How To Navigate Life...

How To Navigate Life...

I was so excited being given this WW1 Compass as my next project for restoration.  With many years of cleaning tack, I set to work gently cleaning away years of dust and dirt from the leather case.  Slowly and carefully working as the leather was so dry I did not want it to crack, cleaning allowing to dry then building to bring back a soft and supple leather finish.

Leather compass pouch

It has been an absolute joy and pleasure to do, R Parks USN as scratched into the case relied on this compass as a vital part of their kit for survival.  We owe so much to those who served.

My small part played in the life of this historic WW1 Compass, ready for the next custodian to enjoy for many more years.

WW1 Compass

This is very nice WW1 compass is stamped 1918, and is made by VL (probably Verners Limited). Believed to be a Verner's Mark VII version, made from solid brass, featuring a bearing lock and transit lock. The bezel can be unlocked, turned to position the rectangular magnifying section on the glass for alignment.

The outer case is clearly marked with north, south, east and west with incremental notches in between. The internal numbered card is made with mother of pearl, I assuming this allowed a clear view while marching at night, due to its reflective nature.

WW1 Navigation

The lid folds up with a sight guide in-between the folding lanyard ring, you will also find it stamped 'Verner's Pattern' on the outer ring of the lid. There is hairline centre point marked on the folding glass lid, this would line up with the sight guide. The lid firmly clicks when pushed closed against the main body. A true testament to the build quality, considering it is over 104 years old. Quite thought provoking to think about where this piece of navigational equipment may have been, and the action the officer may have encountered.

Verner Pattern was attributed to Colonel William Willoughby Cole Verner (1852-1922). As I mentioned above, the lid is stamped Verner's Pattern. The base is marked VL with a serial No. 124004 and dated 1918.

Thank you R Parks for your service.


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