Sten left behind in London

CASCADE NEWS PIX - PIC shows Eileen Burgoyne, whose death ended up sparking a bomb scare after weapons and ammunition were discovered at her home in Twickenham, Surrey,including a fully operational Sten sub-machine gun. Now personal effects detailing some of her career in the Second World War have been sent to her cousin, Georgina Wood, detailing some of her work. But it is believed the full extent will never be known because it was classified.

CASCADE NEWS PIX - PIC shows Eileen Burgoyne, whose death ended up sparking a bomb scare after weapons and ammunition were discovered at her home in Twickenham, Surrey,including a fully operational Sten sub-machine gun. Now personal effects detailing some of her career in the Second World War have been sent to her cousin, Georgina Wood, detailing some of her work. But it is believed the full extent will never be known because it was classified.

The Daily Mail has come out with an article about a lady who served in the British intelligence service after World War Two as a translater and left behind a 9mm Sten submachine gun after her passing in 2014. She was 99 years old and lived in a small row house in south west London. The Sten still had the original sling, but there was no mention made of a magazine or live ammunition. From the Daily Mail-

And in February this year, just months after her death at the age of 99, those rumours appeared to be confirmed once and for all.

Builders were renovating Miss Burgoyne’s former £725,000 home when they came across a hoard of items, more commonly seen these days on the scene of a Hollywood movie.

In highly dramatic scenes, the usually quiet area was cordoned off amid fears of an imminent bomb explosion at the uninhabited property.

Then, as police delved further beneath the surface of the home she had occupied for the past 20 years, they discovered a trove of possessions which pointed to her involvement in the intelligence services – probably helping to interrogate high-ranking prisoners.

 

……Amid a cache of weapons, officers found a Sten submachine gun – an austere British 9mm weapon used throughout the Second World War – in full working order.

 

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Much of her correspondence was found as well, revealing facts about her life that her own family had no clue about. 



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • J-

    If I ever found a Sten gun, or any other machine guns, in the basement of a place I was living in, you bet I’d never tell anybody about it and save those for a rainy day.

    Also, this is just another piece of evidence to my theory that there are countless thousands of Webley’s. Enfields, Stens and other British Home Guard weapons that were never turned in, burred in yards and under floorboards all over England.

    • SD3

      Makes one wonder how many stens are *really* out there, doesn’t it?….

      • J-

        Official numbers are between 3.7 and 4.6 million. They were so simple to make (tubing and springs) and were used for 20 years on so many continents, that there is really no way of knowing.

        • DataMatters

          I have a MKIII and MKV, but they were cut up. 🙁

    • the hun

      Phil White and his goons would cave your skull in if they found out you had an unregistered gun.

      • J-

        Who?

        • First Amendment Warrior

          Phil White- TFB’s resident Stasi agent/1st Amendment Defender

        • crackhead bob

          Phil is TFB’s resident NKVD agent who is part of the civil servant goon squad who stands by as the US Constitution is destroyed lest he speak up and lose his govt pension

        • MR

          Third base!

      • Lauren Leigh Carlisle

        How? You’d be the one holding a gun…

        • First Amendment Warrior

          You’re going to fight off Phil and his Stasi SWAT goons with a Sten?

    • Porty1119

      Ever watched Hot Fuzz?

      …yeah.

      • eriky

        you got a permit for that gun?
        ”I do for this one”

        • Porty1119

          *pauses*
          “What do you mean by…this one?”

        • DataMatters

          He says he does for *this* one.

          • Zebra Dun

            OHHH, “That” One!

      • sam

        Sea mine.

    • wetcorps

      Not just England, I’d say pretty much everywhere in Europe.
      France for exemple used to have more relaxed gun laws until quite recently, so a lot of guns suddenly became restricted but people didn’t bother registering them. And of course a buch of relics from the two world wars still floating around.

    • Zachary marrs

      We are talking about a country that calls the bomb squad for a .22lr in the street

      • J-

        And every once in a while a news article will show up about how a cache of weapons was found in a home in England. The government may be filled with liberal fascists, but I’m convinced there were a lot of English III%ers who came out of WWII and decided to stash away guns for a rainy day. Then when the Brits required all handguns be turned in, many were. But I believe there were many more, passed down without registration that have been hidden.

