Enquire

To enquire about this item please enter your details below and we will contact you shortly.

(Your details will not be shared with any third parties)

Tick the box below if you would like to receive the Armoury of St James's Bulletin - a quarterly e-newsletter that showcases an exclusive selection of the latest military antiques offered at our premises in Piccadilly Arcade.

Please note that your details are used solely for dealing with your enquiry and will not be sold or passed on to any third parties.

The West Yorkshire Regiment - A Regimental Presentation Figure, 1950
Hover over image to zoom, click to expand.

The West Yorkshire Regiment - A Regimental Presentation Figure, 1950

Measurements: Height overall: 24cm (9.4in)

SOLD

Enquire
Silver. Modelled as a soldier of the West Yorkshire Regiment (WYR) at ease attired in 1949 Pattern Battledress (BD) uniform and 1937 Pattern webbing, beret with white horse of Hanover badge and armed with a .303 Short Magazine Lee–Enfield (SMLE). Mounted on a stepped ebonised wood base applied with silver presentation plaque inscribed ‘Presented to / Major M.A.C. Osborn / By his brother officers / The West Yorkshire Regiment / On the occasion of his marriage / 4th Nov. 1950’. Height of figure 15cm (5.75in). Maker’s mark of the Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co., Ltd, 112 Regent Street, London. Hallmarked London 1950.
 
M.A.C. Osborn (1917-2010) had an adventurous wartime career which culminated in the arrest of SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler in May 1945. Osborn was serving with Tactical H.Q. 2nd Army in the closing phase of the campaign in Germany, when he learned that someone bearing a close resemblance to Himmler, had walked into an interrogation centre. Osborn drove straight to the centre where Himmler confirmed his identity and stated that he alone could save what was left of Germany to fight alongside the Allies against the Red Army, and that he had vital information which he would disclose only to Montgomery. Osborn bundled Himmler into his staff car and rode with him with revolver drawn to Army H.Q. On arrival Himmler was escorted to a room where a doctor was waiting to carry out an examination. As Osborn left the room to telephone the Army commander, he heard a shout and the sound of a scuffle. On coming back in he saw Himmler writhing on the floor, foaming at the mouth from a small phial of poison he had concealed under his tongue.
 
Michael Ashby Chadwick Osborn was commissioned into the West Yorkshire Regiment in 1937 and was posted to the 1st Battalion in India. He won the Military Cross in the  Eritrean campaign in March 1941. In February 1942 he took part in the defence of Tobruk, and by June had  commanded a company of 2 WYR in the Battle of the Cauldron. Six weeks later, his company took Ruweisat Ridge, an outpost of the Alamein Line, in the face of intense shell fire and dive-bombing attacks. Osborn was wounded in the head by a bullet and was awarded the D.S.O. for outstanding gallantry. After recovering, he was posted to H.Q. 50th Infantry Division in time to take part in the Battle of Mareth. During the invasion of Sicily his Jeep was blown up and his driver was killed. After recovery in London he was posted to the War Office, where he was one of a small group entitled to read the Enigma decrypts. In April 1944 he joined the staff of H.Q. Second British Army at Portsmouth, where he was involved in the final planning for D-Day. His immediate superior was Colonel Selwyn Lloyd, a future Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary, who in 1950 was best man at Osborn's wedding.
 
Osborn landed in Normandy on D+1 and took part in the advance into Germany. After the German surrender Osborn was appointed second-in-command of 1 WYR in Burma and joined them south of Mandalay as they were pushing the Japanese southwards. When the Burma campaign ended, he commanded 2 WYR in Indonesia and Malaya, before being  posted to northern Greece for a year of operations against the communist insurgency. After a year with the regiment in Vienna as part of the occupation force in 1950, he became deputy military assistant to the CIGS, Field Marshal Sir William Slim before returning  to Malaya with the West Yorkshires to combat the communist terrorists and to command 22 S.A.S. Regiment.
 

 

Enquire