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1897P Infantry Officer's Sword, Exceptional Provenance (Sold)

An 1897P sword with related items, with a remarkable documented history, covering both WW1 and WW2, plus linked to Glubb Pashar and the Arab Legion.

1897 P British Infantry Officers Sword linked to Glubb Pasha1897P Infantry Officer's Sword who served in the Arab Legion

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This sword has one of the most remarkable stories attached to it as I have ever known. A Henry Wilkinson made (serial number 50056 for 1914) 1897 Pattern infantry officer’s sword etched “D.B.S. 1914” over “D. J-S. 1937” together with George 5th Royal Cypher, quality foliate scrolls and the Latin term “Proba Conscientia” (Credible Conscience); footnote - This is also the family motto for the Bacon Family and may identify the middle initial of “D.B.S.”.

Proba Conscientia

D.B.S. was actually Lieutenant Douglas B Stamp (Son of Ernest and Frances Stamp, of Sevenoaks, Kent) of the 1st Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment who died in action at the age of 25 on the 10th April 1916 (click here for details). D. J-S. was Douglas B Stamp’s son, Douglas Jones-Stamp. Actually Douglas Jones-Stamp was Christened “Douglas Stamp Dennis Jones” and actually changed his name to Douglas Jones-Stamp (while resident at 4 The Green, Street, Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex) the same year as he had his and his father’s initials etched onto this sword. This coincided with Douglas Jones-Stamp’s passing out as a 2nd Lieutenant on the 26th August 1937 when he joined the 2nd Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. Historians will know that George 5th died on the 20th January 1936, so Douglas Jones-Stamp should have had a George 6th sword commissioned but did not, which somehow shows him to be the maverick later life apparently confirms.

DBS D-JS

Douglas Jones-Stamp would have served in Burma and India against the Japanese. The 2nd 'Dukes' were involved in fierce combat with Imperial Japanese troops from 1942, often operating behind enemy lines, and were involved in the fierce battles at Imphal and Kohima in 1944 which saw the turning point when the Japanese finally lost the initiative to the allies. I have been unable to research exactly what Douglas Jones-Stamp did and / or his medals because of the British MOD’s clamp on WW2 information until 2020. However, given the battalion and regiment he served in, Douglas Jones-Stamp is certain to have seen some intensive action and to have finished the war as a battle-hardened officer. Pictured below in the middle; taken just before WW2 in India, pictured with the sword on sale here.

Douglas Jones-Stamp

Douglas Jones-Stamp went on to serve alongside renowned British army officer Glubb Pasha in the Arab Legion, an episode ultimately of extreme embarrassment to the British Government of time with some of its most seasoned officers fighting against the UN sponsored newly formed Jewish state. Under Glubb Pasha’s leadership the Arab Legion had significant successes against the Jewish settlers and their fledgling army. Soured by Jewish massacres at the hands of Arab irregulars after military triumphs by Glubb Pasha’s Arab Legion, roped into unwanted urban warfare which Glubb Pasha most feared, finally distanced by the Syrian royal family, the British involvement with the Arab Legion finally ended in 1953. However, the embarrassing fact that British officers sided with the Arab nations against the Jews with the tacit support of the British Government is somehow a part of British history not often aired.

Was Douglas Jones-Stamp anti-Semitic, pro-Arab, just out for a battle, or defending what he saw as Britain's best interests? Perhaps the truth is best left alone. However, along with his sword (includes sword knot and bag), which he inherited from his father, comes a group photo of him / his regiment in Multan in 1939, plus Douglas Jones-Stamp original Arab head dress from his time in the Arab Legion, plus shoulder titles, badges, & buttons from his days in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. The photograph and other effects give you an awe which simply owning a sword never has.

The sword is in exceptionally good condition for its age and history; there is some black patina to the blade and some bubbling / loss of plating to the hilt, but not a lot. The scabbard, grip and carry bag are all in very good order. I handle this sword and the related items with a great deal of respect and wonder. Further pictures available upon request. My item reference number 141 (38)

2nd Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment 1939


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