A Late Koto to Shinto Battle SwordHUGELY DISCOUNTED ORIGINAL SAMURAI SWORD AND SAVING AN AMAZING £2000, and thus sold at well below cost from our back catalogue. Act fast though our below cost discounted swords never last long!! Previously for sale from our back catalogue, and now reduced from £4,550 to an unbelievable £2,550, SAVING A MASSIVE £2000 [as this is well below cost, it is for a 'regular', immediate sale only, and not eligible for any part exchange or lay away]. As we simply have to let just a very few early stock items go this month, due to the arrival of another fine collection. Our shop is over stacked through the rafters and we simply have no room left. Our regulars know we only offer one-off sale items just a very few times a year, and usually as the result of the influx of another new collection, and it is always aimed at our regular customers who view our site every day or week. A Samurai sword from the era of the greatest battle in Samurai history. The Battle of Sekigahara, which transformed Japan for the next 280 years. On October 21, 1600 [or October 15 depending on which calendar one uses] 75,000 soldiers in Ieyasu's eastern army and 79,000 soldiers in Mitsunari's western army clashed at Sekigahara. Though the battle was the biggest and most decisive in feudal Japanese history, it lasted only six hours. The western forces initially had the advantage, but under a plot Ieyasu hatched before the battle, Kobayakawa Hideaki, a powerful western Japanese daimyo, defected to the eastern army and tipped the scales in favor of its victory. Ieyasu subsequently consolidated his position as the ruler of Japan and became shogun in 1603. He set up his government in Edo, now Tokyo, and inaugurated the Edo period, an era dominated by the Tokugawa line of shoguns lasting two and a half centuries. Mokko form Tsuba, dark red stone ground lacquer saya. Late Koto early Shinto Katana blade with Sugaha Hamon. Buffalo horn Kashira, Shibuishi relief bird and floral design Fushi Silver Dragon Minuki good signs of much activity in the hada. For those that are unused to the extraordinarily fine quality of Samurai sword blades, you will see from the photos of this blade, in our gallery, the amazing condition and tempering of this sword. Without doubt the ancient Japanese master swordsmiths produced steel of a quality that was unequaled by the rest of the world for almost a thousand years. The Blade length, Tsuba to tip, 26.75 inches The saya has lacquer cracking at the seam joint
Code: 18981Price: 2550.00 GBP
A Very Nice Ching Dynasty Chinese Jian With Tortoishell ScabbardCarved ribbed wooden grip. Some losses to tortoishell. Grip hilt mounts with seal marks. Overall 23.5 inches long. Brought back to England as a souvenir of the Opium Wars. They were also used into the Bower Rebellion period. The Taiping Rebellion was a widespread civil war in southern China from 1850 to 1864, led by heterodox Christian convert Hong Xiuquan, who having received visions, maintained that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ against the ruling Manchu-led Qing Dynasty. About 20 million people died, mainly civilians, in one of the deadliest military conflicts in history.
Hong established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, officially the "Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace", with its capital at Nanjing. The Kingdom's army controlled large parts of southern China, at its height containing about 30 million people. The rebels attempted social reforms believing in shared "property in common" and the replacement of Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion with a form of Christianity. The Taiping troops were nicknamed "Long Hair" by the Qing government. The Taiping areas were besieged by Qing forces throughout most of the rebellion. The Qing government crushed the rebellion with the eventual aid of French and British forces. The Opium Wars, also known as the Anglo-Chinese Wars, divided into the First Opium War from 1839 to 1842 and the Second Opium War from 1856 to 1860, were the climax of disputes over trade and diplomatic relations between China under the Qing Dynasty and the British Empire. After the inauguration of the Canton System in 1756, which restricted trade to one port and did not allow foreign entrance to China, the British East India Company faced a trade imbalance in favour of China and invested heavily in opium production to redress the balance. British and United States merchants brought opium from the British East India Company's factories in Patna and Benares, in the Indian state of Bengal, to the coast of China, where