British 1897 Victorian Boer War Sergeants Sword. Worcestershire Regiment

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This rare Victorian Sergeant’s sword bears the unit marks of the 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. The regiment saw regular, fierce action during the Boer War (1899-1902). One notable engagement was the heavy fighting at Slingersfontein on the 12th February 1900. The hill the 2nd Battalion defended was later renamed Worcester Hill, with a memorial to the 2nd Battalion placed upon the summit.
This sword would have been there.
The 816mm single edged blade has a flat spine and short central fuller on both sides. The blade is double-edged for the last 120mm and terminates in a spear point. The blade has been armoury sharpened and retains a sharp fighting edge. Infantry sergeants did not carry a rifle, the sword being their primary weapon, having replaced the halberd or spontoon after 1830. This is only the second 1897 pattern sword with a cutting edge that I have come across, the blade being primarily designed for thrusting. The blade is etched with Queen Victoria’s crowned royal cipher bordered by foliate scrollwork. The ricasso bears a brass proof stud marked with “.S.” below the word “Proved” and a central dot.
The blade is in good, used condition, with scratches and small areas of dark tarnish. The steel is bright and free of rust, with a pale age patina. The blade is firm in the hilt.
The 1897 pattern steel bowl guard bears the royal cypher of Queen Victoria encompassed by a pierced foliate design. The crosshatched steel back strap has an oval pommel and rounded tang nut. The fish skin grip is in good condition as is the twisted wire binding. The inner lip of the guard bears the unit markings “2. 24. WR” for the 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. Weapon number 24. This information should be enough to identify the sergeant who carried the sword.
The brown leather covered field scabbard with matching unit numbers is in good condition and remains strong with all the stitching intact. The scabbard has minor use related scuffs and marks. The sword sheaths and draws well and is held firmly in the scabbard. The top of the scabbard is also stamped with the Government ownership mark.
This is a fine and rare example of a Victorian Sergeants’ fighting sword used during the Boer War.


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