The Welsh Guards were founded on the 26th February 1915 by the Royal decree of King George V. They formed part of the Guards Division and are still one of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army. The Welsh Guards were deployed to France in 1915 and fought on the Western Front until the end of the war in 1918.
This Welsh Guards sword was made around 1915 by Charles Reeves & Co. and retailed by Robert Lillico.
The 825mm thrusting blade is of 1892 pattern dumbbell form, the first third of the blade having a symmetrical dumbbell-like cross section with a flat spine and belly and a short central fuller. The blade has a wedge-shaped cross section for the last two-thirds of its length and terminates in a narrow spear point. The blade is double-edged for the final 160mm.
The blade is etched with the crowned cypher of King George V above crossed laurel & palm fronds. Below this are empty decorative panels intended to show the battle honours of the regiment. All foot guards’ regiments are required to show their battle honours on their blades, but being newly formed, The Welsh Guards were yet to win any.
The obverse of the blade is etched with the rayed and crowned leek badge of the Welsh Guards above crossed laurels & Palm fronds. A decorative panel of four leeks is followed by intricate geometric and scrollwork panels.
The ricasso bears the retailer’s name, R Lillico, 1 Maddox Street. London. The obverse ricasso bears the brass proof stud of Charles Reeves & Co. The spine is stamped with a Reeves serial number: 13861.
The 1854 pattern steel Gothic hilt is in good condition and bears the leek emblem of the Welsh Guards. The shagreen grip is in good condition and has three strands of silver wire. The blade is firm in the hilt.
The sword is accompanied by a brown leather covered field service scabbard. The scabbard is in good condition with some slight wear and folding to the shoe. About 30mm of the stitching at the top of the scabbard has parted. The throat of the scabbard remains tight and the sword sheathes and draws smoothly and is held firmly within the scabbard.
This is a good clean example of a rare Welsh Guards officer’s sword, made by a top maker at the inception of the regiment.
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