1821 P Boer War Artillery Sword (Wilkinson
Patent Solid Hilt) (Sold)
Good condition Wilkinson Patent Solid Hilt 1821 P British Royal
Artillery officer's sword made in 1900 during the Boer War and which
saw active service in Mesopotamia during WW1.
Note the above grip where you can see the tang of the blade on
the underside; this is the Wilkinson Patent Solid Hilt which gave
the sword much more strength and was valued by front line officers
even though it did cost considerably more. Confirmed by the special
Henry Wilkinson logo for Patent hilted versions, these swords are
Bearing the serial number 38196 to the spine, this 1821 P Royal
Artillery officer's sword was made in 1900 for newly commissioned
2nd Lieutenant Cyril Walmesley Burdon of the Royal Field Artillery.
Initially Walmesley served with the battery at Bristol, then Belturbet,
then Farnham. He made Lieutenant on the 18th August 1903 and Captain
on the 30th August 1911. In 1914 just before the outset of WW1 he
was given a brief appointment in India only to return to England
where initially he was a Commander of Cadets at the Royal Military
On the 23rd December 1914 he was promoted to Major and commanded
the 5th Hampshire Battery which saw bloody active service in Mesopotamia;
I know the 1/5th Battery at least were over-run and their men either
killed or captured. I suspect Major Burdon was seriously injured
as I could not find any trace of his name on the army lists again
until 1919; as his sword survived, I assume he was not personally
Cyril Walmesley Burdon died at his home "Somerfield"
in Golf Links Road, Ferndown, Dorset, as a Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired)
with D.S.O. on 30th January, 1951. I believe his son's name to be
/ have been Oliver Baldwin Peareth Burdon. Clearly a lot more research
is possible and could make this a very rewarding purchase indeed.
The full length 35 inch blade has some pitting and patina but not
too much; it is of course firm in the hilt. The three bar guard
has rust patina, but is in good order otherwise. The grip is in
very good order. The leather scabbard has clearly seen some active
service, you can tell this from the worn chape; it is compromised
in a couple of places but sound overall and I have nourished the
leather to protect it. Full sized pictures available upon request.
Item reference number 90 (115)