8th Hussars Cavalry Trooper's Sword, 1821P,
Excellent Charge of the Light Brigade provenance, a rare 8th Hussars
(The King's Royal Irish Light Dragoons) trooper's sword and scabbard,
in good order.
It is rare to get a sword and scabbard with such solid provenance
for it to have been at the famous / infamous Charge of the Light
Brigade during the Crimean War in 1854. Here we have a scabbard
clearly period marked "8H B 52"; weapon 52, B Troop, the
8th Hussars. Now, there is debate over what swords the British cavalry
held during this charge, the 1821 or 1853 Pattern.
The 1821 pattern was not popular with cavalrymen but less so was
the 1853 pattern. Famous author Robson states that both were used,
but more of the 1821 pattern than the 1853. It is widely known that
the 11th Hussars held the 1853P, but information including one reference
book states the 8th Hussars carried the 1821P either in full, or
mostly. One of the few records (photos) for this debate is of some
of the troopers of the 8th Hussars taken in 1855, just after their
participation in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Although no clear
image of a sword is shown, there is a clear image of the chape of
a trooper's scabbard, and that scabbard has the pronounced chape
/ drag of an 1821P. It is more bulbous than the chape of the 1853P.
This, therefore, is one of the rare Charge of the Light Brigade
sword items you will ever have the chance of owning. On the other
side of scabbard, there is also period, though of a different font,
the name "C. Oughton". Just in case, I have searched various
roll calls for the 8th Hussars and found no reference to any trooper
called "Oughton", and there is none, but I did not expect
there to be, as I have never known a trooper to have his name marked
to a sword / scabbard. There was no sword maker Oughton, but there
was an army supplier, mostly of bayonets for the period, Oughton
& Co in Birmingham, so it may be the supplier to the 8th Hussars
was them. Or possibly, the marking is later and perhaps of a trooper
of a yeomanry cavalry regiment if the sword was relegated from front
line regiment to reservist, as state owned swords often were. In
any event, the scabbard clearly shows a correct aged / worn marking
for the 8th Hussars and we are as certain as we can be, it therefore
was there at the Charge of the Light Brigade.
The sword and scabbard generally are in good condition or order.
The scabbard and blade are better than the hilt; the blade protected
by the scabbard from rust, the scabbard having been later painted
which protected it (the paint was very old, possibly Victorian).
The hilt having had no protection against damp air in someone's
attic has suffered more so, though is still sound. The 35 1/2 inch
blade is very good, some nicks to the forward cutting edge commensurate
with use against the enemy, and is firm in the hilt. The hilt has
some deep rust pitting but is sound. The leather covered grip has
some leather remaining, which is a big bonus as it brings you closer
into contact with the trooper who originally held it. A great and
rare investment, well worth £2250. Further / full sized pictures
available upon request. Please quote our item reference number C39
The pace of our Cavalry increased every moment, until they went
thundering along the valley, making the ground tremble beneath them.
On they went headlong to death, disregarding aught but the object
of their attack. At length they arrived at the guns, their numbers
sadly thinned, but the few that remained made fearful havoc amongst
the enemy's artillery.
Lieutenant the Hon S Calthorpe, 8th Hussars, 1854