Old telescope

Things a soldier would carry other than firearms, ammo, or uniforms. Meaning equipment such as ammo pouches, bayonets, holsters, oil cans, cleaning equipment, etc.

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PeterN2
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Old telescope

Postby PeterN2 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:59 pm

This has been hanging in the club armoury for decades, presumeably left and forgotten by a long departed member. It has seen a hard life as the draw tubes have alot of dents and dings and consequently is a little stiff to open. I am assuming it dates to before WW1. It is engraved with the name of the owner, Capt. Harrison Ballantyne. The optics are quite good but there is a small chip at the edge of the objective lens where it has taken a knock. I wonder where it got its knocks and bruises and what Captain Ballantyne saw through it, long ago. Western front, maybe?
This belongs to the club, but I think I may have to come to an arrangement to buy it. However, I am not sure what a fair price to me and the club would be. More research, I think.

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Peter.
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Re: Old telescope

Postby Woftam » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:26 pm

From the research I did to purchase my telescope (Tel Sig MkIV) I believe Negretti & Zambra were very highly regarded and possibly the premier optical and scientific instrument makers of their period - 1850's to 1930's ?
Are you going to research both Capt. Ballantyne and the telescope ?
Do you know if he was army or navy ?
The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it.
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DuncaninFrance
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Re: Old telescope

Postby DuncaninFrance » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:41 am

As it is called ''The McLeod'' do you think it could have been used for stalking?

I doubt if it would have been Naval as the Navy supplied all that sort of kit and anyway, I would have expected only signal rates used telescopes and they would have been much bigger.

By WWI the Army would be using porro prism Binoculars.
Duncan

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Re: Old telescope

Postby Woftam » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:50 am

Duncan,
as it is obviously private purchase rather than issue kit and used for shooting (which may or may not have been the primary reason for purchase) then I think Navy or Army Captain is equally probable.
The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it.
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Re: Old telescope

Postby PeterN2 » Sat May 01, 2010 4:33 pm

Well, I have been looking up our man. The case is stamped with the initials GHB. I have come up with a George Harrison Ballantyne. He was in the London Gazette April 20 1906 page 2749 as being made a Second Lieutenant in the 6th Volunteer Battalion, The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) on 11th April 1906.
He next appears in the December 15 1908 edition page 9563 being appointed to the 8th Battalion from the 6th Volunteer Battalion 1st April 1908.
He next appears in theMarch 21 1911 page 2336 as importing some dogs on 11th March 1911.
The next London Gazette entry I can find is in the issue dated June 22 1915 page 6032. It lists Captain George Harrison Ballantyne being transferred from the 8th Battalion Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) to 7th (Fife) Battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) to be Captain (temporary) and Adjutant 10th May 1915. I haven't found any other entries but that doesn't mean there aren't any.
He also appears in the Peebles Beltane Festival where G Harrison Ballantyne is listed as being Cornet in 1913.
I think this must be our man as there cannot be many G Harrison Ballantynes about. Being a Scotsman may account for the telescope as it would be the very thing to be used in deer stalking. The McLeod model name on the telescope hints at a Scottish connection and the telescope dates from this period. Being engraved with the Captain rank, perhaps he bought it during or after WW1 or he may have had it before the war and had it engraved to show that it was his so some light fingered fellow soldier could not claim it as his own. Now, how this came to be hanging on the wall of a gun club armoury in North Yorkshire decades later is a mystery. If only it could talk.
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Peter
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Re: Old telescope

Postby DuncaninFrance » Sun May 02, 2010 3:01 am

Absolutely fascinating Peter :D
Duncan

What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch? -- W.C. Fields
"Many of those who enjoy freedom know little of its price."
You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something.

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