they sold it to Chinese smugglers who distributed the drug in defiance of Chinese laws. Aware both of the drain of silver and the growing numbers of addicts, the Dao Guang Emperor demanded action. Officials at the court who advocated legalization of the trade in order to tax it were defeated by those who advocated suppression. In 1838, the Emperor sent Lin Zexu to Guangzhou where he quickly arrested Chinese opium dealers and summarily demanded that foreign firms turn over their stocks. When they refused, Lin stopped trade altogether and placed the foreign residents under virtual siege, eventually forcing the merchants to surrender their opium to be destroyed. In response, the British government sent expeditionary forces from India which ravaged the Chinese coast and dictated the terms of settlement. The Treaty of Nanking not only opened the way for further opium trade, but ceded territory including Hong Kong, unilaterally fixed Chinese tariffs at a low rate, granted extraterritorial rights to foreigners in China which were not offered to Chinese abroad, a most favoured nation clause, as well as diplomatic representation. When the court still refused to accept foreign ambassadors and obstructed the trade clauses of the treaties, disputes over the treatment of British merchants in Chinese ports and on the seas led to the Second Opium War and the Treaty of Tientsin. Overall very good condition. The Boxer Rebellion, more properly called the Boxer Uprising, or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement was a violent anti-foreign, anti-Christian movement called the "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" in China, but known as the "Boxers" in English. The main 'Boxer' era occurred between 1898 and 1901. This fascinating era was fairly well described in the Hollywood movie classic ' 55 Days in Peking' Starring Charlton Heston and David Niven. The film gives a little background of Ching Dynasty's humiliating military defeats suffered during the Opium Wars, Sino-French War and Sino-Japanese war or the effect of the Taiping Rebellion in weakening the Ching [Qing] Dynasty. However, situations in which the various colonial powers exerted influence over China (a great source of outrage that drove many Chinese to violence) are alluded to in the scene in which Sir Arthur Robinson and Major Lewis visit the Empress after the assassination of the German minister.
* Dowager Empress - "….the Boxer bandits will be dealt with, but the anger of the Chinese people cannot be quieted so easily. The Germans have seized Kiaochow, the Russians have seized Port Arthur, the French have obtained concessions in Yunnan, Kwan See and Kwantang. In all, 13 of the 18 provinces of China are under foreign control. Foreign warships occupy our harbours, foreign armies occupy our forts, foreign merchants administer our banks, foreign gods disturb the spirit of our ancestors. Is it surprising that our people are aroused?"
* Sir Arthur Robinson - "Your Majesty if you permit me to observe, the violence of the Boxers will not redress the grievances of China"
* Dowager Empress - "China is a prostrate cow, the powers are not content milking her, but must also butcher her."
* Sir Arthur Robinson - "If China is a cow your majesty, she is indeed a marvellous animal. She gives meat as well as milk…."
Code: 18979Price: 495.00 GBP
A Good Original WW2 German MP38/MP40 Sub Machine Gun Magazine LoaderMade by Carl Ullrich & Co Metallwaren Oberschonau Bei Zella Mehlis, Dated 1940. With correct waffen amt markings. Part of a small collection just arrived. All original and all rare. The MP38 & MP40 (Maschinenpistole 38 or 40, literally "machine pistol 38 or 40") was a submachine gun developed in Germany and used extensively by paratroopers and platoon and squad leaders, and other troops during World War II. The MP38 and it's successor the MP40 had a relatively lower rate of fire and low recoil, which made it more manageable than other contemporary submachine guns. The MP38/40 was often called the Schmeisser by the Allies, after weapons designer Hugo Schmeisser. Although the name was evocative, Hugo Schmeisser himself did not design the MP40, but helped with the design of the MP41 which was effectively a MP40 with an old-fashioned wooden rifle stock. It is impossible to reconstruct how Schmeisser was honoured with this legend, but it must have been inspiring for the soldiers: the German slang-word "Schmeisser" describes someone who throws something inaccurately, but with high force. Schmeisser did produce the MP40 magazines and his name was engraved on them, which may explain the confusion.
