The Browning Model 1906 pistol designed by John M Browning and manufactured by Fabrique Nationale of Belgium. A scaled-down version of the 9mm Browning Model 1903, it was chambered for a specially designed 6.35mm (.25 inch) cartridge. The pistol was an immediate success, selling in huge quantities. It was also widely copied and the 6.35mm cartridge became the standard ammunition for similar 'vest-pocket' pistols. Although such pistols had little military value, they were occasionally carried on active service by men who had privately purchased them. Also, during the Second World War, personnel of the British Special Operations Executive were sometimes equipped with such pistols. If searched by the enemy the presence of a civilian pistol of continental origin would not betray their real identity. This particular pistol was used by Squadron Leader F E Rymills, DFC DFM AE, who was employed on 'Special Duties'; flying SOE agents into occupied France in Lysander aircraft.
Probably relates to Sqn Ldr Rymills wartime career as Lysander pilot working with SOE.
pistol & magazine (6)
Stamped on barrel
Stamped in large characters on left of slide
FABRIQUE NATIONALE D'ARMES de GUERRE, HERSTAL, BELGIQUE BROWNING'S PATENT DEPOSE
Stamped on left trigger guard web
FN in cartouche
Stamped on magazine and moulded on grips