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Thread: 1910 Officers cavalry sword "Special"

  1. #1
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    1910 Officers cavalry sword "Special"

    Just arrived a Wilkinson sword made in 1910 with 35 inch Toledo blade, 7th Hussars special guard and pre 1912 grip with leather finger loop.
    Ordered by F.W. Bevile. Some difficulty in finding this fellow listed.
    Douglas Haig statue shows him mounted wearing the same pattern sword for the 7th Hussars.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  2. #2
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    Super sword Will, but your man's a mystery, found a few Beville's in Hart's 1910/11, but not that spelling, and struggling to see FWB on the blade pics posted elsewhere. Perhaps FW was not the officer concerned but a rich sponsor or relative, given that there is no specific regiment given under his name on the register.....good luck!

  3. #3
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    I can only see a "B" in the intertwined initials, the rest is obscure.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 06-12-2017 at 10:02 AM.

  4. #4
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    The initials do match the purchaser, F.W.B. Thanks to Gordon for figuring it out.

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  7. #7
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    Wonderful rare pattern sword will and good luck researching its owner

  8. #8
    Hi Will,
    Good to see another of these rare and unusual Wilkinson’s emerging. I note a common reference to the 7th Hussars, but I wonder if there was ever a 7th Queen’s Own Hussars regimental pattern in the same way as the earlier 6th Dragoon Guards etc.

    Whilst there are likely to be a number of undiscovered examples, all with pistol grips and thrusting blades, the following six are documented to a varying degree:

    A F A Imbert-Terry Wilkinson 32414 22 November 1893
    Queen’s Own Regimental insignia guard
    7th Hussars grip, 7th Hussars etching to 38 inch blade

    J F Laycock Wilkinson 32921 January 1895
    2nd Honeysuckle guard, 7th Hussars style grip

    E S E Harrison 1900
    2nd Honeysuckle guard, 7th Hussars style grip

    C J Briggs Wilkinson 39635 23 October 1902
    2nd Honeysuckle guard, 7th Hussars style grip

    F W Bevile Wilkinson 42618 17 May 1910
    Scroll guard, 7th Hussars style grip

    D Haig Guard unclear from photographs. According to Robert Wilkinson-Latham, a 7th Hussars Special Pattern with a stretched Honeysuckle guard.

    Of these examples, only that of Alexander Frederic Aime Imbert-Terry can definitely be attributed to the 7th Hussars.




    I don’t know whether Haig’s sword carries a similar regimental guard or is assumed to be 7th Hussars due to the grip and the fact that his original regiment was the 7th. Richard Dellar quotes a reference to Haig's sword (The Swordsman No 22) but I am unable to source a copy.

    Imbert -Terry bought his sword when first commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant when Haig was already Captain. The sword number is, as far as I know, the earliest yet recorded of this type and it would be interesting to know if this pre dates that of his senior officer. Indeed, was a regimental pattern ever approved by the Colonel of the regiment or was this simply the private purchase of a young officer about to depart for India and sufficiently aware to require a more practical sword than the current 1821 regulation pattern? In any case the use of a pistol type grip and straight thrusting blade as early as 1893 (15 years in advance of the 1908/12 patterns) seems worthy of special note.

    A F A Imbert-Terry was the disinherited descendant of a French aristocratic family (Imbert de la Terriere) and this might go some way to explain his choice of hilt in view of continental trends.

    Will and John: I note your comments with respect to the grip wire on your swords. The wire (or what remained of it) definitely extended down to the ferrule on the Imbert- Terry sword before refurbishment (another story in itself). As such it would span the hollow of the thumb depression – a weakness which may have been corrected in subsequent swords.

    Hope all this is of interest. I’d be grateful for comments or further information.





  9. #9
    John, you seem to have hit dumpbucket's limit and all your photos are now the dread "disabled" pic.

  10. #10
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    3rd party hosting= hold your photos ransom until you pay up.

    I use "manage attachments" and choose photos directly from my computer, this way no problem exists.
    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 08-23-2017 at 09:54 AM.

  11. #11
    I apologize for derailing this further, but photobucket recently made some changes and 3rd party hosting now costs $400 per year. I suggest finding a different photo hosting site.

  12. #12
    Hi Will,

    Thanks for the advice. I've used JPEG Optimizer to compress the files so hopefully I have successfully attached direct from my computer. If so I'll be well pleased to say goodbye to Photobucket.

    Name:  7th comp insig.jpg
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  13. #13
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    John great to see you no longer rely on photo sites as most did previously including myself. I'm sure all my older posts using Photobucket have lost their photos.

    I agree the grip wire likely wrapped for the whole length of the grip. I find no hole to secure ends of the wire midway in the grip. The grip groove angles under the ferrel at the guard where the wire would have been secured.

