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Artillery (Historical) Equipment Question

NavyShooter

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Goodday all,

I recently (well, 2 hours ago) purchased a sword.

From the research I've been able to conduct (prior to and now after the purchase) it is a:

"British Royal Artillery EM short sword. Brass pommel/backstrap, reverse "D" knuckle-bow, crossguard and langets. Ribbed wood grip missing wire wrapping. 1 3/8" wide, 25" long graying blade. Spine is maker marked "Hebbert and Hume", manufactured between 1814 and 1829."

Does anyone in the Artillery world know when troops stopped carrying these swords?  Are they still used ceremonially?

Forgive my lack of knowledge on this matter, I'm more of a gun guy than a sword guy, but when I saw the sword, it looked vaguely like a Royal Navy Cutlass, and being a sailor, I figured I'd grab it.

Any insight is welcome.

NS
 

Blackadder1916

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Does anyone in the Artillery world know when troops stopped carrying these swords?  Are they still used ceremonially?

It doesn't refer to the specific sword that you have but the following mentions use of short swords by the RCA.  It may be similar in the RA.  Current use of short swords (in Commonwealth militaries) are probably limited to bands.  I have seen mention (though can't find links right now) that at one time (before/circa turn of last century - 1800s/1900s) stretcher bearers/medical orderlies carried short swords or sword-bayonets.  However, since bandsmen were traditionally used as stretcher bearers, it may have not been an exclusive practice.

The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery - Standing Orders - Chapter 8 Dress
808. RCA Band Accoutrements

1. Bandsmen were traditionally armed with a short sword. Artillery bands so desiring may wear the Sword and Scabbard, Drummers Mark II, 1902 pattern. The sword has a brass hilt, a 13.1 inch blade with a total length of 18.4 inches. The Royal Cypher is incorporated into the hilt. The scabbard is brass mounted black leather. Approved alternates to the formal band sword are either the 1907 pattern bayonet for the Long Lee Enfield suitably chromed or the Snider-Enfield sword bayonet.

2. Additional band accoutrements may include capes, music pouches and a drum major’s sash. Details are available from the Director of Artillery or the Regimental Major.
 

NavyShooter

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Thanks Blackadder,

Not the same from the description.

I've got an acquaintance (curator type) at the Maritime Command Museum, I figure I'll bring it in to him to have a peek at.  He's got an artillery background, he worked at the Shilo Artillery museum.

NS
 

Old Sweat

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It's not specific to your query, but in the nineteenth century, and indeed up to the end of the Great War, gunners were not issued rifles or carbines. At the time of the Boer War, for example, the drivers of the horse teams were issued revolvers as were gun detachment commanders. Each gun had two carbines which were used for sentry duty, but otherwise the troops were supposed to carry a sword bayonet. Local defence of the guns was an infantry responsibility which is why you often come across references to escorts to the guns.
 

Kirkhill

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NavyShooter:

Check out this link.

Anything look familiar?

It describes a Hebbert & Hume sword with a 25" blade as a gunner's sword (enlisted man and possibly Royal Marine Artillery)
 

NavyShooter

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Kirkhill!

That's exactly what I have in front of me! 

I had to do a double-take on it and look carefully at the wood to see if it was the same nicks....it's not.

That'd be neat to find the provenance of the sword on my desk on the internet!  Alas, not to be.

That said, this one here is a perfect match.

Wow!

THANKS!!!

NS
 

Kirkhill

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Cheers -  the googlefu was with me tonight.

Looks like a really neat piece of kit - almost as good as a tomahawk  ;D
 

Blackadder1916

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I recently (well, 2 hours ago) purchased a sword.

In person or was it via the internet? (The description is exceedingly similar.)
http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6467151
 

NavyShooter

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Blackadder,

That description was the best my google-fu could come up with.

I dropped into the Citadel Hill museum here in Halifax yesterday (missed the curator) and also to the RA Park Library to see if there was anything they could help me dig up.  Fantastic people at RA Park!

Probably going to head back to Citadel Hill later in the week.

NS
 
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