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Shoalhaven police facilitate donation of WWI firearm to Australian War Memorial

Friday, 21 April 2017 11:56:56 AM

In the lead up to ANZAC Day, officers from Shoalhaven Local Area Command have been liaising with the Australian War Memorial to facilitate the donation of a WWI firearm that was handed in to local police.

After it had been missing for about 70 years, a local Nowra family discovered a Bayard pistol in an old workbench when they moved house last year.

The Bayard pistol and a Colt revolver were handed into Nowra Police Station by the family of WWI solider Corporal William Jones.

Family members have told police that Corporal Jones served in WWI and was given the Bayard pistol as a memento of his service after another Australian Soldier intervened when a wounded German Solider attempted to shoot Corporal Jones with the pistol.

The Bayard 1908 is a semi-automatic pistol designed by Belgian Bernard Clarus as a short-range self-defence handgun. The Bayard 1908 was sold on the civilian market, chambered in .25 ACP, .32 ACP, and .380 ACP. It was produced at the Belgian factory Anciens Etablissements Pieper from 1908 until the later 1930s.

Officers from Shoalhaven Local Command have been working with Corporal Jones’s family and the Australian War Memorial to arrange donation of the pistol to the museum.

Chief Inspector Steven Johnson from Shoalhaven Local Area Command said it has been an honour being able to facilitate the donation of such a unique item to the Australian War Memorial.

“We were quite surprised to see an item of such historical significance be handed in to our station.

“It has been a pleasure working with the family of Corporal Jones and the Australian War Memorial in order to facilitate the donation of the pistol.

“We have been fortunate enough to learn the history behind the item and its owner, Corporal Jones, and it gives us great pleasure to know that members of the Australian public will now be able to see the item on display at the Australian War Memorial,” said Chief Inspector Johnson.

The Bayard pistol is expected to be on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra from next month.