  • tony

    Thank you for your service! A legend indeed

    • the hun

      Enjoy your England/Europe overrun with Pakis and muzzies- it is the natural culmination of Germany losing WWII- this old bag couldn’t even walk through a lot of London after dark these days without being assaulted- maybe that’s why she hung on to the Sten- oh well- Rule Brittania and all of that BS.

  • Giolli Joker

    “a small row house in south west London” – “Miss Burgoyne’s former £725,000 home”
    This is the really scary part.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Thats $1,130,057.50 if Google is not mistaken. Jeez

    • Patrick M.

      Property values in London are some of the highest in the world

      • Tom

        Prices across the UK are a lot higher than the US in general (far less land, stricter building codes and a planning system which restricts who can build) and in London much more so.

        • iksnilol

          + there is also a much higher standard of living than in most of the US.

          • john huscio

            Everyone has a different definition of “higher standard”. I’d consider a house on 50-100 acres with all the basic amenities in TN or AR as a higher standard of life than living in an apartment in london ass to jowl with several million other people.

          • iksnilol

            Uh, do you know what higher standard of living is? It is quite simply that while items and services in one country are more expensive, the pay is also much higher. My favorite example:

            How much does a beer cost in the US (a pint)? Compare that to the hourly wage of the average person in the US. Now do the same for another country (IE. Norway). Now compare those two results.

          • Greg Tag

            Don’t limit it to beer-expand the comparison to cost for a liter of gasoline, 20 rounds of 7.62×51, a Ford F-150 pickup truck, a 3 bed 2 bath 2700 square foot house, a 16 ounce steak , a Bravo Company USA AR platform , 10 and a Dr Pepper. Then you can tell me.

          • iksnilol

            It was just a simple example. Also, (new) cars in Norway have artificially inflated prices due to their protectionism. In short, it doesn’t pay to import cars due to extra expenses, while the cars in Norway are also expensive.

          • Greg Tag

            I am aware it was a limited example; I was attempting to point out that limited examples can be deceiving. When cost of living is examined, academics generally use a ” market basket” approach – how much does a standard household staple purchase cost comparing apples to oranges. And then some things are absolutely unavailable at any cost in some markets . Take the STen – a full auto is available here for $10000 U.S. , you can’t own a firing example in England for any price.

          • iksnilol

            Oh come on, have some optimism. Sure you can own a working full auto Sten in the UK, not legally but you can own it for a price.

            Seriously, if you ever dabble in the gunrunning business go with the UK. You can sell a Scorpion for 15k GBP (23+k US). I was impressed at how expensive that stuff is over there. You could build a like ten open bolt SMGs (suppressed of course), make a decent sum of ammo/mags for them and sell them. Then you don’t need to work a couple of years. It is seriously impressive. Though I guess it’s hard to break through, you need contacts.

          • john huscio

            Looks like I conflated “standard” with “quality” then.

          • iksnilol

            *sigh*

            different doesn’t always mean worse. Besides, Dr. Pepper isn’t *that* good.

          • john huscio

            Dr pepper? Eww….

          • Veritas

            The standard of living in the UK is far below that of the US because of taxes. Having i higher income taxes, property taxes, etc, the British then imposed a VAT tax of 15% on all purchases. Yet their wages are lower. Because of this most Brits have unusually long vacations, because these cannot be taxed.
            Everything in the UK is very expensive resulting in smaller homes, cars, you name it.

          • Zebra Dun

            Agreed.

          • Veritas

            Aee you mad of an Arab oil millionaire?

    • Yea you noticed that as well!

  • Vitsaus

    I love how she kept it around her whole life, you know… just in case.

    • First Amendment Warrior

      With England turning into a brown untermensch hellhole she probably thought she would need it

    • DIR911911 .

      must vatch for ze germans:)

      • MR

        Odd that she had a German accent.

    • iksnilol

      Uh, if she kept it for defense then she would have had ammo and mags. Most likely she kept it as a trophy. War trophies are common everywhere.

      • Zebra Dun

        I’d say yes, a war trophy kept and forgotten with age still My Mom is 85 and If I visualize her with a war trophy it would be the old axe handle she used as her first line anti hooligan weapon, all 5 feet 110 lbs of her, wielding a Sten, hell that’s over kill.
        Just old war trophies from exciting times, perhaps it belong to a lover now long gone into the mist of time.
        Or as a reminder of some Boche she offed during D-Day.

