Dating stories trenches
The first John Blanch was born in 1784 and at the age of 16 was apprenticed within the Farriers Company to Jackson Mortimer, a prestigious London gunmaker.In approximately 1807, having finished his apprenticeship, he married his master's daughter, Ann, and moved on to work for the famous John Manton, probably until 1809.If for no other reason, this book is interesting in that it may be the first historical book on firearms that used photographic illustrations rather than engravings.
It has been suggested that he shared workshops with Alexander Wilson of 14 Titchbourn Street, London and this might seem reasonable as Alexander had been apprenticed to John Manton, setting up on his own in 1805.
Many gamekeepers and patrons of the country's gun trade were wounded or killed in the trenches and to a large extent the hostilities brought an end to the heyday of the sporting gun trade.
Ironically, the war inspired several of the very few Blanch patents.
On 17th December 1839 both Sara and John were blown up in their Melbourne shop in a cartridge loading accident.
This was the day after his gunmaker uncle, Henry William Mortimer (child of Jackson Mortimer), arrived in Melbourne.
This name change helps to date early Blanch guns that do not display the 'and Son'.