolver and Arms Co., was the primary manufacturer of service pistols for the British Army as well as producing firearms for civilian use. Webley further developed the design and the Webley–Fosbery Automatic Revolver was introduced at the matches at Bisley of July 1900.
In civilian use, the Webley–Fosbery was popular with target-shooters. Because the trigger mechanism did not rotate the cylinder, shots were smooth and consistent, permitting rapid and accurate shooting. Walter Winans, a famous contemporary target shooter, preferred the Webley–Fosbery, and in 1902 he used it to place six shots in a two-inch (5.1 cm) bull’s-eye at 12 paces in seven seconds. Using a Prideaux speedloader he was able to fire twelve shots into a three-inch (7.6 cm) bull’s-eye in approximately 15 seconds.
Though Webley viewed this weapon as an ideal sidearm for cavalry troops, the Webley–Fosbery was never adopted as an official government sidearm. At over 11 inches (28 cm) long and weighing some 44 ounces (1239 grams) unloaded, the Webley–Fosbery was a heavy and unwieldy sidearm even by the standards of the day. Several models of Webley–Fosbery revolvers were produced, and the type saw limited action in the Boer Wars as well as World War 1, where some privately purchased examples were carried by British officers in the .455 service chambering. Reports from the field suggested that the Webley–Fosbery, with its precisely machined recoil surfaces, was more susceptible to jamming in wartime conditions of mud and rain than comparable side arms of the period. It has been commonly alleged that the Webley–Fosbery required a tight hold in order for the cylinder to properly cycle and cock the weapon.