        • iksnilol

          Axe handle? That’s a new one for sure. Can’t say I am surprised though. People use whatever is handy.

          A guy I know keeps a Mauser, another an MP40 while a third one keeps an AK. As far as I know they have killed somebody all three of them. By war trophy I usually mean firearms (it is also a legal grounds of owning them in Bosnia).

    • Anonymoose

      It’s very understandable with the current state of affairs in Britain.

      • Graham2

        What do you mean by ‘the current state of affairs in Britain’?

        • Anonymoose

          You know, the police state that allows jihadis to freely travel in and around the country and just generally doesn’t care for its citizens at all.

  • Swarf

    Oh my God, a firearm! Call the bomb squad and fetch me my clutching pearls!

    F’ing useless ninnies.

    • DataMatters

      Seriously. I used to know a guy who owned a machine shop. He owned a lot of guns, all of which sat on a rusting pile on the floor of an unused office room of the shop. He had very little concern for upkeep on them, he saw them as occasional fun tools and nothing more, basically just more junk to him. If he wanted to go shoot he’d grab one off the pile, go shoot it, and throw it back on the pile when done. Point being, the casual nature of his relationship with firearms would blow a typical Brit’s mind. They are just objects, and the Brits treat them like nuclear weapons.

      • Iggy

        I wouldn’t say that guy had the healthiest attitude either… there has to be a happy medium

      • Zebra Dun

        I knew a guy who had a Machine shop and he built a gun that would cyclic fire nuts.

    • Scrumward bound

      I may be wrong, but I think also contained in the cache were Mills bomb cases (not including detonators or explosive- as it turned out). At that point, I think most people would call the “bomb squad”- but then you’re undoubtedly so macho that you just chew up any hand grenades that you find and spit out the pieces.

      • Ludlow Porch

        In my past I worked with “people” that worked with explosives. They treat that stuff like it is a second nature with them. They are so accustom to handling dynamite, nitro, c-4, even unexploded bombs on practice ranges from WWII, pipe bombs, you name it. But they get nervous when they approach a van loaded with ammonium nitrate and jet fuel. It’s too unstable they say.

      • Zebra Dun

        A 99 year old former intelligence Officer with a Sten and a collection of Mill’s bombs…………….OOOHRAAA Grandma!

  • Ratcraft

    Uh yes, certainly it was, well yes, expediently cut up and scrapped. Of course let the children know the dangers of firearms, yes. (all said whilst smoking a Churchill waving my other arm like a tard, speaking in my worst English accent) “Glorious”

  • mosinman

    i bet it was turned into scrap metal within the hour… to save the queen and the children of course

  • Ron Fox

    I wonder what other “weapons” this lady had in her house. BTW, isn’t a “weapon” anything used to harm or attempt to harm another person? So unless this was used in an attempt to harm another person this is just a firearm. Like a knife is a knife and a crowbar a crowbar. I hate Pierce Morgan and he is running Daily Mail now.

    • eriky

      It’s Britain anything pointy, heavy or smelly is a weapon over there

      • Roger V. Tranfaglia

        Careful how you say “smelly” there..mate.

        • claymore

          Yea it could be said about Stilton cheese Too. LOL

    • jamezb

      Running Daily Mail is like saying he’s running the National Enquirer… it’s a tabloid.

    • Giolli Joker

      Proper use of the term weapon is not really set in stone, let’s say that it can be hardly that off on a military submachine gun, but it would totally be if we were talking about an Anschutz rifle… that could still be defined as weapon, if actually used to harm somebody.

      • iksnilol

        At 100-150 meters I would be more afraid the Anschütz than the Sten.

    • Graham2

      Piers Morgan does not run the Daily Mail, he just writes a column for it. Would you like him back? Please say you’ll take him back, we all hate him too!

  • Cornelius Carroll

    Wow, my imagination is running wild with the stories she could’ve told. Just a homely old lady in a row house ready to kick ass and take names… kind of reminds me of my own grandmother!

  • Vasco T

    Speaking of Sten guns, does anybody know the title of a war movie about a troop of Aussie WW2/ Pacific War commando soldiers fighting the Japanese imperial army. The Australians soldiers are seemingly equipped with Stens.

