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Thread: Pattern 1821/45 Light Cavalry Officers Sabre RASC GV1R

  1. #1

    Pattern 1821/45 Light Cavalry Officers Sabre RASC GV1R

    Hi Members, I had such a great response to my first post a couple of days back (P.1822/45 Picquet weight) I thought I may be so bold as to ask a little advice on another of my swords. I'm aware the above is a common sword and mine is a late 1930's - WW2 example so no big deal. It is however in superb condition with all the hilt nickel plating and crisp blade etching. Rather than the more common Artillery officers sword this is corps marks to the Army Service Corps with their insignia etched on the blade and a fully chequered pommel. It has the usual GV1R cipher,decorative etchings and on one side of the ricasso, interlocking triangles with a brass proof slug featuring a crown. The back of the blade 6 inches down from the hilt is well marked "Made in England".

    My questions are -
    As my research tells me Wilkinson were the only sword manufacturer left in GB post 1922 can I assume it was made by them? I have also read not many British swords made during WW2 were marked with the makers name, economics perhaps?
    It comes complete with the normal period Sam Browne leather field scabbard and frog however these are black with the mouthpiece of the scabbard nickel plated to match the hilt rather unplated brass as found on a normal brown scabbard. All other RASC examples I have researched are shown with brown scabbard and frog. Any ideas why black?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Robin,
    This is outside of my collecting timeframe, but I found an online 1934 Dress Regulations for the Army (only a few years prior to the start of GRVI). https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.206295
    It states that the brown Sam Brown equipment is to be used for all branches of the service. Maybe the black frog and scabbard is due to dress regulation changes or maybe a more modern replacement. Hopefully someone with more collecting experience in 20th century swords can supply a better answer
    Last edited by MikeShowers; 04-02-2018 at 03:57 PM.

  3. #3
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    Robin, the black scabbard would have been carried by an officer of a British Rifle Regiment (the Cameronians, KRRC, the Rifle Brigade, and Royal Ulster Rifles were among the regular army units earlier in the century). In practice, however, it seems that the distinction was largely ignored . . . at least during WWI, when function beat form. Also, a back sword knot would have been correct for rifle regiments.

    Check your PMs.
    Last edited by Mark Cain; 04-03-2018 at 10:02 AM.

  4. #4
    Firmin was also making swords post-1922, and still is; and after Wilkinson stopped making them in 2005, Firmin began sponsoring the Wilkinson (now Firmin) Sword of Peace award. So who claimed that W. was the only post-1922 swordmaker in Britain?

  5. #5
    Thanks Mark,
    I was aware that some Rifle Regiments carried black scabbards but was not sure which ones. However it's still a mystery for as mentioned in my post my sword has the Army Service Corps insignia etched on the blade and the fully chequered pommel (unique?) to that Corps. So it is a ASC (RASC?) sword but did that Corps use a black scabbard with a nickel plated mouthpiece? Any ideas anyone?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Ross View Post
    Thanks Mark,
    I was aware that some Rifle Regiments carried black scabbards but was not sure which ones. However it's still a mystery for as mentioned in my post my sword has the Army Service Corps insignia etched on the blade and the fully chequered pommel (unique?) to that Corps. So it is a ASC (RASC?) sword but did that Corps use a black scabbard with a nickel plated mouthpiece? Any ideas anyone?
    Page 135 in the service dress regs for which Mike provided a link states the ASC wore a "brown leather scabbard and sword knot," so your black scabbard was merely a replacement accepted by a previous owner who didn't know/care about what was correct for the arm of service. It's not uncommon to find Rifles swords with brown scabbards and vice versa. Just a matter of what is available and fits the blade.
    Last edited by Mark Cain; 04-04-2018 at 08:17 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Hi Robin,

    Puzzling that your sword has a GVIR cypher but just "Army Service Corps" on the blade, and not "Royal Army Service Corps", as the "Royal" prefix was added in late 1918. I have a George V RASC sword by Flights (who were supplied by Wilkinson), and that has the "Royal" prefix as expected. Otherwise I'd have said this was possibly a WW1 sword pressed into service by a family member for use in a Rifle regiment at a later date. Any pictures?

    John
    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

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