In fairly good condition, the WW1 Sword of Lieutenant William David Cargill Thompson of the Border Regiment.
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Etched to once prestigious Harman & Company Calcutta. This sword is the one owned during World War One by Lieutenant William David Cargill Thompson of the Border Regiment, who was wounded in action in 1917. It is unusual in that is a Royal Engineers sword (same sword as the British Infantry sword, just with a Royal Engineers symbol on the blade). How is that so? How come we know this is the WW1 sword of Lt Cargill Thompson?
We bought this and his later (1922) Wilkinson Sword from his deceased sister’s estate (see details of that sword and William David Cargill Thompson here). As you will see, the Cargills and Thompsons had a long connection with India (actually Ceylon and Burma as they were then called). So either William David was in India before he trained as an officer in Glasgow during WW1, or he was sent it by family members. Was he meant to become a Royal Engineer originally? Or was this RE sword the only correct pattern of sword available at short notice? We do not know. We just know it was his sword during WW1 (could not have been his sword in later life as he was never in the Royal Engineers) and explains why he bought a new 100% infantry officer’s sword in 1922.
The sword clearly had a leather field service scabbard originally, perhaps as well as the plated steel dress sword with it now. We know this because the blade has pitting but the scabbard with it is o good shape, so the leather field service scabbard (leather prone to absorbing moisture and thus contributing greatly to the pitting) has clearly aged / rotted away. We believe the oversized scabbard that remains is original to the sword as it is very Indian in nature (slightly curved, and long). Again, this all explaining why he bought a new Wilkinson Sword in 1922.
The 32 1/2 inch blade is overall good but has cleaned pitting and the etching is feint (believed feint in the beginning). Blade firm in the hilt. The grip with wear / some shrinking; the twisted grip wire bindings good. The plated steel scabbardÂ with some age / wear / plating rubbed out, but good. The sword sheathes and draws loosely.
A quirky (history) sword but with provenance. Yours for was £? (too late, now sold). Please quote item reference X85. Further / full sized images available upon request. Box 1352-129x17x17 (2.686).