1897P Victorian Royal Marine Light Infantry
Scarce Victorian 1897P etched to the Royal Marine Light Infantry
and originally owned by Robert Gordon, a VIP / senior officer, together
with related memorabilia.
OK, first, this is a pretty scarce and therefore highly collectible
sword simply because the blade is etched with the Royal Marine Light
Infantry emblem and motto; "Per Mare, Per Terrum" with
Gibraltar for battle honours. Better still, the other side of the
blade has the original owner's initials "R G" for Robert
Gordon, who was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the RMLI
on the 1st January 1900, so this was his first sword.
The sword was made by Robert Mole of Birmingham, a fine sword maker
and indeed the 32 1/2 inch blade is in very good condition. The
nickel plated hilt has the royal cypher of Queen Victoria "VR"
of course. The hilt has suffered a little from age with some bubbling
/ lifting of the plating and some rust. The hilt (and scabbard)
could easily be replated if required and this would not look out
of place / ruin the sword as the blade is in such good order. The
fishskin grip is in overall good condition, a little faded. The
twisted wire grip ring bindings are good. The scabbard has a ding
and some rust blemishes but sheathes well enough. The sword comes
with its original leather sword knot which is aged and one section
has separated (I have applied leather balm to enrich what is there,
as it was very dry).
I have done some research on Robert Gordon. His father had the
same name and I have a couple of documents (sold with the sword)
regarding his father and mother. In 1912 Captain (Temporary Major)
Robert Gordon was made a squadron commander in the Royal Flying
Corps. In June 1918 he was awarded the Order of the Redeemer by
the King of Hellenes. In 1920 he retired on half pay as Group Captain
Robert Gordon C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O. So he played a very important
role in the fledgling Royal Air Force in World War One and is well
worthy of research. He must have been called back into service shortly
after 1920 as he Commanded RAF Z Force in Somaliland during the
1920s as part of the British effort to defeat the Mad Mullah and
more. I have several papers and photos for Robert Gordon including
D.S.O certificate (Original), London Gazette (Original), and other
clippings. This is a very good and worthwhile research project for
someone. The papers of course give the sword 100% provenance.
Further / full sized pictures available upon request. My item reference
number 612 (221)