Rare sword of Scots Greys officer to go on sale

A RARE sword used by an officer of the famous Scots Greys regiment at the Battle of Waterloo is to be sold at auction next month.

The sword, made in Edinburgh, was carried in to the 1815 battle by an officer of the 2nd Or Royal North British Dragoons – The Scots Greys.

The regiment, formed in 1678, played an heroic part at Waterloo. In one famous incident, Sergeant Charles Ewart captured the eagle standard of the French 45th regiment – leading to the adoption of the eagle on the Scots' cap badge.

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Following victory at Waterloo, the Scots Greys pursued the defeated French Army until Napoleon's surrender and final abdication.

The sword, valued at 4000, is the highlight of a number of Scots cavalry items to be sold at Bonhams' Oxford Sale of Militaria on 13 July.

Chris Allen, Bonhams' consultant for arms and armour, said today it was not known what became of the sword's owner.

He said: "This officer's sword is of a type introduced in 1796 and used until 1822, and would have current and seen action at Waterloo.

"Its owner would have carried it in the Scots Greys' charge. One can imagine him wielding it against the French ranks.

"The Scots Greys were the only Scottish cavalry regiment.

"The cavalry officers at the time would have purchased their own swords, and so this officer, who denoted his regiment on the blade along with foliage, badges and the regimental motto, has gone to that little bit of extra expense to put on something that would not normally be there.

"It was carried on his belt, suspended from straps. It would have done some damage in battle but sadly we do not know what became of its owner."

The sword has a 87.5cm blade and comes in a steel scabbard, signed G. Hunter & Co, Army Contractors, Edinburgh.

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It also features engraved foliage, a stand of arms, crowned Royal Arms, a crowned thistle and a mounted cavalryman over the regimental motto "Nemo Me Impune Lacessit" – No-one Provokes Me With Impunity.

Other items belonging to the Scottish regiment to be sold include two further swords, an officer's bearskin and an early 20th century officer's pouch and shoulder belt.