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British P1856 Drummers Sword, 24th of Foot Unit Marked

This item is listed for historical interest only. It was listed on our site previously but has been sold and is no longer available for purchase.
Sold for: $550.00
Item #19582

Original era manufacture. A pattern of sword adopted by the Royal Army in 1856 to be worn by Drummers, Fifers & Buglers, the Mark II pattern was adopted in 1895. Stamped into one side of the grip is a crown proof and on the other side NO.29 1.B.24.REGT. 1861. Those markings of course stand for First Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot, the South Wales Borderers, of Zulu War Fame. On the 22nd of January 1879, five companies of the 1st Battalion of the 24th and other British and Native troops, were overwhelmed by a force of over 20,000 Zulu's during the Battle of Isandlhwana. Perhaps this little sword witnessed the battle that day and was captured as a trophy by a victorious Zulu Warrior (Some 1,000 Martini-Henry rifles, two cannons, 400,000 rounds of ammunition, most of the 2,000 draft animals and 130 wagons, impedimenta like tinned food, biscuits, beer, overcoats, tents and other supplies were taken by the Zulu. Wikipedia). We'll never know for certain, however the casualty list for the 1st Battalion of the 24th, names at least 10 men identified by rank as a Drummer. The blade shows considerable pitting near the tip and ricasso indicating that the sword was not well looked after for a time. There are traces of engraving remaining and a makers name on one side of the blade. Acquired by a local collector from Bosley's Auction of London in the 1990's. Wonderful old relic from one of the most famous regiments of the Royal Army. No scabbard.

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