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On one side of the blade is the regimental device of the A&SH, with the initials C...M (the middle initial is illegible) and a personal crest and motto; the other side has the Victorian cypher. The Wilkinson records indicate that the sword was completed on 21 April 1892 and purchased by C N Macdonald esq, 4th Bn A&SH.
The Wilkinson factory number 31653 is stamped on the spine of the blade at the forte, with the HW logo inlaid in gold. A copy of the register from the Wilkinson archive.
Charles Neil Macdonald (born 16/8/74) was commissioned into the militia of the 4th Bn A&SH on 16/9/93 and into the 1st Bn as a 2nd Lt on 23/12/96. He served with the 1st Bn in the South African War 1899-1900: the advance on Kimberley, including the actions at Modder River and Magersfontein; operations in the Orange Free State February-May 1900, including at Paardeberg (February 1900), where he was wounded. From 25/11/01 he was serving with 38th Bn Imperial Yeomanry, still in South Africa.
The pommel and securing nut are both stamped 53. The leather grip is a replacement - the original would have been sharkskin on wood, whereas it now has a blue calf leather grip bound with silver wire on a wooden core. It has the original red silk fringe, a bit faded and distressed, together with the original liner in red scarlet broadcloth with a buff leather backing. The blue silk ribbon edging for this has gone.
The blade has been fiercely overcleaned at some stage, which has sadly spoiled the look of the engraving, leaving his crest, motto and initials partly obliterated. The scabbard is the parade variety, steel with an EPNS finish, with a little peeling of the plating, noticeable particularly at the back of the throat. The hilt has approximately 90% or so of its original EPNS finish; the pommel and tang button have lost all their original finish, but traces can be seen on the underside of the pommel. There is a little blockage inside the bottom of the scabbard, preventing the sword from going fully into it and leaving a gap of about 1/4 inch. The blade has its original calf leather washer.