Colonel William Willoughby Cole Verner was born in 1852 and commissioned into The Rifle Brigade in 1874, retiring in 1904. He served on the staff in the Egyptian campaign of 1884-85 and during the Boer War. He died in 1922. (Cited after The Compass Collector - see LINKS)
Verners Pattern compasses are very popular with collectors. At the same time they are as well compasses that can still be practically and easily used. The most common models are the Verners Pattern VII and Verners Pattern VIII which were widely used during World War 1. The numbers IX were also used in WW 2. Their basic construction is a prismatic dry card compass with a both a momentary bearing lock and transit lock. As a compass they are lighter than the Mk III prismatic that superceded them in WWII and are generally considered easier to use.
The V has just a plain card without the Northern cardinal mark evident on later models.The cards were on mother of pearl and had an inner scale marked every 5 degrees and outer scale marked every 1 degree marked with the reciprocal bearing in reverse for viewing through the prism.