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Thread: British Cavalry Sword crest and initials help please-

  1. #1
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    British Cavalry Sword crest and initials help please-

    Hello all! I just bought a good heavy cavalry officer's sword- Wilkinson #41178, with the octagonal proof, ER cypher. The crest is a hawk killing a snake, motto "IN ARDUA VIRTUS", which I believe is for Wolstenholme or one of the variant spellings. Initials are

    C. H. W.

    Do any of you kind folks have an army list that will give me a name and possible service history? He was probably a short service yeomanry man, but one never knows.

    Thank you all.
    Last edited by hc bright; 01-12-2018 at 03:17 PM.
    hc3

  2. #2
    Greetings!
    Unless ER stands for Elizabeth rather than Edward, and unless CHW is not a mistake for CMW, the only match that I can find is for Charles M. Wolstenholme, 2nd New South Wales Mounted Rifles, 1902.
    Cheers!

  3. #3
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    Wow! It's Edward, and definitely CHW. I never thought of Australia!

    Although re reading, is your list for an M middle initial? There's a trooper Charles M Wolstenholme on the 2 NSWMR roll for 1902, but I thnk that's not this man- officer's sword, and 1902 is a bit early for Edward cypher swords to be in Australia.

    Maybe he was promoted later? What rank does your list show?
    Last edited by hc bright; 01-13-2018 at 01:18 PM.
    hc3

  4. #4
    H and M were sometimes written in such a way that they looked alike or nearly so.
    No CHW appears in any of the online army lists of the Edwardian era, both printed and ms.
    The Australian War Memorial lists Charles M. Wolstenholme, #762, Trooper, 2nd NSWMR, Boer War,
    and Charles Matthew Wolstenholme, #273, Lance Corporal, 3rd NSW Imperial Bushmen, Boer War.
    Good luck to anyone else who can solve this mystery!
    P.S. What with the telegraph and steamships, 1902 would not have been "a bit early" for knowledge of Edward's accession in the previous year.
    Last edited by L. Braden; 01-14-2018 at 04:13 PM. Reason: correction and addition

  5. #5
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    It's pretty clear-

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    hc3

  6. #6
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    #41178 means your sword was made in 1906, and I can’t find another surname with that motto, other than the Wolstenholme variants as you’ve stated. Might be time to contact Richard Milner for a copy of the Wilkinson ledger entry, hopefully then all will be revealed! www.armsresearch.co.uk.

  7. #7
    Another surname with that motto is Leathes.
    Those initials aren't necessarily accurate, so we must see what Wilkinson has.
    According to Fairbairn and Burke, the crest is an EAGLE standing on a snake.

  8. #8
    P.S. According to the London Gazette and other periodicals of 1906, C. H. Wolstenholme was a manufacturer in Manchester, England, with relatives in Wales.

  9. #9
    If the manufacturer is the one, then this is another curious example of a civilian special-ordering a military sword for himself for whatever reason. Otherwise, who is CHW if it isn't CMW?

  10. #10
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    Mr. Bevan. I'd forgotten that avenue. I suppose I'll send off, this is a mystery! Although I'm betting the solution is prosaic. Still, the sword was cheap and the blade is like new, beautiful etching!
    hc3

  11. #11
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    Just found a possible candidate, Lt. Charles Hilton Woosnam 8th Hussars (another variant of Wolstenholme, same crest) b. 1889 d. 1910. London Gazette Feb. 22nd 1910 has him placed on temporary half pay due to illness, he clearly didn’t recover. He is also mentioned in this parish church website, www.newtownparishes.co.uk. Good luck with the ledger request, Ben.
    Last edited by Ben Bevan; 01-18-2018 at 11:09 AM.

  12. #12
    Great find, Ben! Congrats! Mystery solved (I hope)?

  13. #13
    P.S. Neither Burke nor Fairbairn nor Fox-Davies et al. assign a motto to the name Woosnam, so you can't rely on them to solve every mystery!

  14. #14
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    Thank you Mr. Bevan! I owe you a bottle of champagne next time next time I'm in Warwickshire! Died at 21, I suspect he hardly got to carry it. Which explains the like new condition.

    Here's his epitaph, which is normal, and his gravestone, which given this discussion may freak you out-

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    His younger brother, using a butter knife, beat Charlie Chaplin at table tennis. First he was on the western front (with Sassoon) and Gallipoli, captained the English soccer team against Wales, won Olympic gold medals and at Wimbledon, and while on the Davis cup team in California played the aforementioned match with Chaplin.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Woosnam
    Last edited by hc bright; 01-19-2018 at 04:49 PM.
    hc3

  15. #15
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    Great! Really pleased we found him, sword and all! Cheers, Ben.
    Last edited by Ben Bevan; 01-20-2018 at 02:03 AM.

  16. #16
    Ditto!

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