Category: british army

British Sergeant’s Sword, c.1860 A Victorian …

British Sergeant’s Sword, c.1860

A Victorian sergeant’s sword, with quill-point, circa 1860. These are rarer than officer’s swords and this is a very clean example. No visible maker or regimental marks that I can see.

British Pattern 1857 Engineers Officer’s Sword…

British Pattern 1857 Engineers Officer’s Sword

A late-Victorian Royal Engineers (Militia) officer’s sword and scabbard, with the officer’s initials and crest identifying it to a DSO and Legion of Honour winner, who fought in the Second Anglo-Boer War and WW1. The hilt of 1857 Royal Engineers pattern, mounted on a fantastically etched 1845 pattern blade by top maker Pillin (marked to ricasso). The shagreen and wire grip is in excellent condition, although with a little bit of movement on the tang due to the loss of the leather washer. There is a significant amount of original gilding remaining to the hilt, particularly on the inside. The blade has some patina, but is in good condition and the etching is very deep and crisp. The edge is service sharpened, though not really sharp anymore. The scabbard has the usual service-related dents to the lower end. This sword belonged to John Harvey Prior, of the Militia Engineers (Falmouth Division). Prior was born on 14 December 1871 and commissioned into the Militia Engineers in 1893, when this sword must date to. He served in the South African War from 1899 to 1901, being employed as Station Staff Officer from 10 February 1901, and was present in operations in Orange River Colony, May to 29 November 1900; operations in Cape Colony, south of Orange River, 1899 to 1900, including the actions at Colesberg 1 January to 12 February 1900; operations in the Transvaal, May 1901; operations in Orange River Colony 30 November 1900 to May 1901. For his services he was mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 10 September 1901]; was awarded the Queen’s Medal with four clasps, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) [London Gazette, 27 September 1901]: “John Harvey Prior, Lieutenant, Plymouth Division, Royal Engineers, Submarine Miners (Militia). In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa”. The Insignia were presented by the King. As a Major (Temporary Lieutenant Colonel) J H Prior went on to serve in WW1. He was again mentioned in Despatches, and was awarded a Bar to the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) [London Gazette, 16 September 1918]; “John Harvey Prior, DSO, Royal Engineers, Special Reserve. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in action, when he volunteered to attach himself and his company to a battalion which was threatened by an outflanking movement. By his personal courage and excellent handling of his company he was successful in holding the enemy and in assisting the battalion to withdraw at a very critical moment”.

British Pattern 1827 Rifle Officer’s Sword for…

British Pattern 1827 Rifle Officer’s Sword for a Canadian Officer, c.WWI

This Rifles sword was made in the reign of George V, and most possibly was used in the First World War. It was sold by R.J. Inglis, who had shops at the time in Montreal and Winnipeg.

With a Pattern 1892 blade.

victoriansword: Regimental Pattern Cavalry Of…


Regimental Pattern Cavalry Officer’s Sword of the 4th Queen’s Own Light Dragoons (Hussars)

89.5cm blade double edged towards the point by Henry Wilkinson Pall Mall London, etched with scrolling foliage, a crown over regimental title of the Queen’s Own IV Hussars and eight battle honours to Ghuznee and a futher four Crimea honours, regimental pattern pierced honeysuckle hilt without back-piece, the guard incorporating a crown over Q.O.L.D. IV, foliate engraved pommel cap, wire bound fish skin covered grip, in its steel scabbard with two suspension rings.

This sword by Wilkinson being without a number would date from prior to 1855. It would appear that the regimental title on the blade has been altered from Light Dragoons to Hussars and the four Crimean battle honours have been added after 1861 when the regimental title was changed.

Royal Engineers Militia Sword: Researching a…

Royal Engineers Militia Sword: Researching a British Army Hero

British Pattern 1890 Cavalry Trooper’s Sword f…

British Pattern 1890 Cavalry Trooper’s Sword for the Princess Louise Dragoon Guards (Canada)

This sabre was used by a trooper of the Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, a regiment based in Ottawa and created in 1872. The regiment contributed volunteers to the Boer War and the First World War.

