Artillery Officers swords and Scabbards

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by emptyeye, Sep 8, 2005.

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  1. I have a debate going about how Artillery Officers wear Swords in and out of scabbards

    When unsheathed, is the scabbard held by the left hand (secured by sword belt under jacket) at an angle of 45 degrees with the opening of the scabbard to the rear?
    Does it face forward?

    When sheathed how is the scabbard held? and is the basket to the front or rear?
    Pics would be nice, or PM
    Any takers?
  2. If you have to ask - you'll never know.

    At least you've spotted the fact that the sword belt is worn under the jacket. Some damn fool wench in Bummer magazine a few issues ago was wearing it outside a patrols tunic. Was one of our esteemed reservists though.

    Toe end of the scabbard points forward at all times, grasped from the hand at approx 6' above the floor, sheathed and unsheathed. Makes marching hard. Scabbard is never worn hooked from the sword belt like the infantry pattern frog - it looks really untidy (just try marching like that too).

    Promise me you aren't going to mix chrome with leather. I will find you.
  3. Thanks, good news its being done right, now which way does the basket of the sword face when sheathed?
  4. Downwards - let gravity take the strain off the wrist - and the incredibly tortuous sheathing and unsheathing drill becomes easier.

    However, you should, of couse be doing this mounted.
  5. Okay, so we are saying that basket of said sword should face to the rear like a Warrant Officer would wear a sword? and not face forward like a Line Officer would wear it?

    Then on 'fix bayonets' the scabbard would have to turned and twisted forwards (toe to the rear) to get the sword out?
    Im trying to visualise what you have to do if you had to unfix (sheath swords)bayonets, it would be like some Ninja Attack gone wrong

    Mounted makes sense
  6. About three years ago I got into a conversation with a couple of Thai men.
    The older guy vanished and was back say ten mins later with a Sword which he asked me to identify.
    The sword was British and orignally had been presented to a Capt in the RHA. It had later been 'presented/transfered' to a second officer in either 47 or 49 Regt RA before WW II.
    The sword had been purchased in Burma some years ago when boarder crossing was very easy.
    I made enquires on the net and the sword was a Wilkinson Sword with the double triangle Proof mark, loked liked a Jewish 'Pentangal" (?). British Infantry officers pattern of late 1800 or very early 1900s.
    The sword was 'engraved' but the original inscription was Raised from the metal by cutting away the surrounding material. I forget the techical term. The sword was 'carved' with 'fancy' design work for Original presentation.
    Above all to best of my memory.
  7. Hi thanks for that, but a Artillery Pattern Sword basket is different from the GS pattern. Didnt help on my question though but thanks
  8. What is usually mistaken for the six pointed star of David is in fact two interlocking triangles. It is the traditional mark of an armourer and not, as is also commonly supposed, exclusive to Wilkinson Sword. Genuine WS blades bear a serial number.
  9. You say 'Line Officer' - but this applies to all who wear their swords on a Sam Browne belt. Sam Browne (a Sapper officer) invented this arrangement as he had lost an arm and found getting his pointy stick out of its scabbard a problem whilst sitting on his horse. On the Sam Browne the scabbard is inserted in a 'frog' which has the effect of holding the hilt 'basket forward' ready for the 'draw'.
    In ceremonial dress 'our' swords are word 'slung', ie on straps similar to the things you have, the difference is we also wear a waist sash which has a tiny hook to hold the top scabbard ring, and thus the scabbard in place. This leaves our left arm free to swing in a smart military manner whilst marching. The hilt in this case hangs 'aft' with the toe of the scabbard forrard.
    On the word of command 'Fix', (or 'Draw' if only officers are on parade, or I suppose, mounted soldiers), the basket must be flicked round to face forward whilst the left hand comes across to grasp the hilt. You, like the Navy, have to do this without the benefit of the little hook.
    The next movement, as you know is 'creating the window' before finally removing the sword in a clean sweep round and down into the 'carry'.

    PS It wasn't long ago that Gunner officers wore Sam Brownes - I inherited my old man's (he was a drop short 1956-1990)
  10. I know how it all works with Sam Browne/Frog arrangement, and Warrant Officers do wear a sword differently as they have a different sword belt arrangement, and I know that there isnt a tiny hook arrangement when a sword belt is worn under the jacket.

    However, when sheathed, the scabbard is still carried with the left hand, Im asking which way does the basket of the sword face when sheathed, downwards like a warrant officer? (hence basket behind forearm) or forwards like a line officer?(basket to the side of forearm)
    See example pic:

    And one of Bill Mott (note the basket postion)
  11. The hilt should be to the rear with the basket facing down, as gravity will have it. When carrying the sheathed sword one should hold it to mimic this stance.

    Your second example, ie basket to the front, is incorrect and probably came about because they have a tendancy to swing around all over the fcuking place whilst marching and whilst suspended from the little hook aforementioned! Most irksome as the scabbard often gets caught between one's legs. All this being said, there are those who will insist on hanging the sword incorrectly - we had an Adjutant, who for some extraordinary reason slipped through the net having Welbeck as his Alma Mater, used to wear his sword like that. Cnut.

    If you are called to sit, for a photograph or somesuch, then the cased sword is brought round and is held with the basket to the front with the hand thumb upper most, scabbard toe on the ground.
  12. Okay, well just for infomation, everything is being done and carried as described, debate over, thanks to all.

    *A flourish for all who replied*..slow time of course, scabbard held with left hand, toe facing forward.
  13. Had to finish this thread by posting two links

    Look in the background, Artillery Officer no question, what is he doing with that sword?

    Another Artillery Officer getting it right!