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The Royal Horse Guards - A George V Equestrian Silver Figure, 1927
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The Royal Horse Guards - A George V Equestrian Silver Figure, 1927

Measurements: Overall height: 42.5cm (16.75in)


Equestrian silver figure of a mounted officer of the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) in review order mounted on a stepped ebonised wood base applied with the regimental badge and a silver presentation plaque inscribed ‘Presented to / Captain Manuel J. Bilton / By the following Blues / As a token of affection and esteem / After 23 years service with the Regiment …’ Maker’s mark of Henry Phillips. Hallmarked London 1927. Silver figure 30.5cm (12in) high.
List subscribing officers inscribed on the presentation plaque: 
Lieut.Col. C.J. Fitzgerald, C.V.O. 
Lieut.Col. Lord Tweedmouth, C.M.G., D.S.O.
Col. R.G. Howard-Vyse, C.M.G., D.S.O.
Lieut.Col. Lord A.R. Innes-Ker, D.S.O.
Lieut.Col. H.C.S. Combe, D.S.O.
Major A.G. Turnor, M.C.
Major R. Evans, M.C.
Captain F.B. de Klee                                                              
Captain K.C.W. Shennan
Captain J.A. Herbert
Captain S.A. Collan
Captain Viscount Molyneux
Captain Hon. C.G.W. Weld-Forester
Captain C.G. Lancaster
Captain H.R. Broughton
Lieut. R.G. Shaw
Lieut. F.G. W. Jackson
Lieut. H. Abel-Smith
Lieut. The Marquess of Waterford
Lieut. W.M. Sale
Capt & Qr Mr S.P. Keyworth
Lieut. E.J.H. Merry
Lieut. Sir P. Grant-Lawson, Bt.
2nd Lieut. F. Francis
2nd Lieut. R.E. Laycock
2nd Lieut. R.C.G. Cotterell
2nd Lieut. B.T. Brassey
2nd Lieut. The Earl of Erne
2nd Lieut. The Lord Stavordale
Vety. Major G.B.C. Rees-Mogg, O.B.E.
Surg. Maj. E.D. Anderson  
Captain Manuel Joseph Bilton (1862-1935) was the popular and well-known Bandmaster of the Royal Horse Guards from 1904 to 1927. He was educated at the Royal Naval School, Greenwich. He first joined the Royal Artillery Mounted band and, in 1886, was appointed Sergeant Trumpeter of the 4th Brigade, North Irish Division, Royal Artillery, at Dublin before entering Kneller Hall school of military music. In 1890 he was made Director of music at Kneller, a year later he took three out of four prizes at the Royal Naval and Military Exhibition in London. In the same year he was made bandmaster of the 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers and stayed until he was transferred to the Royal Horse Guards (Blues).
The Royal Horse Guards (Blues) band toured the Western Front frequently during the First World War, and performed at Biarritz. Bilton wrote an overture 'My Old Stable Jacket', dedicated to Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig. The band arrived in Paris just two days before the Armistice on 11 November 1918, and as the only British Army band in the capital were a key component in the impromptu victory celebrations. On 11 December, Bilton and the band were with the cavalry as they crossed the Rhine into Germany.
Bilton was appointed Director of Music, Land Forces, in 1919 and appointed Cabellero by the King of Spain. He wrote a large number of compositions, including several Overtures and ‘The Wreck of the Hesperus,' a symphony in E Flat. On the occasion of his retirement and presentation the present figure, Lord Alastair Innes-Ker remarked, ‘during the 23 years that Bilton had served in the Regiment, he had not made a single enemy’.