1845/54 Pattern Wilkinson British Infantry
Officer's Sword (sold)
1845/54 Pattern Wilkinson made British infantry officer's sword
of Captain Marmaduke Stourton (Died on active duty in the Natal),
in good condition.
This sword was made for "Stourton" and given to him on
the 13th May 1861. Checking the Army List for that time, the only
candidate for that person is Marmaduke Stourton, commissioned as
Ensign (2nd Lieutenant) on the 17th May 1861 with the 8th Regiment
of Foot. He made Lieutenant on the 29th March 1864, and Captain
on the 23rd March 1870, all with The Kings 8th Regiment of Foot
/ The King's Liverpool Regiment. He died in active service on the
18th April 1879 at Pietermaritzburg in the Natal, South Africa during
the Anglo-Zulu War; he would have been carrying this sword at the
time; full details at end of page.
Regulation 32 1/2 length (1 /18 width) inch blade, etched with
normal VR cypher for Queen Victoria with foliate scrolls, together
with the family crest of the Stourton family; Loyal je serai durant
ma vie (I will be loyal as long as I live). The blade has been period
marked I am sure by Marmaduke Stourton from near the point and then
up along the spine as a ruler (inches marked with line, half feet
marked with cross); yes, he avoided damaging the important etched
parts. The blade is firm in the hilt, the hilt age tarnished; it
can be cleaned but that might make it look odd and would necessitate
the removal of the original sword know. A big bonus is the original
leather sword knot.
The fishskin grip is in good condition overall and the twisted
wire ring bindings in good order. The original leather and gilt
fitting scabbard is included; the leather is quite aged of course,
the fittings tarnished and loose as you would expect, but it is
nice to get a original leather scabbard like this. Further / full
sized pictures available upon request. My item reference number
608 (227). Price includes the Wilkinson papers for serial number
11356 (the serial number on this blade).
Died at Pietermaritzburg, 18th April 1879. Aged 39. Son of William
Stourton and Catherine Scully, of Yorkshire. Husband of Marie Franks.
This is his photo;
Excerpt from "The South Africa Campaign of 1878/1879"
By Ian Knight and Dr Adrian Greaves
CAPTAIN, 63RD REGIMENT (WEST SUFFOLK).
Captain Marmaduke Stourton, who died at Pietermaritzburg, on 18th
April 1879, was the eldest son of the late Hon. William Stourton,
of Yorkshire, by his marriage with Catherine, daughter of Edmund
Scully, Esq., of Bloomfield, co. Tipperary. He was born on 14 January
1840, and was educated at Downside College, near Bath; at Namur,
in Belgium; and at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire. Entering the
army in May 1861, he was gazetted to an ensigncy in the 8th Foot,
and served with that regiment at Malta, at Gibraltar, in India,
and at the depôt in England. He became Lieutenant in 1864,
and obtained his company in 1870, in which year he exchanged into
the 63rd Regiment. He shortly afterwards embarked with that corps
for India, and served there at various stations for several years.
On the news of the disaster at Isandlwana reaching England in February
1879, Captain Stourton who was at the depôt of his regiment
at Ashton-under-Lyne, immediately volunteered for South Africa.
He was selected as a special service officer to take up duty with
the 24th Regiment, and was sent out, on 1st March in the transport
“Clyde.” The vessel was wrecked in St. Simon’s
Bay but owing to the admirable discipline that prevailed, no lives
were lost, and all the troops were safely landed on the coast. Arriving
shortly afterwards at Durban, Captain Stourton proceeded in charge
of drafts of the 24th Regiment to Pietermaritzburg. During the morning
18 April he marched a distance of twelve miles, and was the cheeriest
of the party – singing, bugling, and keeping up the spirits
of the men in every possible way; but the afternoon’s advance
commenced with an exceedingly steep ascent, on surmounting which
he gasped for breath. Turning to an officer of the Artillery, he
said: “I feel my life-blood ebbing away. I am nearly done.”
Instead of falling out, he continued with the column in its march
up another trying hill to the camp. When the bugle sounded “Halt,”
he had just sufficient strength left to give his word of command,
and then fell fainting to the ground. Within an hour afterwards,
in spite of every exertion made by his comrades, his prophecy had
been fulfilled, and his gallant spirit had passed away.
Though Captain Stourton’s death did not take place in the
battlefield, he none the less rendered up his life in the service
of his country. In spite of physical weakness he struggled on, a
brave example to his men; and when his work was accomplished, he
simply lay down and died. His remains were buried, with military
honours, in the camp cemetery at Pietermaritzburg. The officers
and men of the draft with which he had served erected a stone over
Captain Stourton married, in 1870, Marie, daughter of William Franks,