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Thread: British 1856 Pioneer's Sword

  1. #1
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    British 1856 Pioneer's Sword

    Just wanted to share my latest acquisition a nice tidy British Pioneers sword, 1856 pattern.

    Catalogue description:
    3rd Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 1856 Pattern Pioneer's Sword
    A good example with heavy straight saw backed blade, the forte with issue date November 1900. The hilt with ribbed brass grip, stirrup guard, the quillion with clear issue stamps '6.02 M3 N.L. 6'. Housed in brass mounted black leather scabbard, the top mount with frog button.

    Stats:

    Weight, sword:2lb 5oz (1.04kg), with scabbard: 3lb 0 oz (1.36kg)
    Length overall: 27.75'' (70.5cm) Blade:22.5''(57cm)
    POB: 3.5'' (9cm)
    Profile taper: 1.37'' (34.9mm) at ricasso, 1.26'' (32.1mm) for entire length of saw back, 1.1'' (28mm) 2 inches from tip.
    Distal taper 0.28'' (6.8mm) at ricasso to end of saw back, 0.14'' (3.7mm) 2inches from tip.



    Markings:
    Crown over 35 over W, 11 '00 and Wilkinson London on one side of ricasso. Broad arrow over crown over 35 over W and X on the otherside.
    6.02 over M over 3.N.L. over 6 on the quillion.
    Feint broad arrow over W over crown over 49 stamped on scabbard leather.

    These swords were declared obsolete in 1904 which probably explains nice clean condition. Blade has virtually no distal taper and is built like a crow bar. Double row of vicious saw teeth to the back of the blade. The blade seems solid enough to chop down trees with the edge side as well.
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    The journey not the destination

  2. #2
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    Here is an interesting letter from Mole to Wilkinson re Pioneer swords showing the collusion between the two companies!!!!!
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  3. #3
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    I have one dated 8/94 and I used to have one marked to the Scots Guard.
    Would be interesting to know how many per regiment were issued. You don't see too many of these and fewer with scabbards.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for that Robert interesting to think what the Competition Commission would make of it today
    Will. I would be interested to know as well. Were these troops classed as engineers per se? Would the officers carry engineer pattern swords or just the normal regimental pattern?
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  5. #5
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    Pioneers Sergeants were 'Regimental Soldiers in Infantry regiments and the Foot Guards. Pioneer Sergeants were allowed to grow beards! and wore leather aprons and beside the swords carried other appropriate tools for carrying out a myriad of jobs and tasks in peace and wartime.

  6. #6
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    Here is a good write up: http://www.imuc.org/index.php?option...cles&Itemid=67

    http://www.royalpioneercorps.co.uk/r...tory_main1.htm

    They which build on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, everyone with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

    http://www.thediehards.co.uk/infantry_battalion.htm

    "The pioneer sergeant ran a ten-man section of pioneers, all skilled artisans, who were responsible for the maintenance of the barracks and camps. When the battalion was on the march the pioneers traditionally marched it its head to clear any obstacles."
    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 11-10-2014 at 11:40 AM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks both for all the info.
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  8. #8
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    Here another letter Mole Wilkinson in collusion for Tenders - Pioneer etc
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  9. #9
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    Robert
    It gets a bit surreal as I am Mr Cooper the Guy C is for David Robert Guy Cooper.
    The journey not the destination

  10. #10

    Request for information on my Sword history

    I purchased a Pioneer Sword 40 years ago because I liked it.
    I thought I knew some of the history from reading back then but it is different from all the ones discussed so far.
    Obviously well used from the dents etc and the markings are less definitive (no bold makers mark or decommissioning X) so I would welcome any comments.
    The attachments will show,
    Left side of Blade part of a crown over 18,with part of a stamp below.
    Right side of blade a crown over BR over 21,
    Top of blade half a crown over 18.
    Front of Blade the clear stamp E.G
    Top of the Guard stamped clearly 5.1883.
    and the rear of the grip stamped clearly 8 over 1892
    Thanks in advance for any comments.
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