Code: 18978Price: 145.00 GBP
A Very Good 1796 Light Dragoon Officers Battle Sword By Thomas GillPeninsular War and Waterloo period. Huge and beautifully executed etched makers name scroll to the obverse side, stating in huge lettering 'Thos Gill's Warranted' and the officer's monogram J.G in a cartouche to the reverse side. The blade is pristine with it's original bright polish. The hilt and scabbard are a traditional blackened russetted finish. With silver wire bound leather grip. Some 30 years ago in a conversation with Howard Blackmore [late of the Tower of London collection] he stated that many of these particular swords [that bore Thos Gills unique, large etched text declaration 'Thos Gill's Warranted' ] were purchased by officers of the 13th, in his experience, due to viewing so many indicating this over the decades. They were, as what might be called today, Gill's 'economy officer's pattern' a design of 1796 LD sabre that was unique to him, and had no expensive cyphers or deluxe engraved scrolling to the blade [that might have cost 30 shillings more] but were still very attractive, distinctive, and of Gill's highest standard of quality. Why so many were acquired by officers of the 13th one may never know, one could speculate that maybe he had a contact or relative within the regiment that promoted his wares to the officers accordingly. Thus our research that we have made so far reveals that this sabre was made very likely for one of only two officers in the regiment that possesed those intials at the time, either Lt. John Geale, or, Capt. John Gubbins, and both of these gallant officers of the 13th Light Dragoons, tragically fell at Waterloo. Captain Gubbins fell by cannon shot and had previously served under the Duke of Wellington in Portugal, Spain and France before his death on the battlefield of Waterloo. British light dragoons were first raised in the 18th century. Initially they formed part of a cavalry regiment performing scouting, reconnaissance and the like, but due to their successes in this role (and also in charging and harassing the enemy), they soon acquired a reputation for courage and skill. Whole regiments dedicated to this role were soon raised; the 15th Light Dragoons were the first, followed by the 18th Light Dragoons and the 19th Light Dragoons.
The 13th Light Dragoons were initially heavy dragoons known as Richard Munden’s Regiment of Dragoons. By 1751 the regiment title was simplified to the 13th Regiment of Dragoons and by 1783 they had been converted to the light role.
The 13th light Dragoons served around the world including in the Peninsular War, at Waterloo
The Peninsular War
At Campo Mayor on the Spanish-Portuguese border (25 March 1811) a clash occurred between British and Portuguese cavalry, under Robert Ballard Long, and a force of French infantry and cavalry under General Latour-Maubourg. This was to be one of the 13th Light Dragoons most famous and infamous actions. The 13th, two and a half squadrons strong, led by Colonel Michael Head, charged and routed a superior French cavalry force of no less than six squadrons. The 13th, with two Portuguese squadrons, then went on to pursue the French for seven miles to the outskirts of Badajoz. The report reaching Lord Wellington seems to have glossed over the epic quality of the charge and emphasised the overlong pursuit. After receiving Marshal Beresford's report, Wellington issued a particularly harsh reprimand to the 13th LD calling them "a rabble" and threatening to remove their horses from them and send the regiment to do duty at Lisbon. The officers of the regiment then wrote a collective letter to Wellington detailing the particulars of the action. Wellington is reported as saying that had he known the full facts he would never have issued the reprimand. The historian Sir John Fortescue wrote, "Of the performance of Thirteenth, who did not exceed two hundred men, in defeating twice or thrice their numbers single-handed, it is difficult to speak too highly."
On the 16 May 1811, the 13th Light Dragoons formed part of Beresford's Allied-Spanish Army at Albuera during the Peninsular War. The French army, commanded by Marshal Jean-de-Dieu Soult, Duc de Dalmatie, was attempting to relieve the French garrison of the border fortress of Badajoz. Only after bloody and fierce fighting, and the steadfastness of the British infantry, did the allies carry the day. The 13th Light Dragoons, who were unbrigaded, along with the 3rd Dragoon Guards and the 4th Dragoons under Brigadier George Grey, plus a brigade of Portuguese dragoons, formed the cavalry force commanded by, initially, Brigadier Robert Ballard Long, and later in the battle by Major General Sir William Lumley. The 13th numbered 403 in four squadrons equipped with Paget light cavalry carbine and 1796 pattern sabre.
On the 21 June 1813, the regiment saw action at the Battle of Vittoria; the last major battle against Napoleon's forces in Spain opening the way for the British forces to invade France. The Allied army under the command of Lieutenant General Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Wellington decisively defeated the French army under Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain and brother of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Along with the 10th Light Dragoons and 15th Light Dragoons, the 13th Light Dragoons formed the 2nd Brigade (part of the right centre column), commanded by Colonel Colquohon Grant.
