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Boer War & WW1 British / Australian Pattern 1882 Cavalry Sword – WA Marked

Boer War & WW1 British / Australian Pattern 1882 Cavalry Sword – WA Marked

$1,275.00
Product code: 42

Availability: SOLD

Quick Overview:

AN ORIGINAL MAHDIST (SUDAN) AND BOER WAR ERA BRITISH CAVALRY, PATTERN 1882, LONG, MARK I TROOPERS SWORD AND PATTERN 1885 MARK I SCABBARD MANUFACTURED IN BIRMINGHAM BY ROBERT MOLE & SONS IN JUNE 1884 AND CORRECTLY MARKED WITH BRITISH ARMY ACCEPTANCE MARKS AND UNIT MARKS OF THE MIDDLESEX (DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE'S) YEOMANRY CAVALRY.  THE SWORD IS ALSO MARKED WITH A WEST AUSTRALIAN OWNERSHIP MARK INDICATING THAT IT WAS EMPLOYED BY WEST AUSTRALIAN STATE FORCES AFTER MARCH 1890.  An original Mahdist (Sudan) and Boer War era British Cavalry, Pattern 1882, Long, Mark I Sword and Pattern 1885, Mark I Scabbard manufactured under contract by Robert Mole & Sons of Birmingham in 1884 and correctly marked with British Army acceptance marks, unit marks from the Middlesex (Duke of Cambridge's) Yeomanry Cavalry and a West Australian (W.A.) State ownership stamp.

Details

British Cavalry, Pattern 1882, Long, Mark I - West Australian Ownership Mark & Middlesex Yeomanry Unit Mark

AN ORIGINAL MAHDIST (SUDAN) AND BOER WAR ERA BRITISH CAVALRY, PATTERN 1882, LONG, MARK I TROOPERS SWORD AND PATTERN 1885 MARK I SCABBARD MANUFACTURED IN BIRMINGHAM BY ROBERT MOLE & SONS IN JUNE 1884 AND CORRECTLY MARKED WITH BRITISH ARMY ACCEPTANCE MARKS AND UNIT MARKS OF THE MIDDLESEX (DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE'S) YEOMANRY CAVALRY.  THE SWORD IS ALSO MARKED WITH A WEST AUSTRALIAN OWNERSHIP MARK INDICATING THAT IT WAS EMPLOYED BY WEST AUSTRALIAN STATE FORCES AFTER MARCH 1890.  An original Mahdist (Sudan) and Boer War era British Cavalry, Pattern 1882, Long, Mark I Sword and Pattern 1885, Mark I Scabbard manufactured under contract by Robert Mole & Sons of Birmingham in 1884 and correctly marked with British Army acceptance marks, unit marks from the Middlesex (Duke of Cambridge's) Yeomanry Cavalry and a West Australian (W.A.) State ownership stamp.

The Sword, Cavalry, Pattern 1882 was the first of a series of three similar pattern swords the Patterns 1882, 1885 and 1890.  Following widespread dissatisfaction with the Pattern 1864 Cavalry Troopers Sword a new sword, in two variants (long and short) was introduced that were based on the Experimental Pattern 1880 and 1881 swords.  This new pattern sword was designated; 'Sword, Cavalry, Pattern 1882' and was introduced for all cavalry troopers, heavy as well as light.  It was quite similar in general appearance to its predecessor, although the blades were manufactured to lighter specifications to meet the deficiencies found with the 1864 pattern. The Pattern 1882, of which this sword is an example, had a relatively short life and in November 1885 it was replaced in British Army service with the new Pattern 1885.  The three swords shared a hilt/guard pattern and differed mainly with regard to length, quality and weight of blade with the Sword, Cavalry, Pattern 1882 being fitted with the lightest blade. The Pattern 1885 was itself replaced after five years with the Sword, Cavalry, Pattern 1890 although the older pattern weapons continued in service for many years afterwards and many equipped the Yeomanry and Colonial Cavalry and Mounted Infantry employed during the Boer War in South Africa.

This sword, which is a ‘Long’ variant Pattern 1882 is marked to a British imperial yeomanry cavalry regiment, the Middlesex (Duke of Cambridge's) Yeomanry Cavalry and the Colonial West Australian State Forces. In pre-Federation, Western Australia, it was the custom for the volunteer infantry at major centres to form, within themselves, small bodies of mounted infantry (MI). By 1900 records indicate that at least four such MI troops existed in WA, at Perth, Guildford, Geraldton and Bunbury. These units were brought together under a single command and took the title of the Western Australia Mounted Infantry (WAMI). During the Boer War, Western Australia despatched five contingents to South Africa bearing the name Western Australia Mounted Infantry (WAMI), although these contingents were not part of the part-time Western Australian mounted volunteer who also bore this same name. Attached to this listing for reference is a turn of the century photograph of the officers of the WAMI.

In 1903, the Commonwealth re-organised the whole framework of the Australian forces. Since there was no money for a standing army, the military was organised on a militia model. The West Australian mounted militia formation was called the 18th Australian Light Horse with the territorial title remaining as the Western Australia Mounted Infantry (WAMI).

