Swords at Sandhurst?

#2
You start off with a toothpick in Week 1.

Plastic cutlery is issued after you are deemed to have basic competence at drill.

On Ex Broadsword (term 3), each cadet is expected to manufacture a proper highland claymore (to MOD dress patterns) from materials gathered from the training area. Except Jockanese cadets who, to prevent them having an unfair advantage, are required to manufacture a 1912 pattern cavalry sabre.

Or, more seriously and on the other hand, when you need one, you'll be issued with it. At Sandhurst, on parade, you'll normally be carrying a rifle rather than a sword. Hence the lack of scabbards in the photos you may have seen.

Later on, a rich relative may offer buy you one - thank them profusely but if you need something expensive and more important - you'll still be able to borrow a sword for the limited occasions you actually need one.

Everybody (except Chaplains ?) have swords as part of their uniform. There are different Corps and Regimental patterns - the Artillery and the Rifles have their own, the Household Division do entirely their own thing (as ever), the Cavalry use sabres, the rest (and, yes, I know I'll have missed somebody out) use the 1897 pattern Infantry sword.

Edited to add: I did miss out ... the Royal Regiment of Scotland broadsword. Despite my joke above. Ooops.

Yes, I do have my own sword - actually, two ('cause my first one isn't acceptable for my current cap badge). The first was a 21st birthday present, the 2nd was really (really) cheap off the RHQ uniform shop (and looks it :( )
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#4
The Officer Cadets you carrying swords in the pictures you have seen are JUOs, Junior Under Officers, These are cadets that have been given responsibilty during their time at Sandhurst. Think of them as platoon leaders.

The carrying of swords is not simply an infantry thing. All OCs are given the same training whether they go on to the Cavalry, Infantry, Engineers or whatever. Specific training for each of these branches occurs when the cadets have passed out and start at their new units.

The swords come from a central pool at the armoury and are issued as needed, ie for parades.

Should you wish to get a sword, it is best to get one once commisioned into your respective branch as there are different patterns of swords for each unit: A Cavalry Sword, Infantry Sword, Engineers, Highlander Officers sword and so on.

See here for more examples:

http://www.wkc-solingen.de/newshop/index.html

Here is some info on the 1912 Cavalry Pattern Sword:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1908_and_1912_Pattern_British_Army_Cavalry_Swords#References
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#5
Basically being chosen as a JUO means you're doing well, promotion in minature as it were. Responsibilities revolve around what you would expect to have to do once commissioned: admin, ensuring that your platoon is up to scratch and so forth, don't worry you'll find out.

Remember though it is a position that has to be earned, you have to prove yourself worthy of it. So work hard be aware and aim to impress across the board.
 
#8
After my time there, I think there was a period where everyone carried a sword for pass-off, certainly in the senior term. Some crazy senior officer had a mad idea that it was pointless wasting all that time teaching officers how to do rifle drill when they would never need to do it again once they had left. Didn't catch on though....

ps and off post - being thick - is there a spell checker in the forum software?
 
#9
There was certainly a period a decade or so ago when the junior and intermediate terms carried rifles on the Sovereign's parade and the whole of the senior term swords. I didn't know this had changed, to be honest.
 
#12
I wonder if they have SUSATs now or iron sights like it was in my day. Forget papercuts and all that stuff, there's nothing more excruciating than a mis-judged change arms foresight in your ear on a cold winter's morn.
 
#15
Where was the pl comd whilst this was going on?
Probably doing what the CSgt had told him to do.

I presume the swords have no edge to them? I can't imagine the powers that be would give a bunch of Ruperts a sharp instrument to play with. Mind you, everyone knows the most dangerous thing in the Army is an Officer with a map, and they get doled out with abandon.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#16
I wonder if they have SUSATs now or iron sights like it was in my day. Forget papercuts and all that stuff, there's nothing more excruciating than a mis-judged change arms foresight in your ear on a cold winter's morn.
They have iron sights in Juniors and go on to SUSATs for Inters and Seniors
 
#17
I presume the swords have no edge to them? I can't imagine the powers that be would give a bunch of Ruperts a sharp instrument to play with. Mind you, everyone knows the most dangerous thing in the Army is an Officer with a map, and they get doled out with abandon.
Funny you should mention that. I do recall somebody being stabbed through the foot (as I recall) on a Sovereign's parade rehearsal. I can't remember if it was a sword or bayonet though.

Wow a joke about officers and maps, how hilariously original. When I was a subbie I taught most of the basic map reading courses in my Sqn. I also always used to lead everywhere on exercise and operations, if time was critical, due to my Tp Sgt's questionable map reading skills and my Tp Cpl's inexperience. That way we always used to arrive first from the Sqn, day or night. Clearly this either makes me an exception, very lucky or the stereotype simply wrong.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#18
...everyone knows the most dangerous thing in the Army is an Officer with a map, and they get doled out with abandon.
As much as I love to rip the piss out of officers, in their first term they have an exercise called Long Reach, look it up and then come back and tell us how you recon you'd have done on it after only being in the Army six weeks.
 
#20
As much as I love to rip the piss out of officers, in their first term they have an exercise called Long Reach, look it up and then come back and tell us how you recon you'd have done on it after only being in the Army six weeks.
I didn't say I would be any better, but Ruperts are PAID to know how to read a map and get their guys from A to B. Plus, by the time they leave Sandhurst they expected to know what they are doing. A hell of a lot of them don't.

Funny you should mention that. I do recall somebody being stabbed through the foot (as I recall) on a Sovereign's parade rehearsal. I can't remember if it was a sword or bayonet though.

Wow a joke about officers and maps, how hilariously original. When I was a subbie I taught most of the basic map reading courses in my Sqn. I also always used to lead everywhere on exercise and operations, if time was critical, due to my Tp Sgt's questionable map reading skills and my Tp Cpl's inexperience. That way we always used to arrive first from the Sqn, day or night. Clearly this either makes me an exception, very lucky or the stereotype simply wrong.
Well, if you can't take a joke, hand your bedding in leave.

There are exceptions to every rule, which you quite clearly are.
 

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