Light dragoons before 1812 wore a dark blue, braided, dolman jacket and a leather Tarleton helmet with a bearskin crest. After the uniform changes of 1812, often not fully implemented until 1813, light dragoons wore dark blue jackets with short tails and a bell-topped shako. Wellington criticised the new uniform as being too similar to French uniforms and likely to cause mistakes in identification at a distance. Other battle honours of the 13th Light Dragoons during the Peninsular War include the Battle of Orthez and the Battle of Toulouse.
On 18 June 1815, the armies of Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington and Generalfeldmarschall Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher decisively defeated the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo.
In total ten troops of the regiment, consisting of 895 men and 775 horses were readied for service. The 13th commanded by Lt-Colonel Patrick Doherty (later replaced due to illness by Lt-Colonel Boyse who in turn, after being wounded in the battle, was replaced by Major B. Lawrence), along with 3rd King's German Hussars of the King's German Legion formed part of the 7th Cavalry Brigade under Colonel Sir F V Arentschildt. All cavalry was commanded by the Earl of Uxbridge.
On the 17 June the regiment was ordered to join the 5th Cavalry Brigade (consisting of the 7th Hussars and 15th Hussars) under Major-General Sir Colquhoun Grant. On the morning of the battle, 18 June, Grant moved to the right centre of the position occupied by the army, taking up its position in the rear of the Brigade of Guards commanded by Major-General Byng.
Initially the brigade saw little action, however, when the French pushed forward with two columns of cavalry and infantry to force the British position, the cavalry brigade received orders to charge. The enemy broke and were pursued until other French cavalry on the left flank were detected. The brigade then retired behind the infantry until Lord Uxbridge and Lord Hill ordered the 13th forward again; this time against a square of French infantry. The enemy were completely routed, and dispersed.
The late afternoon brought renewed French attacks with infantry and cavalry in a last effort to win the day. The brigade, along with Major-General Dornberg’s 3rd Cavalry Brigade on the left, attacked a heavy column of French infantry. An officer of the 13th wrote:
Our last and most brilliant charge, was at the moment that Lord Hill, perceiving the movement of the Prussian army, and finding the French Imperial Guard on the point of forcing a part of the British position, cried out, - "Drive them back, 13th!" such an order from such a man, could not be misconstrued, and it was punctually obeyed.
Although sustaining heavy fire, the attack was again successful and the enemy routed. In total the 13th Light Dragoons at Waterloo suffered 99 casualties with 113 horses lost. In our gallery we have highlighted Thomas Gill's 'Thos' within his name scroll on the blade as our photograph flared making it difficult to display. Very few of these superb LD sabres, especially named thus by Gill have survived, we have only had five or six in 40 plus years, but this is a truly exceptional one in our opinion.
Code: 18977Price: 1895.00 GBP
A Very Good Quality 19th Century Ships CutlassWith steel bowl, brass ribbed grip and single edged steel blade. The cutlass has been the sailor's weapon for many years in western navies before its demise in the mid 20th century. It is a fairly heavy naval sword with a single-edged blade of medium length which is generally given a very slight curve, but may often be straight.
The blade's weight is concentrated to provide a shattering blow delivered with the edge of the blade. There is little in the design to facilitate the use of the point, nor is it easy to parry another's blow. This is a sword designed for simplistic use by a user who has had little training in fencing.
Therefore the cutlass-wielding sailor would have usually been out-fought by a swordsman who kept his cool and used the point to break up a sailor's line of attack. Nevertheless, the weight of a cutlass blade would often be enough to sweep a lighter blade out of the way. It would indeed be an interesting match between a cutlass-wielding British sailor versus a French officer.
The term "cutlass" seems to have come into use by default as it was not an official term in the early days of the British Navy. Indeed, the word cutlass comes from the French coutelas.
The term cutlass seems to have been applied to sea swords and then stuck.
Maker marked SFG
Code: 18976Price: 425.00 GBP
A Fabulous, 1830's British Royal Naval Officer's Battle SwordNear mint original mercurial gilding to the hilt. Traditional lion's head pommel and brass mounted leather scabbard. With extra wide, pipe back combat weight blade, beautifully deluxe etched with lion and unicorn and fouled anchor. Made by Gillott 36, Strand London. With the coming of peace, the Royal Navy had dropped rapidly in size, from nearly 950 ships in 1815 to 128 by 1821, and relied entirely on volunteers to man these ships. It nonetheless remained in operation all over the world as an instrument of British foreign policy, with ships on the West African coast in anti-slave patrols, on the China station, in Australasia and North America, and in home waters and the Mediterranean.