This sabre was made in 1898 by Mole. It appears to be marked to the 5th Dragoon Guards, a regiment created in 1903, which would indicate that the regiment did not adopt the 1899 sabre. It is in near pristine shape, with only a few discolourations and minimal wear to the leather grip. The sword knot, which rarely survives, is in great shape.

British Pattern 1788 Light Cavalry Officer’s S…

British Pattern 1788 Light Cavalry Officer’s Sword

British Pattern 1822 Infantry Officer’s Sword …

British Pattern 1822 Infantry Officer’s Sword

Fine antique British infantry officer’s sword made circa 1825 and in quite good condition. It is a model 1822 sword with the hilt decorated with an embossed coat of arms, corresponding to the king George IV. This English king ruled the country from 1820 to 1830. The sword comes with its scabbard: it is in good condition though the brass tip is missing. The sword’s hilt is a gorgeous piece made of golden metal and with a fine wavy design with curved branches. One of the cross’s sides is foldable. The grip preserves the original leather covering and the twisted wire that holds it in its place. The steel blade is well preserved and boasts a fine patina created by the trace of time. The scabbard is made of black leather and has brass locker and central piece, both decorated with fine hand-engraved geometrical motifs. The central piece still preserves the ring designed to tie the sword’s leather strap.

Measurements: Total Length: 37.8 in / 96 cm. Blade Length: 31.8 in / 81 cm.

armthearmour:The beautiful blue and gilt Sabre…


The beautiful blue and gilt Sabre of Sir Archibald Campbell, England, ca. 1731-1791, housed at the National Museum of Scotland.

There is a possibility they have this attributed to the wrong Sir Archibald Campbell. Sir Archibald Campbell (1731-1791) died 12 years before this became this pattern became the regulation sabre for flank, light infantry, and rifles officers (Pattern 1803 Infantry Officer’s Sword). Although the P1803 style hilt did exist before it was made regulation, I have never seen one dating to the early 1790s. It is possible that if this sword did belong to Sir Archibald Campbell (1731-91) that the blade was re-hilted and used by another member of his family.

If the museum’s attribution is indeed incorrect, then this may be the sword of Lt.-Gen. Sir Archibald Campbell (1769-1843), who served in the correct time frame for this to have been his sword.

Campbell entered the army aged 18, in 1787 as an ensign. The next year he and his regiment, the 77th Regiment of Foot, left for India, where he took part in the campaign against Tipu Sultan in 1790. In 1791 he was promoted to Lieutenant. He served in the Mysorecampaign and the first siege of Seringapatam.

In 1795 his regiment was ordered to reduce the Dutch garrison of Cochin on the coast of Malabar. In 1799 he took part of the reduction of the island of Ceylon.

Later in 1799 he purchased the rank of captain in the 67th but exchanged into the 88th so that he could continue with his foreign service. However, he was required by ill-health to return home in 1801. He was appointed major in the 6th battalion of reserve, stationed in Guernsey.

He moved in 1805 to the 1st battalion which was leaving for Portugal. He fought in the battles of Rolica, Vimeiro and Corunna. In 1809 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and assisted General Beresford in organising the Portuguese army. In that capacity he was made full colonel and then brigadier. He was present through most of the fighting in the Peninsula.

In 1813 Campbell was appointed to the rank of major-general in the Portuguese army. In 1816 he was given command of the Lisbon division. He returned to the service of Britain in 1820, after a revolution in Portugal. Campbell was appointed colonel of the 38th Regiment of Foot (in which post he was succeeded by Field Marshal Sir John Forster FitzGerald, GCB) and went to India with it. For his Peninsula service, Campbell was awarded the Army Gold Cross with one clasp for the battles of Albuera, Vitoria, the Pyrenees, the Nivelle, and the Nive.


British Pattern 1796 Infantry Officer’s Sword …

British Pattern 1796 Infantry Officer’s Sword

A rare variant of the Napoleonic era British infantry officer’s spadroon (1796 pattern), featuring a double-edged blade with part flattened-diamond and part hexagonal section blade. The blade engraved with the royal coat of arms and motto, as well as the pledge “For My Country and King” to both sides. Hilt of regulation form, but high quality manufacture, with gilt brass guard and pommel (much gilt remaining) and a silver wire-bound grip which has a flattened front and back, better suited to swordsmanship than the normal oval-section grips.