Verner's pattern

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by liverpool annie, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    A certain type of British compass is called Verner's pattern after its designer's name, Colonel William Willoughby Cole Verner.

    William W. C. Verner was born in 1852 and commissioned into The Rifle Brigade in 1874, retiring in 1904.
    He served on the staff in the Egyptian campaign of 1884-85 and during the Boer War. He died in 1922.

    Verner joined the Rifle Brigade in 1873, he passed Staff College taking First Place and Honours. He served on the Nile Expedition, 1884-5, seeing action at Abu Klea and El Gubat, where he guided the fighting square in its march to the Nile. Verner also participated in the subsequent fighting on Gordon's steamers near Metemmeh. He later became Professor of Military Topography at Sandhurst, and served in the Boer War on the Staff, being present at Belmont and Graspan. In later life he was involved in the discovery of the Pal├Žolithic cave drawings at La Pileta in Andalucia and published a monograph on the subject with the Abbe Breuil.

    (Quotation courtesy The COMPASS COLLECTOR)

    Verner's pattern is primarily a prismatic compass. The design is based on Charles Augustus Schmalcalder's patent.
    The design of several British Army compasses (many of them were built in Switzerland) is based on this system.
    It went through several stages since the first model was produced at the time the patent was filed.
    The early developments are thoroughly described in the website mentioned above.
    Concerning marching compasses, the important steps were the Mk VII and Mk VIII utilized during the First World War. The only difference between them is "a knife-shaped clip fixed to the lid so that the act of closing the lid causes the knife to engage in the groove of the sliding screw, and so automatically lifts the dial."
    (quoted after The prismatic Compass and How to use it, 1917)
    The technology evolved further after the war and gave birth to the well-known prismatic compasses as they were built by F. Barker, T.G. Co. Ltd, etc.
    See the compasses made by the following manufacturers:
    - Ed. KOEHN - Verner's pattern Mk VII
    - F-L (French Limited) - Verner's pattern Mk VIII
    - T.G. Co. Ltd London
    - F. BARKER - M73 and M88
    - STANLEY - G 150
    - PASTO - 206 S (not really a genuine Verner's pattern...)

    Hart's 1833 ....

    Heres his diary !!

    The Military Diary of Colonel W.W.C. Verner.

    An Account of the Expedition mounted to Relieve General Gordon at Khartoum in the Sudan, with Associated Papers. 1884-1885. Forty-six plates in black and white, one of them double-page, maps and facsimiles to the text. Fine in dust-jacket. xl, 152pp. Pere 2003

    The full story to accompany the somewhat sanitised Sketches in the Soudan, many of the plates from which are reproduced here. This diary had remained in the family only coming to light in 2001. A superb example of a campaign journal, highly detailed, highly informed and also highly opinionated.

    And he contributed to a book !!

    nature 109, 213-214 (16 February 1922)

    Col. Willoughby Verner

    COL. WILLIAM WILLOUGHBY COLE VERNER, who died on January 25 at his home at Algeciras, was in many ways a remarkable man. He was a product of the Army at its best and a living denial of the too-often-quoted saying that Army officers think little and have no interests beyond sport and their " shop."

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