This period also saw the start of the change from sail to steam. By 1850 there were 71 steam ships and vessels in the Royal Navy compared to 106 sailing ships. The 18th-century Royal Navy was the most effective fighting force in the world; it won all the great battles at sea, and almost all the wars. It did so because its ships carried well-organised, well-drilled and coherent teams, working to a common cause, bound together by ambition, mutual respect and a shared identity. This 18th century ideal continued well into the 19th century. The crews of British warships handled their sails and fired their guns more quickly than their rivals. The British also kept their ships cleaner, helping to reduce losses to disease. As in all large organisations there were exceptions - bad officers, bad men and bad ships - but such exceptions were rare. The social divisions of the navy were by no means class based. Not all officers were gentlemen. Some, like Capt.Cook, rose through the ranks of seaman and master to gain their position, others were admitted as officers despite humble origins. They had to pass formal examinations in all aspects of seamanship, and had to serve at least six years at sea before they could be commissioned as lieutenant, the rank at which Cook commanded the first voyage of the Endeavour. Further promotion to Commander and then Captain was through merit, bravery or patronage; Captains were promoted to Admiral through seniority.
Early naval punishments have become legendary, and strike us as inhuman; flogging with the cat-o'-nine-tails and hanging were the major punishments, while the men were occasionally 'started', or encouraged to work, with a blow from the end of a rope. There was no system of imprisonment, or financial penalty, although the rum ration could be stopped. However, we must remember that 18th-century society on shore relied on similar corporal and capital punishment. If anything, naval punishment was less severe, for sailors were a scarce and valuable resource that no captain would waste; also, flogging meant that the punishment was quickly completed, and the man could return to duty. There was no alternative, because the navy was, in all things, a reflection of the society it served.
Formal punishments were always inflicted in public, using consciously theatrical methods to ensure the maximum deterrent effect. The crew would be formed up on deck, with the marines separating the officers from the seamen, while the punishment was carried out according to established custom. Some crimes were handled by the crew - thieves were forced to 'run the gauntlet', allowing their shipmates to strike them with rope ends. This was a highly effective means of deterring a man from committing any fundamental breach of the trust that had to subsist between men who literally depended upon each other for their lives. The blade is also good, just with pitting at the bottom half.
Code: 18975Price: 995.00 GBP
A Very Good Napoleonic, British 1796 Light Dragoon Officer's SabreEngraved blade with GR III. The leather and steel mounted scabbard, Solingen blade. A mighty swash buckling, sprauncy, officer's battle sabre from the era of the great Napoleonic Wars, The Peninsular War and Waterloo. With good steel traditional curved form 32.5 inch blade. A traditional and hugely effective sabre of the early 1800's British Cavalry Light Dragoon officers. An amazingly effective sword of good and fine quality. British Light dragoons were first raised in the 18th century. Initially they formed part of a cavalry regiment (scouting, reconnaissance etc), but due to their successes in this role, (and also in charging and harassing the enemy), they soon acquired a reputation for courage and skill. Whole regiments dedicated to this role were soon raised; the 15th Light Dragoons 1759 were the first, followed by the 18th Light Dragoons and the 19th Light Dragoons.
