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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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The Coronation of King Edward VII was planned to take place in June1902. He had been born in 1841 and had waited in the wings for 61 years during Queen Victoria's long reign. But at the last moment, it seemed as if fate would intervene and that he would die without ever becoming king.


However, a couple of weeks before the event, Edward became very ill and was diagnosed as having appendicitis - something that doctors were only just beginning to understand at the time and a problem which had a very high mortality rate. 


The leading expert was a surgeon called Frederick Treves and he was called in to examine the king. He told Edward, who wanted to go on with the planned Coronation,  quite firmly that without an immediate operation he would die and as his condition began to worsen, the king realised he had no choice but to proceed.


The operation, which lasted less than an hour, took place in Buckingham Palace. With great skill, Frederick Treves located and drained an appendiceal abscess without removing the appendix. The King made a complete recovery, and the Coronation was ultimately held on August 9, 1902. Later, in the same year, Treves was made a baronet as a mark of the king's gratitude.

Holsworthy's Coronation Mug of 1902

The 1902 Holsworthy Coronation Mug

Courtesy The Western Morning News


In the name of the "Town and Hamlets of Holsworthy", a commemorative beaker had been commissioned from the Watcombe Pottery in Torquay for presentation to local children in June 1902, and which they eventually received in August. Earthenware is very easily damaged  and these beakers are now more than a century old by; any which have survived unscathed will more than repay their current owners for the care that has been taken with them.


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