    F.W. Bevile is still as mysterious as these sword types. Others and myself have come up empty.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Bevan View Post
    Super sword Will, but your man's a mystery, found a few Beville's in Hart's 1910/11, but not that spelling, and struggling to see FWB on the blade pics posted elsewhere. Perhaps FW was not the officer concerned but a rich sponsor or relative, given that there is no specific regiment given under his name on the register.....good luck!
    Maybe it's futile to put too much emphasis on spelling? Perhaps the clerk just made a mistake when doing the entry in the ledger?

  15. #15
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    I've tried different spellings of the surname but no luck. I've guessed at and googled given names too. Possibly later rather than sooner the mystery may be solved.
    You would think there would be a computer program that could run the possibilities?

  16. #16
    Hi John,

    Just looking at these images, and the hilt you illustrate, it appears to be a cavalry scroll guard with the crown etc., worked into the top of the guard. Any chance of seeing an image of the guard looking straight along the blade at the front of the basket?

    Would also be grateful to know, what the finish on that hilt, what length is the blade, and who sold the sword?

  17. #17
    Major Francis Granville Beville was related to Dr. F.W. Beville, if that means anything.

  18. #18
    Hi Will

    Just wondered whether you might have tried the Sandhurst Archive with regard to Bevile. I've had two swords now which were purchased by cadets who assumed they were about to join a particular regiment only to find they were finally commissioned into a different one. For example, H A Lafone puchases a 5th Dragoon Guards sword but finds himself commissioned as Lieutenant in the 3rd Dragoon Guards. Might Bevile have gone through Sandhurst, bought his sword but never been commissioned? After all, I seem to remember often changing my mind at an early age! I think you can find the archive by googling archive.sandhurstcollection.

    Gordon

    The blade length is 38in, quite a sword for a little fellow. Possibly a cavalry version of the 1892/1895 Infantry Officer's sword. The finish? Well that's quite a lengthy story.
    Basically it was found in a garden shed it a very decayed condition, having remained there for about 50 years. The previous owner rescued it in 2014. Professional advice was that if it was to be preserved for the future then a major refurb was required. This was done preserving as much as possible (blade, guard, fishskin) and using the original Wilkinson patterns which were still in existence. It is possible (likely) that the sword is the earliest example of this 'pattern' and may have significance in the later development of the 1908 regulation pattern. The provenance, family history, military record and later involvement with the intelligence world are documented. Imbert-Terry's relationship with Douglas Haig (also 7th Hussars) is an interesting area of research.

    Hope this is of general interest, I'll post more photographs asap.

  19. #19
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    Thanks John I'll look into that. One thing that I find odd is the blade has no royal cypher or regimental designation.

  20. #20
    Hi John,

    Thanks for the information, and as you say quite a sword with a blade that length; when I first looked at the picture, the immediate impression I gained was that it looked like an 1892 pattern blade or similar.

    Am I correct if I assume that the frosted appearance of the decorative part of the guard is original, as are with the plain polished edges? or is this appearance the result of rust pitting?

    Second assumption is that your reference to 2nd Type Honeysuckle guard, is describing the 1821 Pattern undress, originally prescribed for Heavy Cavalry?

  21. #21
    No, there was no Bevile or Beville at Sandhurst at the time in question. As for F. G. Beville, he is listed as Francis Beville - 1885-6 - Cadet. If he's the one, then the sword might have been F. W. Beville's gift upon his receiving the CIE in 1908 (but I doubt it) or for some other reason. In any case, there was no commissioned or uncommissioned or reassigned Bevile or Beville in 1910 or thereabouts.
    However, Maj. Harry Gilbert Peyton Beville retired from the Indian Army in Nov. 1909. Was it customary to present a retired officer with a sword? If so, too late in this case for a retirement dinner.
    By the way, don't assume that a cavalry officer owned this sword. Many infantry officers preferred cavalry swords or hybrids combining elements from both infantry and cavalry.
    Last edited by L. Braden; 08-28-2017 at 12:37 PM.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the info it does rule out some things. Infantry? Of course there were mounted infantry and post Boer War possibly more so. The guard is the same pattern as the engineers, another possibility. Strange the name doesn't come up in 1910 and no cypher on the blade.
    Could it be for an officer from another country who visited Britain, a Frenchman or?

  23. #23
    Glad to help! Hope you can solve this mystery. Could be that FWB ordered it for someone unrelated, or could be any of the possibilities that you mentioned.

  24. #24
    Did European sword making companies ever make "frankenswords", maybe using a blade, guard, hilt from different types of swords to show a variety of options and/or assembly techniques?

    Did they ever use up leftover parts, say like use a previous model/pattern guard on a newer model blade?

    I've been lead to understand that in the post-CW era a customer could "mix n match" from catalogs based on what they wanted.

  25. #25
    Will - I don't what you might have discovered about FWB, but here's what I've found:
    In 1910, Frederick Wells Beville was a physician and surgeon in Bath.
    I checked all other spellings of the last name, and that's all there was. No "Bevile", etc. Still don't know if he ordered the sword for himself or someone else, if he's the FWB on the Wilkinson form.
    Good luck, and best regards!

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