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Thread: British Pattern 1895 Infantry Officer Sword

  1. #1
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    British Pattern 1895 Infantry Officer Sword

    Hi all, procrastinating today with work stuff so thought I'd share an interesting project sword I've had for a few years. I bought this sword as a space filler for a 1895 Pattern Infantry Officers Sword that I need for my collection. This pattern has the VR on the hilt and the sharp edge. Shortly after introduction the sharp edge was turned down to protect the officer's uniform and Victoria passed away and subsequent pattern have Edward, George and Elizabeth Royal Cyphers on the hilts and blades. I will not brag about the price, suffice to say I almost stole the sword from the dealer. It was heavily discounted due to the corrosion inside the hilt. I can only assume every other collector at the show did not take the sword out of its scabbard. I did and was amazed at the wonderful blade. I rationalize the acquisition based on the sum of its parts and the need for a space filler until a better one came along or I was able to find a doner sword wit a better hilt.

    To my mind the sword has been refurbished,the hilt replated, the grip new. The brass scabbard I think is for field officers. Assuming everything belongs, the sword would date to 1890. It could be that the sword is a composite as well. Either way, more and more I like it. The blade is wonderful. It's made by E. THURKLE, SOHO LONDON. The proof slug is PROVED T. The blade has a Crown SHROPSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY VOL BATT. THE KINGS and is personalized with a horses head and the initials LNW (I think) below it. My question to the Forum is do I have the initials correct and any thoughts on whom this sword may have belonged to?

    Regards,

    Greg
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    Last edited by Greg Nehring; 12-31-2019 at 05:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    Here's a picture of the inside of the hilt.

    Greg
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    Last edited by Greg Nehring; 12-31-2019 at 05:06 PM. Reason: additional info

  3. #3
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    I am 80% sure the first letter is a "S" and I agree that it ends on "W".

    The middle letter could be an "N" but it's certainly not very clear is it!

    P. S. There are no officers in Hart's Army lists for 1895/6/7 with the initials SNW with Kings Shropshire light infantry. He could be a short serving officer.

    P. P. S. Checked in 1894 also on the basis it could be a re-hilted blade but no luck.
    Last edited by james.elstob; 01-01-2020 at 02:27 AM.

  4. #4
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    I actually think it might be SWW

  5. #5
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    The blade is the 1892p so it would date between 1895-1897. The scabbard is incorrect for this pattern, field officers no longer used brass scabbards and it appears longer than what the blade length would suggest. Ref: Robsons revised edition pg. 165 bottom of page.
    Can you post a photo of the initials in high resolution, I'm getting pixelation when zooming in. It may be possibly 4 initials? I see the two "W" but think it may be just one W.
    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 01-01-2020 at 09:30 AM.

  6. #6
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    Yes, if the blade has been re-hilted, we can't assume that the original owner was still using the sword in 1895. It could feasibly have been passed on to another officer so despite it being an 1895 hilt SWW could have came and gone by 1895 or perhaps even not have taken up his commission.

    A search of London gazetted suggests no officers of those initials of the K. S. L. I. Gazetted between 1892 and 1897

  7. #7
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    I doubt it was re hilted but more on the lines of refurbished. The blade is 1892 or later and most likely 1895/96 and a short window for commission. A future relation could have refurbished it for use or display. The 1895p hilt would not have been replaced for the 1897p hilt since they are so alike and I have a few examples of 1895p hilts where the officer served well past 1895.

  8. #8
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    The first initial looks like an S but could be T or F. A high resolution photo you can then remove the cracking appearance and small swirls that do not form the letters.
    Then you can print off and colour in the letters and hopefully identify the initials. Can't be too many officers commissioned in 1895/96

    Forgot to mention, PM sent

  9. #9
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    Happy New Year everyone! I want to thank you James and Will for attempting to decode my sword, you are both AWESOME! Apologies for the iffy photos, I've attached a better lit pic of the initials on the blade. To me it appears like LWW or maybe SWW? I'm not sure if this is a help but I hope it is.

    The sword comes easily apart so more and more I suspect a composite piece.

    Greg
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  10. #10
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    LTVW working on a photo of the initials to clarify.

  11. #11
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    cleaned up and minor squiggles removed, couldn't find any whiteout. Now looks more like a ? WW. Letters appear to be growing ferns.
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    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 01-01-2020 at 05:49 PM.

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