In good condition, a 1895P Victorian British Royal Marine Officer’s Sword, Richard ffolliott Willis
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The blade would have originally been in an 1854 pattern hilt as Richard ffolliott Willis became a second lieutenant in the Royal Marines in 1894, just before the new 1895 pattern with the steel hilt was introduced. As the blade used in the 1895P was the same as used in post 1892 1854P’s, it was a simple matter and commonly done by existing officers (rather than buy a whole new sword). The blade has been replated at some stage, probably by Richard ffolliott Willis at the end of his military service, probably for when he received the Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1919 for “valuable services in connection with W./T. Conferences at Madrid during 1918”. Records show he was still an active serving officer in 1914 but we can find nothing about what he may have done either during the Boer War or WW1.
We know this is Richard ffolliott Willis’s sword because his unique initials “R ff W” are etched to the blade, along with the badge and motto of the Royal Marines, the Victorian Royal Cypher, and the very feint remains of the maker’s details (Thurkle) to the ricasso.
Born in Woking, Surrey, England on 16 Nov 1875 to William Wynch George Back Willis and Rosa Elizabeth ffolliott Powell. Richard ffolliott Willis married Kate Ann Lewis. He passed away on 18th July 1960 in Surrey, England.
The 33 inch blade is in feint but good condition and firm in the hilt. The hilt / guard has fine age plating cracks / crazing and rust spots primarily to the edge. The original sword knot is aged and frayed but sound. The fishskin grip is aged but good, as are the associated twisted grip wire bindings. The plated metal scabbards has some age and small rust spots etc. but is good. The sword sheathes and draws well.
Nice example and with provenance; plenty of research potential. Bargain! was £? (too late, now sold). Please quote item reference AG67. Further / full sized images available upon request. Box 1503-118x15x14 (1.909).