The 13th Light Dragoons were initially heavy dragoons known as Richard Munden’s Regiment of Dragoons 1715. By 1751 the regiment title was simplified to the 13th Regiment of Dragoons and by 1783 had been converted to the light role. In 1796 a new form of sabre was designed by a brave and serving officer, Le Marchant. Le Marchant commanded the cavalry squadron during the Flanders campaign against the French (1793-94). Taking notice of comments made to him by an Austrian Officer describing British Troopers swordplay as "reminiscent of a farmer chopping wood", he designed a new light cavalry sword to improve the British cavalryman's success. It was adopted by the Army in 1797 and was used for 20 years. Le Marchant was highly praised by many for his superb design and he further developed special training and exercise regimes. King George IIIrd was especially impressed and learnt them all by heart and encouraged their use throughout the cavalry corps. For a reward Le Marchant was promoted to Lt Colonel and given command of the 7th Light Dragoons. He soon realized that the course for educating the officers in his own regiment would spread no further in the Army without suitably trained instructors. His vision was to educate officers at a central military college and train them in the art of warfare. Despite many objections and prejudices by existing powerful members of the establishment, he gained the support of the Duke of York in establishing the Royal Military College, later to become the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and the Army Staff College. In 1804 Le Marchant received the personal thanks of King George who said "The country is greatly indebted to you." In 1811, when nearing completion of this task, he was removed from his post as Lieutenant Governor of the College by Lord Wellington to command the heavy cavalry in the Peninsula. Appointed as Major General, he arrived in Lisbon fifteen days after leaving Portsmouth. On 22nd July 1812, Lord Wellington and the Allied Army of 48,500 men and 60 cannon were situated at Salamanca, Spain, against the French Commander Marshal Marmont. Wellington had ordered his baggage trains westwards to provide a covering force in the event of a full scale retreat, however Marmont mistakenly took the movement to be the retreat of the Army itself and ordered eight divisions of Infantry and a cavalry division westwards in an attempt to outflank the retreat. Wellington on seeing the enemy's army now spread out over four miles and therefore losing it's positional advantage, ordered the full attack. Le Marchant, at the head of one thousand British cavalry rode at a gallop towards the surprised French infantrymen, who had no time to form squares, and reduced their numbers greatly. The Heavy Brigade had received thorough training under Le Marchant and on reforming their lines charged repeatedly, until five battalions of the French left wing had been destroyed. After twenty minutes, in the final charge, Le Marchant fell from his horse having received a fatal musket shot and General Packenham who watched the attack later remarked " the fellow died sabre in hand…giving the most princely example".
Two days later, he was buried, in his military cloak, near an olive grove where he had fallen. Aged forty-six John Le Marchant was buried on the field of battle, however, a monument to him was erected in St Paul's Cathedral, London. The survival today of this sword is a testament to the now little known British hero, who, in many ways transformed the way that cavalry sword combat, and many military tactics were conducted for many decades after his valorous death. His fearsome sabre was, it is said, so feared by the French that protests were submitted to the British government stating that it was simply too gruesome for use in civilized warfare. The sabre is in very good overall and sound condition. 35.5 inches long in scabbard, 30 inch blade with old pitting at tip.
Code: 18974Price: 1765.00 GBP
A Superb 1st Grenadier Foot Guards Officer's Sword, Deluxe BladeUsed by an officer of the 1st Foot Guards, Grenadier Co. [that later became the Grenadier Guards]. Amongst other notable glories it is renowned as the famed regiment of Waterloo. Made and used in the Grenadier's campaigns in the Peninsular War, Quatre Bras & Waterloo. This is a simply stunning and magnificent sword [made in around 1790] from one of the most glorious and historical regiments of the British Army, the 1st Foot Guards, the Grenadier Guards no less! It is also in superb condition for it's age. Almost all of it's original fabulous etching is complete, and the blade is magnificently etched with the King's cypher, the royal crest, stands of arms, the figure of Britannia with union flag shield, a blindfolded female figure of Justice with scales and sword. The hilt grip is carved ivory with a Ist foot grenadiers grenade within the slotted guard. Original copper gilt mounted leather scabbard with thewhole length of the leather still decorated and delightfully enhanced with geometric lines and small decorative bullet patterning. Sword maker engraved by Dawes of Birmingham. Blade also engraved 'Warranted' on the obverse. One may never see a nicer or more interesting example available outside of the Royal Collection. In the campaign of Waterloo the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the First Guards, under Maitland, and the 2nd battalions of the Coldstream and Third (Scots) Guards, under Byng, formed the First Division of the army. They rendered service never to be forgotten. The Division reached Quatre Bras about half past six on the evening of June 16th, having met many wounded who said the day was going badly for us. Maitland was at once directed to clear the Bots de Bossu, on the right of the position, and his men straight away rushed into the wood with a cheer, and drove all before them, but the French turned their gun fire upon the wood, and many were killed or injured by trees cut down by the balls. Maitland's Guards were then formed outside the wood, where they were furiously charged by cavalry. Taking shelter therefore at the edge of the thicket and supported by some Black Brunswickers, they almost annihilated their assailants and, with heavy loss, held the ground.
