1853P British 7th & 8th Hussars Light
Cavalry Sword, sold
In overall good condition, a coveted 1853P light cavalry trooper's
sabre marked to the 8th Hussars and then reissued to the 7th Hussars,
thereby strongly indicating the sword (although not the scabbard)
was present at the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Charge of the Light Brigade provenance; we are totally convinced
that this sword was involved in this famous battle. The blade is
marked crown over L over 8, which means the blade / sword was made
in Liege in Belgium (there was a shortage of capable makers in England
at the time, so the British bought swords that were made in Belgium
to the British pattern / specification). Other Liege made blades
/ swords have been firmly linked with other regiment 1853P's (such
as the 11th Hussars) used in that battle.
Next, the outside of cross-guard is Marked "8 H" over
"88" (weapon 88 of the 8th Hussars); this is the older
form of British regimental markings both in form and location. Inside
the hilt / guard, it is marked "7H H 61" (weapon 61, H
troop, 7th Hussars); this is the newer form of British regimental
markings, again both in form and location and explains why the 8th
Hussar markings were not crossed out. So the sword was first carried
by a trooper of the 8th Hussars, and then it was reissued to a trooper
of the 7th Hussars.
In fact, close inspection shows the original 8th Hussars weapon
number was three digits, 85(?) (the last numeral in unclear), later
over marked the later 2 digit weapon number (88). Again, this would
very much indicate the sword has "history". Given the
sword model is 1853 and the likely year it would have been reissued
to the 7th Hussars would be 1856 to 1857 (see below), then that
amount of "history" really can only mean one thing; the
The 8th Hussars served in the Crimea and were involved in the Charge
of the Light Brigade in 1854, the 7th Hussars were performing home
service between 1854 and 1857, before setting off for India where
they served from 1857 to 1870. So the sword clearly was brought
back to Britain after the Charge of the Light Brigade / Crimean
War (sometime during 1854 to 1856), and reissued to the 7th Hussars
before they set sail for India in 1857.
The scabbard os marked "7H 216", the old form of marking,
so the sword came back without a scabbard and was married up with
one already with the 7th Hussars. The new style 7th Hussar regimental
markings were added to the inside of the guard, as they were then
done, and the sword and "new" scabbard went off to India
The only photographic evidence of the 8th Hussars at the time of
the Charge of the Light Brigade shows a trooper with his scabbard
sticking out, and his scabbard was for an 1821P (the predecessor
of the 1853P). It is believed that around half the cavalry trooper
swords used in the Charge were 1821P's, and half 1853P's. Given
the race to arm the various regiments at the start of the Crimean
War, it therefore appears the 8th Hussars carried both the 1821P
and 1853P trooper sabres. The blade has period damage (nicks), but
this must have come from its time in service with the 7th Hussars
in India (they were involved in several bloody actions), as the
sabre would not have stayed in service after Crimea otherwise.
As stated, this sabre has seen bloody action, in the "Indian
Mutiny". The point has met its target in a charge and has a
wriggle now to it, and there are many clearly period nicks to the
blades; the 7th Hussars used their swords against their Indian foes.
Ironically, the sword was probably dropped by the 8th Hussars trooper
and not engaged anyone, hence its probable separation from the original
The 35 1/4 inch blade, battle damage aside, is in good condition;
some age staining which can easily be removed. Blade firm in the
hilt. The hilt good / solid but with patina / light rust pitting.
The grips are in good though worn condition. The scabbard has medium
pitting all over. The sword sheathes and draws well.
The markings and dates make place this sword 99% at the Charge
of the Light Brigade. As such, it will only appreciate in time.
A good investment. Please quote item reference J82 (1149). Further
/ full sized pictures available upon request.