For Western Australians in London who wanted to continue their mounted service, an exchange programme was commenced allying the WAMI with a British Territorial unit known as King Edward's Horse or The King's Overseas Dominions Regiment. This is an interesting coincidence with regard to this sword as the King's Overseas Dominions Regiment was closely associated with the Middlesex Yeomanry whose unit mark is stamped into the scabbard.

The basic characteristics of the sword were a continuation from the earlier Pattern 1864 and the two experimental patterns and were in fact reproduced in successive patterns until 1908. Like its predecessors, the blade of the Cavalry, Pattern 1882, Long, Mark I Sword was a compromise cut-and-thrust weapon. The guard was of sheet steel with rolled edges to increase its strength and had a pierced ‘Maltese Cross’ decoration, similar to that on the earlier Pattern 1864.  The two-piece grip of chequered leather was secured by 5 steel rivets and fitted with a triangular hand stop. The sword was initially with a fitted with a Scabbard, Sword, Cavalry, Pattern 1882with two fixing loops, an upper and lower, on the same sword.  This pattern was found to cause the upper sling to break.  As a consequence, most Pattern 1882 swords, including this example, were retro fitted with the later ‘Scabbard, Sword, Cavalry, Pattern 1885, Mark I’, which had 2 fixed loops, one on each side of the scabbard body, which prevented the sword from falling out if one of it slings was broken.

With regard to Australian service, this excellent Pattern 1882 Cavalry Troopers Sword is one of the types issued to the Australian Militia Cavalry and Mounted Infantry units that volunteered for service during the Boer War (1899-1902).  A similar although later Pattern 1885 used by the late Trooper William Watts, New South Wales Lancers, is held in the collection of the Australian war Memorial as exhibit REL/19637 and can be viewed online at:  http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/REL/19637   There is also a portrait of No. 334 Trooper John William Haydon of the Bungendore (NSW) Troop of the 1st Australian Horse prior to his departure for South Africa which shows him carrying a similar pattern cavalry sword.  That picture can be viewed online at: http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/P01578.002.

Unfortunately, for the British Army the introduction of the Pattern 1882 did not resolve the problems they were facing with regard to their swords. The truth of the matter was that, like most of its successors, the Pattern 1882 was intended for cut-and-thrust and suffered from the defects of all such compromise patterns.  No sooner was the new sword issued than complaints about it began.  Almost all regiments had expressed a preference for the longer variant as the shorter version was found to be unsatisfactory.  The 10th Hussars reported that in the Sudan they had been unable to reach their prostrate enemy with the 33 inch variant.   As a consequence work was begun to design a replacement.

This is an very good example of a British Army Cavalry, Pattern 1882, Long, Mark I Sword manufactured in Birmingham by Robert Mole & Sons as indicated by the stamp MOLE on the back edge of the blade with both Enfield and Birmingham inspectors marks. A steel sword with a slightly curved fullered blade in very good original condition. The obverse ricasso is stamped with a War Department WD Broad Arrow and the X blade bending mark.  Also visible are a Birmingham inspectors mark of a crown over BR over 26, an Enfield inspectors mark of a crown over E over 12 and the letters Y.C and D.L. The reverse ricasso is stamped with the date of manufacture 6/84 (June 1884)and a single Birmingham inspector mark of a crown over BR over 4.  The sword was re-tested in February 1889 (2/89) after which it was re-inspected again in March 1890, as shown by the 3/90 mark, which probably occurred prior to its transfer of ownership to West Australia (see pictures).  The guard is stamped with a now unreadable unit mark and date (4. 1886). The steel ‘Maltese Cross’ handguard and leather cross hatched grips are original and show a patina redolent of age and use, with very little shrinkage to the leather, a characteristic with this pattern of sword.  The steel Pattern 1885 Mark I Scabbard made in 1886 (/86) is in similarly good condition with the age and use patina often found on operationally used weapons on both faces.  The scabbard is unit marked and dated to the Middlesex (Duke of Cambridge's) Yeomanry Cavalry (Y MX) in April 1890 (4. 90) with the rack number of 37

Maker: Robert Mole & Sons
Overall Length: 1025.0 mm
Blade Length:  899.0 mm
Blade Width (at guard):  37.0 mm
Scabbard: Steel Pattern 1885 Mark I
Overall Length of Scabbard:  925.0 mm

From Australia, a British Cavalry, Pattern 1882, Long, Mark I Sword, in very good condition with West Australian State ownership marks and unit marked to a highly regarded Yeomanry Regiment, which had a strong Imperial connection.  A first class example of a scarce pattern sword, it’s a beaut.

Additional Information

Weight (kg) 3.0000
Country of Origin Australian, British
Sword Type Calvary
Maker Mole
Year of Manufacture (circa) 1884
Overall Length (mm) 1025
Blade Length (mm) 899
Blade Width (at guard) (mm) 37
Scabbard Steel Pattern 1885 Mark I
Overall Length of Scabbard (mm) 925