At Waterloo the light companies of both brigades were posted in the wood and gardens of Hougoumont, where they were reinforced at midday by four more companies of the Coldstreamers, while the brigades themselves were on the ridge of the position to the rear, on the extreme right of the line. At Hougoumont the First Guards fought with heroic valour. It was a conflict worthy of Titans. In vain did Prince Jerome throw his strength against the old château, to the possession of which Bonaparte attached high importance. The walls were loop holed, and the place was held in strength, but repeatedly the French came on to achieve a temporary success, and then to be driven out again. A desperate struggle took place in the wood, where on one side or the other, men retreated fighting from tree to tree. Not less than 8,000 Frenchmen were put hors de combat in the tremendous onslaught made upon Hougoumont. But Lord Saltoun maintained his position, and renewed attacks were in vain. The loss, however, was terrible and the light infantry were almost annihilated when the Coldstreamers came to their aid. During this momentous struggle, the farm buildings were set on fire by the guns, adding immensely to the difficulty of the defence, and consigning many wounded to an agonizing death.
While the attack on Hougoumont was thus being made, a tremendous fire was poured on the allied line. When it ceased, the Imperial Cavalry, at headlong speed, charged the steady squares of the Guards, and the decimated ranks recoiled, but to hurl themselves anew on our bayonets.
The 3rd battalion of the First Guards was one of the regiments most exposed to this terrible onslaught. "It was upon these troops," says Siborne, "that fell the first bursts of the grand early attacks, and it was upon these troops also that the French gunners seldom neglected to pour their destructive missiles." Through all that terrific day the vast masses of gallant Frenchmen were broken against the iron sturdiness of the British squares, which stood like stony islands amid the lapping waves of a sea of fire. General Cooke, commanding the division of Guards, and Colonels D'Oyly and Stables, in command of battalions, retired wounded from the field, and Lord Saltoun, who had returned from Hougoumont, succeeded to the 3rd battalion. At length, as the day wore on, Bonaparte, seeing the oncoming of the Prussians, concentrated his furious cannonade mainly on the position held by the Guards preparatory to his grand attack, and but for the shelter of a hollow way, they must have been annihilated. At this time, Maitland, by the Duke's orders, formed his two battalions into line four deep, and scarcely was the change made, when 5,000 men of the Old Imperial Guard, led by Ney, were seen advancing at the pas de charge to the attack. Shouting Vive l' Empereur! They came steadily on, but, when they reached the crest, the Guards rose up like a wall and poured out a pitiless volley, the rear ranks passing with loaded muskets to the front. What matters it, says Lord Saltoun, whether Wellington cried "Up Guards and at 'em!" or no? He never heard the words only "Now Maitland, now's your time!" Thus was the iron shower set free. The Old Guard wavered and when at length the column reeled, shattered and broken, Saltoun cried out, "Now's the time, my boys!" and the Guards sprang forward, and drove the enemy over a hedge of dead and dying down the hill. In that conflict of giants, and at Quatre Bras, the First Guards lost 181 killed, including 7 officers, and had 853 wounded, making a total of 1,034. They had rendered glorious service, and earned undying fame. "Guards," exclaimed Wellington, "you shall be rewarded for this." and so it happened that, as a distinguished honour, they became "The First or Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards." However, before the great glories of Waterloo the 1st Foot Grenadiers distinguished themselves in the Peninsular Campaign and the owner of this sword would likely have been there too! To quote Napoleon himself, “It was (the Spanish War) that overthrew me. All my disasters can be traced back to that fateful knot”. The Peninsula war was one of the longest, most arduous, and ultimately successful campaigns the British Army has ever fought. Throughout this time it was the 1st Guards’ discipline and esprit de corps that marked them out; it kept them fit to fight at all times. As Wellington gradually matched, then forced onto the defensive, and finally smashed French power in the Peninsula, the senior formation in his splendid army was always composed of the Guards. As such, Peninsula remains one of regiment’s proudest battle honours to this day. The retreat to Corunna was harrowing. In mid winter, across mountainous terrain, with little food or clothing, the trek lasted several weeks. Nonetheless, the two Battalions of Guards arrived at Corunna marching in step behind their corps of drums; they raised morale in Wellington’s army at the crucial moment and set a fine example to all ranks. Within days of arriving, the French attacked. With characteristic discipline and bravery, the 1st Guards repelled the French onslaught, paving the way for a decisive momentum shift in the war. By 1810, the 1st Guards found themselves besieged at Cadiz; separated from their Spanish allies, they had to fight two French divisions alone. Despite a 15 hour march and a heavily defended enemy, the composite brigade of Guards, commanded by Major General Dilkes, were victorious. The 1st Guards lost a third of their manpower as hors de combat but their success allowed Wellington’s forces to move north and drive the French enemy from Spain.