    • DataMatters

      Attack Force Z. They had suppressed M3s, not Stens.

      • WFA

        Z Force used suppressed stens (a good example is in the Lithgow Museum in NSW) also Owen gun and pretty much anything they could get their hands on.

        • DataMatters

          Not in the film they didn’t. Vasco asked about the movie, and hey, maybe there was more than one movie, but I am talking about the one with Mel Gibson.

          • WFA

            I thought VT was talking about genuine Z force footage from WW2….they were fighting the Japanese too.

        • Tassiebush

          I think they used the Austen too. That obscure local version.

  • New Chris

    The women of WWIIs secret services have been long neglected by Hollywood and documentarians.

    • Swarf

      The women of WWII Britain, in general, were 10 times the man of most British men today.

      • Uniform223

        careful who you say that too.

        • Swarf

          *to

      • UCSPanther

        Canada had a nurses corps, and 50 of them were KIA during WWII…

        • crackhead bob

          Shut up you stupid k#ke

          • UCSPanther

            Lay off the meth, fritz.

          • What’s funny is he thinks it upsets me when he calls me names just before I ban him again under one of his many names. I couldn’t care less.

          • MichaelBolton

            Thank you for properly using the expression “couldn’t care less.” vs. everyone and their brother saying “could care less.”

          • Certainly:-)

    • crackhead bob

      Don’t worry the Hymiewood k#kes are working on it

      • UCSPanther

        Meth: Not even once.

  • If I had a sten gun in Britain, I wouldnt tell anyone about it. The nanny state would just come, confiscate it and melt the poor sten down.

    • iksnilol

      To be fair, it is a Sten. You can just make another one.

  • DIR911911 .

    Time to go spend time with grandma , you never know what’s in the closet!!

  • copywriter

    Let’s hope so.

  • 2ndKentucky

    In 1944 soldiers were taught that a weapon can keep your family and your country free.
    Over the last 30 years or so Great Brittain, and the USA has been brain washed into thinking that free choice, success; along with our weapons, are evil.
    Sadly our men amd women who fought and died for freedom are crying…

  • The Truth of the Matter

    “Translater”? Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy your site and it’s content, but you need either better spellchecking software, or a proofreader.

  • Azril @ Alex Vostox

    Dang…..This old lady should get her own video games as well..

  • Sianmink

    Not sure if Sten is rusty, or has a really attractive hammered finish treatment.

    • Graham2

      The finish looks the same as that applied to post war Sterling SMGs and was not a standard finish during the war, very odd indeed.

  • Bill

    Huh. Guess it’s a good thing this national hero passed before her house was inventoried. Could you imagine if she’d gone into assisted living beforehand? Just picture Her Majesty’s Royal SWAT Team descending en masse to apprehend this dangerous subject after evacuating the entire block…

  • Bill

    Guess now they’ll start knock and talks with every former intel ops person they can find-just in case there’s another one out there somewhere. Can’t be too careful, yeh?

  • Dragonheart

    What’s so unfortunate is the Liberal Brits will probably waste no time in cutting up the gun. One would think that they would have been learned something from WWII when the unarmed British populace was receiving gifts of guns from the people of the USA so they could defend themselves. The lesson to be learned here is a government out of control, something we now have.

  • bruce Cambell

    for some reason this just came to mind.. from a James Bond movie.

  • MichaelBolton

    Cool story.

    Sad what has become of “Great” Britain–a groveling nanny state.

  • Glock Guy

    I would’ve taken the STEN and kept my mouth shut about it.

  • Bob

    This is typical of that generation, maintain an even strain, carry on, loose lips sink ships. What’s even more interesting is she moved all that stuff into that house and no EOD needed AND perhaps she was still active in interrogating enemies. Imagine you’re a battle-hardened Al Queda fighter MI5 needs to crack, they secretly spirit him into the basement of her home and he’s expecting some John Statham type interrogator, instead a 70 year old English lady offers him tea before hooking up a car battery to his testicles.

  • Andrew Gault

    Fighting for Britain just to see it turned into… This.

  • Zebra Dun

    Those who know war, know why.
    Not speaking for myself, but for the Ms. Burgoyne.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I inherited (through a NFA trust) a functioning Sten SMG and was curious about its operation and current value if anyone here is knowledgeable.