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Army & Navy Cooperative Society Ltd

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In 2007, I acquired a Webley Mark IV revolver attributed to a Colonel Wood (or Ward), who purchased the weapon from the Army & Navy C. S. L. in 1901. Can anyone assist me in researching this provenance? Do C. S. L. records survive from the period of the Boer War? I'd like to think the revolver belonged to Colonel (local Major General, later Sir) Elliott Wood, K. C. B., Royal Engineers, but my gut (and reality) tells me it was the property of Brevet Colonel E. W. D. Ward, C. B., Army Service Corps.


Barrel Rib:


Speculation notwithstanding, the revolver has a legitimate connection to the Army Service Corps through a subsequent owner, J. C. M. Doran



The online archives of the London Gazette proved invaluable to tracing Doran.

Captain John Crampton Morton Doran, Army Service Corps, first appears in the Gazette in June 1914 attached to the South Midland Divisional Transport and Supply Column. By 1915, Doran was a Major and had become Deputy Assistant Quartermaster-General. In 1916, Doran was made a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (L.G., 11 January 1916, Issue number: 29438, Page number: 572).

The possibility, albeit tenuous, exists that Doran acquired the revolver from E. W. D. Ward. Though technically obsolete by 1915 (having been superseded by the Webley Mark V in 1913, and ultimately the Mark VI) one could expect a privately purchased weapon to remain perfectly serviceable (as well as thrifty).

As attested by the post release Birmingham Nitro Proofing on the barrel, cylinder, and frame, the revolver was subsequently designated for commercial sale or export, and has survived to see its second century in perfect working order.


Any advice regarding Army & Navy C. S. L. records would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,


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Notes from Wikipedia:

Army and Navy Co operative Society founded 1871 by Officers, acquired by House of Fraser in 1976 was called Army and Navy Stores til 2005 then called House of Fraser Victoria. It is situated in the City of Westminster, South of St James' Park, it was bought by the Icelandic company BAUGUR in 2006. That would be the place to start asking about records.

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The old Army and Navy Department Store is now indeed a House Of Fraser Department Store. It is situated at

101 Victoria Street


SW1E 6QX ( Victoria Street junction of Buckingham Gate )

Its been a long time since you could by a pistol there but maybe a designer handbag?

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Thank you Dave and Foo Fighter.

I've looked at the House of Fraser website, and see neither commonality nor continuity with the Army & Navy Co-op (probably just a real estate acquisition).

Back to the drawing board...

Best regards,


Edited by epsomgreen
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