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Title 1908 pattern trooper's sword by Mole
Nationality British
Period c 1911
 (This item is subject to special postage, click here for more information.)

This is the classic and final design for the British cavalry, still in use by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery on parade occasions (eg Queen's Birthday Salute). After the Peninsula War, it was realised that very few men survived a thrust through the body and this information heavily influenced the decision to go for a thrusting sword in 1908.

Inasmuch as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the US adopted the same model of sword, only with a straight double-edged blade and a wood-lined canvas scabbard.

The scabbard is marked Enfield and dated 1915, while the blade is marked Mole and issue dated 1911 and 1918. The hilt is also marked Enfield. It is possible that Enfield bought some blades in from Mole to mount this sword. The stool of the hilt is variously marked, but legibly only 1RCR for 1st Reserve Cavalry Regiment (formed on mobilisation in August 1914 at Aldershot, and affiliated to the 1st and 5th Dragoon Guards). All these marks have been cancelled through, following successive issue and final withdrawal from service when they were sold off, in this case, to the Ethiopian government - in the 1930s, I suspect, or later. I know this because I acquired nine of these, all bought in Addis Ababa in 1982 by a British diplomat.

The sword has had some fairly severe service wear and tear, principally showing in the condition of the blade, which had fairly heavy rust, now largely cleaned off by hand, but still showing scarring throughout. The scabbard has been worked over with a rough file, I suspect to prepare it for paintwork in the field. I have removed the worst of this, but have left some in place to show how carefully some of these scabbards were prepared for field service. There are remains of sand-coloured paint on the inside of the guard by the pommel and on the strengthening lozenge at the base of the blade, indicating service in Iraq (Mesopotamia) or Macedonia in the Great War. The red vulcanite grip, though with no serious crackelure, has some abrasion from rough handling, which has degraded it somewhat. This sword has its original paraffin-soaked pine liners.

The sword has not been dismantled for cleaning. Generally speaking, it is not in bad shape for its age, the only serious minus point being the state of the blade. Moreover the hilt is a little loose in relation to the blade.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Edged Weapons : Swords : British : 20th Century]


I received the 1859 Enfield bayonet and this one is simply awesome.

O L, USA, 07.10.2018

Thank you very much for sending the order through so quickly.

S H, UK, 05.02.2009