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1821 P Macedonian Gendarmerie Sword of Major G L Bonham (sold)

In good condition, 1904 made Wilkinson special specification cavalry sword for then Capt. George Lionel Bonham, serving in HM Service with the Macedonian Gendarmerie.

1821 P Macedonian Gendarmerie Sword of Major G L Bonhamimage 651 2

Sold Item Notice

A special contract sword made by Wilkinson in 1904, serial number 40076 for Captain George Lionel Bonham of the Grenadier Guards. Capt. Bonham, after serving in the Boer War with the 2nd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards, was appointed to represent His Majesty Edward 7th in the multi-national (Britain, Russia, France, Austria, Turkey) Macedonian Gendarmerie; mounted special police. The sword clearly offering both cavalry and foot handling. The blade almost of French characteristics but certainly British (made by Wilkinson)

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George Lionel Bonham was born on 6 August 1873. He was the son of Sir George Francis Bonham, 2nd Bt. and Louisa Buchanan. He married Amy Gaskell, daughter of Captain Henry Brooks Gaskell, on 11 June 1898. He made 2nd Lieutenant with the Grenadier Guards on the 12 March 1892, Lieutenant on 25th August 1896, Captain on 28th October 1899, Major on 14th February 1908. He was assigned to the Macedonian Gendarmerie on the 12th April 1904. He became a staff officer for the same between 1907 and 1909. He was Colonel of the Turkish Gendarmerie of Smyrna between 1909 and 1910 and died, some say under suspicious or even "sensitive" circumstances on 23rd January 1910 at age 36.

This is the sword he held as a British officer serving in the Macedonian Gendarmerie. He appears as a peer. I am sure there is a lot of interesting information available for both his time in the Boer War and Gendarmerie ;-).

The 32 1/2 inch blade is in very good order, a few patinated areas, and firm in the hilt. The steel hilt with light surface rust (now stabilized) which would easily clean up if required. The grip is quite worn (which is not a bad thing as it indicates it was held by Bonham a lot) but still in good order and the twisted grip wire bindings also good. The leather field service scabbard is worn and there is some stitching splitting in places, but overall sound. For those who like interesting swords with a provenance and research opportunities, and / or collectors of very rare swords, this is well and truly worth every penn. Further / full sized pictures available upon request. Item Ref: 651 (279)

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