13 Dec 1813 Nive
/ July 25, 2014
When Napoleon’s army retreated into France, the British followed. British troops forced crossings on the rivers Bidossa, Nivelle and finally Nive, on 10 November 1813. The battle of Nive lasted 3 days, costing 1500 British lives. However the British, with the 1st Guards at the forefront, inflicted 3000 deaths on Soult’s French soldiers. These casualties and the delay caused to the enemy landed a telling blow to Napoleon’s ambitions in Europe. Indeed, Napoleon had abdicated and been banished to Elba within 6 months. This sword has obviously been used in combat, as one must expect, and has some hand to hand combat signs, plus light staining with various small pitting areas to the blade. Yet the scabbard leather is good for its age, and what a piece of history this sword is, and incredibly beautiful.
Code: 18973Price: 3250.00 GBP
A Very Good Pair of Crimean War, British Dragoon Tunic Shoulder ScalesEpaulette is a type of ornamental shoulder piece or decoration used as insignia of rank by armed forces and other organizations. Epaulettes bear some resemblance to the shoulder pteruges of ancient Roman military costumes. However their direct origin lies in the bunches of ribbons worn on the shoulders of military coats at the end of the 17th century, which were partially decorative and partially intended to prevent shoulder belts from slipping. These ribbons were tied into a knot which left the fringed end free. This established the basic design of the epaulette as it evolved through the 18th and 19th centuries.
From the 18th century on, epaulettes were used in the French, British and other armies to indicate rank. The rank of an officer could be determined by whether an epaulette was worn on the left shoulder, the right shoulder or on both. Later a "counter-epaulette" (with no fringe) was worn on the opposite shoulder of those who wore only a single epaulette. Epaulettes were made in silver or gold for officers, and in cloth of various colours for the enlisted men of various arms. By the early eighteenth century, epaulettes became the distinguishing feature of an officer, leading to officers of military units without epaulettes to petition their government for the right to wear epaulettes, to ensure that they would be recognized as officers. Certain cavalry specialties wore flexible metal epaulettes referred to as shoulder scales such as these. During the Napoleonic Wars and subsequently through the 19th century, grenadiers, light infantry, voltigeurs and other specialist categories of infantry in many European armies wore cloth epaulettes with wool fringes in various colours to distinguish them from ordinary line infantry. "Flying artillery" wore "wings", similar to an epaulette but with only a bit of fringe on the outside, which matched the shoulder seam. Heavy artillery wore small balls representing ammunition on their shoulders.
Code: 18972Price: 345.00 GBP
A n Original 1870's Victorian 9th Voltiguers De Quebec Shako PlateA very good scarce badge of the Canadian Light Infantry volunteers. 3 loop pin mounting posts. In superb condition. the '9' unit mark denotes issue to the 9th Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada (Voltigeurs de Québec). They were one of the units mobilized and sent out west during the 1885 North West Rebellion. The unit was established in 1862. The North-West Rebellion (or the North-West Resistance, Saskatchewan Rebellion, Northwest Uprising, or Second Riel Rebellion) of 1885 was a brief and unsuccessful uprising by the Métis people under Louis Riel, and an associated uprising by First Nations Cree and Assiniboine, of the District of Saskatchewan against the government of Canada. During a time of great social change in Western Canada, the Métis believed that the Canadians had failed to address the protection of their rights, their land and their survival as a distinct people. Despite some notable early victories at Duck Lake, Fish Creek and Cut Knife, the rebellion ended when the Métis were defeated at the siege of Batoche, Saskatchewan, the eventual scattering of their allied Aboriginal forces and the trial and hanging of Louis Riel and eight First Nations leaders. Tensions between French Canada and English Canada increased for some time. Due to the role that the Canadian Pacific Railway played in transporting troops, political support for it increased and Parliament authorized funds to complete the country's first transcontinental railway. 4 inches high.
Code: 18971Price: 345.00 GBP
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