1897P Victorian British Boer War Royal Engineers
Officer's Sword, sold
In overall very good condition, an 1897 pattern Royal Engineer's
sword, original owner G.H. Addison, Boer War provenance and more!
Blade etched "G H A" and the family crest for G.H. Addison,
this was the commission sword for then Lieutenant G.H. Addison of
the Royal Engineers in October 1898 (Wilkinson serial number 36273
for 1898). He went to to become a Colonel and published 3 books,
still widely available (as they were re-published in 2006), all
partially entitled "Work
of the Royal Engineers in the European War 1914-1918".
Which offers the chance to own and hold his sword and at the same
time read his words about his army work; a rare opportunity.
Lieutenant G.H. Addison served in the South African Boer War. He
was promoted to Captain on the 3rd August 1904, and later saw service
in Hong Kong. He was an instructor at the Royal Military Academy
Woolwich in 1905. The 1924 Army List shows him to be a Lieutenant-Colonel
C.M.G., D.S.O. Further research required to establish his roll in
WW1 (there is some data on the Internet) and further promotion.
It is possible that he kept this same sword until the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
It is certain this sword was with him during his service in the
The 32 1/2 inch blade is in very good condition with only the slightest
tiny patina spots that would likely remove with a good metal polish
(Simichrome recommended). The etching is still excellent. The blade
was period sharpened after he bought it from Wilkinsons; the sharpening
is well down but has reduced to smallest amount of etching towards
the point end; the sword being sharpened clearly for active service
in South Africa. The hilt is also very good, some slight patina;
again, a good metal polish should bring this up as new if required.
The black fishskin grip is in very good order, as are the twisted
wire grip bindings; there appears to be the remains of original
patenting to the grip; we would personally remove this if the sword
is left as is, or maybe re-patent it if the sword is cleaned and
polished to look like new. We make the point, the sword could easily
be made to look new or near new with some time, effort and a good
metal polish; the sword is in that good a condition.
One strand of grip wire is a little astray on one side, but nothing
serious. The steel scabbard would again shine right up with a good
metal polish if desired. The sword sheathes and draws very well.
The sword would have had a leather field scabbard as well originally,
but this has long gone. Still, the original steel scabbard, while
not the one he would have worn in South Africa or possibly WW1,
is still a very good thing. After all, leather field scabbards are
fairly easy to acquire if required.
So a great sword with tons of provenance and therefore well worth
the £500 price tag. Further / full sized pictures available
upon request. Please quote item reference number D30 (708).