A finely detailed model of a mounted cavalry officer of the Royal Horse Guards (Blues)

By H. Phillips, London 1927, 

"Presented to Captain Manuel J Bilton by the following Blues as a token of affection and esteem after 25 year's service with the regiment"

16 1/2 inches (42cm) high
12 1/2 inches (32cm) long

Manuel J Bilton was born in Plymouth in 1852, educated at the Royal Naval School, Greenwich. He joined the Royal Artillery Mounted band and, in 1886, was made Sergeant Trumpeter in the 4th Brigade Irish Division before entering Kneller Hall. In 1890, he was made Director of music at Kneller, a year later he won three out of four prizes at the Royal Naval and Military Exhibition in London. In the same year he was made bandmaster of the 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers and stayed until he was transferred to the Royal Horse Guards (Blues).

The Royal Horse Guards (Blues) band toured the Western Front frequently during the First World war. Bilton wrote an overture 'My Old Stable Jacket', dedicated to Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, that remains popular today. The band was in France at the autumn of 1918 and arrived in Paris just two days before the armistice. They were the only British band in Paris to help celebrate the victory. On the 11th December, they were with the cavalry as they crossed the Rhine into Germany.

Bilton was appointed Director of Music, Land Forces, in 1919 and appointed Cabellero by the king of Spain. He wrote a large number compositions, including several Overtures and "The Wreck of the Hesperus," a symphony in E Flat. On the occasion of his retirement and presentation of this lot, Lord Alastair Innes-Ker, DSO. remarked: "during the 23 years that Bilton had served in the Regiment, he had not made a single enemy".

Price : On application