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 iSandlwana battlefield sword

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John Young

John Young

Posts : 2175
Join date : 2013-09-08
Age : 64
Location : Lower Sheering, Essex

iSandlwana battlefield sword Empty
PostSubject: iSandlwana battlefield sword   iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyMon Jan 04, 2021 10:52 am

Rather than have this lost in another topic, the following photographs are of the sword mentioned by J. C. van Rooyen as been found on the battlefield of iSandlwana, and handed down through John’s family.

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The sword was manufactured in Birmingham by Robert Mole & Sons, who had a Government contract for producing swords, bayonets and lance-points.

I make no claim to being an expert or a collector of swords, so here is John’s inherited sword for the forum’s input.

John states the sword, belt and slings are as found.  Given that I wonder if it might be a non-commissioned officer’s sword, as opposed to an officer’s sword.  Just my thoughts.

JY
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7660
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 73
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana battlefield sword   iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyMon Jan 04, 2021 11:45 am

Could very easily be the 1861 pattern Staff sergeants. What is the blade length JayCee ?
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John Young

John Young

Posts : 2175
Join date : 2013-09-08
Age : 64
Location : Lower Sheering, Essex

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana battlefield sword   iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyMon Jan 04, 2021 12:24 pm

Frank,

I’m happy to be corrected here, but I thought the 1861 Pattern Staff-Serjeant’s Sword was a cyphered Infantry Pattern sword. John’s sword appears to me to be of a Light Cavalry design.

As you state on the other topic, Robert Wilkinson-Latham be of great help in identifying the sword, especially as he authored a work on Robert Mole & Sons swords.

JY
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90th

90th

Posts : 10172
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 64
Location : Melbourne, Australia

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PostSubject: Isandlwana battlefield Sword    iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyMon Jan 04, 2021 1:23 pm

Outstanding pics , Thanks to those responsible for sharing them , excellent work those men .
90th Salute
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Frank Allewell

Frank Allewell

Posts : 7660
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 73
Location : Cape Town South Africa

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana battlefield sword   iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyMon Jan 04, 2021 1:36 pm

I chatted to Robert a number of years ago, very knowledgable man.
swordforum.com
Well worth a visit
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SRB1965

SRB1965

Posts : 869
Join date : 2017-05-13
Age : 55
Location : Uttoxeter - the last place God made and he couldn't be bothered to finish it.....

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana battlefield sword   iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyMon Jan 04, 2021 5:51 pm

Is that the original belt and sling that was found with the sword?

If so, would the colour of the leather be a clue - would some units have had pipe clayed slings?

ta

Simon
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timothylrose



Posts : 81
Join date : 2013-09-07

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana battlefield sword   iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyMon Jan 04, 2021 6:35 pm

The belt looks like it has been made up from parts of a Sam Brown belt added to a cavalry pattern set of fittings - I would have expected Regulars to be using buff leather belts but happy to be proved wrong
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barry

barry

Posts : 928
Join date : 2011-10-21
Location : Algoa Bay

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PostSubject: The sword   iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyMon Jan 04, 2021 7:46 pm

Hi All,

Some observations;
1) The leatherwork attached to the sword looks very much as if it was a DIY modification involving, inter alia,  a piece of Sam Brown etc.
2) I would further speculate that it could have been used by a Boer officer at a later time.
3) post the AZW some of the regiments garrisoned in Pietermaritzburg were not too good at securing their peacetime armouries in the city. As a consequence there were  shocked reactions when some were found emptied and many of the missing weapons were recovered  between the wars over the southern border, in Pondoland and some in Zululand too.
4)We should not discount, because of its pattern, that the sword in question was not used by an officer in one of the Colonial units in the AZW. Many of these units tended to equip with what they could lay their hands on, at good prices.
Early pictures  of NMP officers show a similar sword in use by this unit.
So, given the multiplicity of possible sources for this weapon, attempts to identify a rightful owner may be an exercise in futility.

regards

barry
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nitro450

nitro450

Posts : 151
Join date : 2015-01-21
Age : 75
Location : Sydney, Australia

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana battlefield sword   iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyToday at 1:00 am

A really great piece of history, wonderful to see. Thanks for posting.
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markbergin



Posts : 1
Join date : 2017-07-20

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana battlefield sword   iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyToday at 1:20 am

I agree with Nitro450, wonderful photos.

Does the story or history of how and when this sword was found exist on this site?

Thank you all for your contributions.
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ausbryant



Posts : 8
Join date : 2016-03-06

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PostSubject: Similar Sword to this one, and Henry Greenwood (Service # 1733)    iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyToday at 5:10 am

As a kid, my father had posession of a very similar sword to this one, but in very good condition with almost no rust.
But that one was in a leather scabbard, and there was no evidence of a belt of any kind as far as I can recall 50 years later.
As was only too common practice in the 'sixties, he diposed of it and a lot of other stuff when his mother died in 1968.
I suspect it was a souvenir brought back to the UK by my GreatGrandFather Henry Greenwood (Service No. 1733) who was in the 2nd Btn. 24th Regt. of Foot (South Wales Borderers).
Henry went on to serve in India and Burma before returning to the UK in 1890, by which time he'd married my GGMother in Madras in 1885 and they'd produced three children all of whom presumably accompamied Henry's Btn. through all of it.
I'd really appreciate any information that might relate to Henry's service, as I didn't even know he existed until recent years, thanks to online genealogy resources.
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Kenny



Posts : 418
Join date : 2013-05-07
Location : Brecon

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PostSubject: Re: iSandlwana battlefield sword   iSandlwana battlefield sword EmptyToday at 8:15 am

Henry Greenwood arrived in South Africa in June 1879. He may have been involved in the burial of the dead when the soldiers from 2/24th were involved in June/July 1879 and in August 1879.
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