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This truncheon was used by the Cape Mounted Police in South Africa. They were formed in 1904 and disbanded on the 1st of April 1913 when the South African Police force was established.

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Hi,

Unfortunately it has no unit markings, I bought it from the family a good few years back. Mervyn Mitton is the man to answer this!

Regards,

Will

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Most truncheons follow a similar style - the changeover period from 5 foot staves was in the middle to late 1700's. I have never seen an identified SAC truncheon and I agree with you - without markings it is difficult. The standard truncheon of that period was (approx)17" - this was probably ordered and made in S.A.

Mervyn

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Something has just struck me looking at this one:

American versions always had a hole through the grip for a lanyard--

1) patrolmen carried these basically "to hand" looped around their wrist swinging in a casually semi-menacing fashion :rolleyes: and

2) looped around the wearer's wrist, these were harder to take away and use against the carrier.

Did NO Empire/Commonwealth types have lanyards?

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Rick, the wooden truncheon I was issued with was always carried out of sight in an internal pocket sewn into the leg of the Police issue trousers. A leather or canvas strap was fixed to the top of the truncheon by being looped around a recess in the wood and then either sewn tight or rivetted into place.

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"always carried out of sight in an internal pocket sewn into the leg of the Police issue trousers." :Cat-Scratch::speechless1: This will cause MUCH hilarity at my next family gathering with our retirees. :speechless1: :cheers:

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Although this is on an old truncheon - c1870 - it shows how the strap is fixed (sewn) to the top of the truncheon. We would always put our thumb through the strap and then wrap it around the hand - this prevents anyone pulling it from you. We were taught at training school not to hit on the head - but, rather on the shoulder and break their collarbone, if they are carrying a knife or club, the arm just drops. I always thought they looked better with both broken !!

Mervyn

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"always carried out of sight in an internal pocket sewn into the leg of the Police issue trousers." :Cat-Scratch::speechless1: This will cause MUCH hilarity at my next family gathering with our retirees. :speechless1::cheers:

Even more so when they learn that police women wore them too. The short, truncheon used by police women (known in some forces as the CID truncheon as it was more convenient to keep in a civilian jacket pocket than the longer version) was kept in the handbag. The wimmin got mutinous about being issued the short truncheons & wanted mens truncheons. These were difficult to fit in the handbag & handbags were unpopular with a lot of females, so they indented for & wore mens trousers too instead of skirts or female trousers, as the only practical way of carrying a man sized stick was down the trouser leg. As I used to paraphrase Mae West to my wife, "Is that a truncheon in your pocket or..............?"

Mervyn, post #9 - the stick in the photo has a detachable leather strap rather than a stitched one. I first saw that type of strap being worn by a PC in Warwickshire, of white buff leather, in the 1980s or 90's, during the late 90's they were issued in Cambridgeshire in dark brown leather, the idea being that instead of exchanging the whole truncheon when the strap wore through, you simply got a new strap which you could affix yourself.

The real problem with truncheons was the replacement of lignum vitae sticks which had a lot of weight & could cause some damage, with lightweight white woods which were stained & varnished or sometimes left unstained with tinted varnish applied, & which were useful for poking somebody in the eye with & not much else.

Edited by leigh kitchen

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The interwoven leather strap is not common and I hadn't known that Cambridgeshire used it as standard. With the collection still being mainly in UK I was working from a small camera picture and couldn't see the detail. Machine sewn straps are the norm - sometimes a rivet. My spare truncheon was a lovely lignum vitae example given to my Father as a special during the Great Strike of 1926. The strap had perished so I had a dog lead cut down and sewn on - I was the only one with a blue strap !

All original truncheons were in three different woods - lignum vitae; teak and ebony. None of them float in water and don't shatter . Most are over 100 years old - in the early 70's they started to replace damaged ones with rosewood - and as you so rightly say, they are light and break easily - not that it matters with the new commando style. I say that because in the the 1960's I visited Berlin and bought the identical style - it was shown as being issued to the West German army.

Mervyn

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A newspaper report I read years ago (10? 20?) steted that old Met lignum vitae truncheons were being used in bone grafts, as the wood was well seasoned. I wonder if that was the case?

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Well seasoned - without doubt, at their age ! Wouldn't know about bone grafts - I've probably broken a few with mine !!! I would always tell violent yobs, that I wasn't paid enough to be their 'Aunt Sally'

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The South African Police (SAP) baton was also carried in an internal pocket on the right leg. Just by the trouser pocket on right leg. This pocket was also covered by the summer (safari style) and winter tunics.

Wooden batons were with drawn from service approx 1985/6. I remember handing mine in reluctently.

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Hello - Unit8 - please give us a name - we can't call you by a number??? I have only just got back to posting, but welcome to GMIC - we need more exPolice. Where were you in SA - can you tell us anything about former service ?

The SA truncheon was always very plain - the BSAP was better quality and used to have their initials - and , I think a number.

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Name is Garth.

I served in Uniform, Riot Unit and finished in forensics as a Fingerprint expert in South Africa's oldest fingerprint office, Pietermaritzburg. This office was started by the Natal Police and is a story all in itself.

Unit8 is short for Riot Unit 8 based in Pietermaritzburg and was responsible for the Natal Midlands area including Kokstad and surrounding area. Later Riot Units were called Internal Stability Unit when they became closed units. Used Green coloured vehicles during that time period.

For Riot duties sjamboks and cut down "pick handles" were issued and mainly used in areas without Zulu or Xhosa.

Reason being, you did not want to ever baton charge a group of Zulu's as from very young their idea of fun/sport was stick fighting and they excel at this sport of theirs, and in all demos/riots the vast majority of them were carrying sticks or weapons of some sort.

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