Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club
speagle

Truncheons, Nightsticks, Billy Clubs and "Cudgels"

Recommended Posts

Hello All,

I am starting this topic with a VERY basic picture of a nightstick I recently pick up at the beginning of our vacation (4 weeks to go2014.gif )

I have quite a few at home I'll be taking pics of and posting next month BUT in the meantime, how about posting some of yours? I have talked with Mervyn and know he had posted some pics earlier but thought this might generate some more interest in this area. Feel free to contributerolleyes.gif

The club is 18" long.

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi - Ed. This is where we are all going to learn something. I don't think this is an American item - it looks like a British pattern truncheon prior to about 1960 - they started to use Rosewood then. Looking at the remains of the strap, the stitching is in the same style as British and the length was usually 17" (46cm) but this could vary slightly.

The question is - did a US Force have these made locally for use as Nightsticks - or, did they import from the UK for the same purpose ? The alternative must be - is it a souvenir someone has bought on a holiday and brought over ? As I say we will all learn something from this - Ed, are there any markings or, stampings anywhere on the body. Look around the head. Mervyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi - Ed. This is where we are all going to learn something. I don't think this is an American item - it looks like a British pattern truncheon prior to about 1960 - they started to use Rosewood then. Looking at the remains of the strap, the stitching is in the same style as British and the length was usually 17" (46cm) but this could vary slightly.

The question is - did a US Force have these made locally for use as Nightsticks - or, did they import from the UK for the same purpose ? The alternative must be - is it a souvenir someone has bought on a holiday and brought over ? As I say we will all learn something from this - Ed, are there any markings or, stampings anywhere on the body. Look around the head. Mervyn

Hi Mervyn:

Thanks for the info. I don't know of any US Forces that had these made. They would have used issued nightsticks (I'll post some pics of various types and lengths when I get home). More than likely it was a souvenir that wound up part of an Estate Sale. I actually "guestimated" the length, but did what I should have done before I posted and measured. It is actually 15" (38.1cm). I have added two more shots of the ends. It appears it was done on a lathe. There were no markings at all.

Edited by speagle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed & Mervyn,

I always have a look at the truncheons and sticks posted but have no clue about what was used when and who by, I simply find them interesting especially the older ones.

If rosewood was used for truncheons in the 60s, what kinds of wood were used before?

I've been tempted to buy a Victorian truncheon in the past but as I mentioned I don't know anything about them and with the prices they sell for I won't be chancing it as I'm sure they will be copied too.

Looking forward to seeing more of these and hopefully learning a little bit.

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed & Mervyn,

I always have a look at the truncheons and sticks posted but have no clue about what was used when and who by, I simply find them interesting especially the older ones.

If rosewood was used for truncheons in the 60s, what kinds of wood were used before?

I've been tempted to buy a Victorian truncheon in the past but as I mentioned I don't know anything about them and with the prices they sell for I won't be chancing it as I'm sure they will be copied too.

Looking forward to seeing more of these and hopefully learning a little bit.

Tony

Hi Tony,

It's pretty much like anything else. The value is in the eye (and wallet) of the beholder. I will try to find bargins BUT if I see something I truly like, I'll probably get it (with the wife's approval of course 2014.gif (Actually, she is VERY understanding and usually says, "Well, if you want it, get it!") as she did with this one.

My son arrives in Arkansas tomorrow (Monday) for a week's visit so he and I will be hitting some of the local antique stores next week. Hope I come up with some finds to post.

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ed,

I would agree with Mervyn, the truncheon is a UK pattern. However it may not have come from the UK, depending on where you picked it up, these seem to be quite collectable in the 1980's ,by U.S. Police Officers on cruise ship holidays in the Caribean, as souvenirs of visits to UK commonwealth islands - Barbados, Bermuda, Bahamas, Cayaman Islands, Jamaica and the smaller islands. They thought it was 'quaint' that the police constables carried 'little sticks' and no guns.

Many cops in California and Florida brought them home just as a holiday souvenir , they weren't collectors. So this truncheon may be one from one of the commonwealth police batches, most equipment was supplied from UK suppliers through the Commonwealth Office, I think, in any case a UK governement office.

In the UK this type of baton was still being issued in the 1980's, at least here in Scotland they were, not sure what happened in England.

Look forward to seeing some of your other batons when you get back from your holiday, or should that be vacation.

Best Regards,

Les

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ed,

I would agree with Mervyn, the truncheon is a UK pattern. However it may not have come from the UK, depending on where you picked it up, these seem to be quite collectable in the 1980's ,by U.S. Police Officers on cruise ship holidays in the Caribean, as souvenirs of visits to UK commonwealth islands - Barbados, Bermuda, Bahamas, Cayaman Islands, Jamaica and the smaller islands. They thought it was 'quaint' that the police constables carried 'little sticks' and no guns.

Many cops in California and Florida brought them home just as a holiday souvenir , they weren't collectors. So this truncheon may be one from one of the commonwealth police batches, most equipment was supplied from UK suppliers through the Commonwealth Office, I think, in any case a UK governement office.

In the UK this type of baton was still being issued in the 1980's, at least here in Scotland they were, not sure what happened in England.

Look forward to seeing some of your other batons when you get back from your holiday, or should that be vacation.

Best Regards,

Les

Hi Les,

Thanks for the info. I actually purchased this in a shop in Helena, Montana, however, there is one of the largest US Army training Posts nearby (Fort Harrison) so that may be an answer.

After 6 years in England, "Holiday" is very acceptable:rolleyes: .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had posted these shot awhile ago, but thought I'd add them here as part of the new category.

post-4280-032506000 1285823516_thumb.jpg

post-4280-048290400 1285823540_thumb.jpg

post-4280-034921400 1285823562_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another Christmas present from my son.

Please open the 3rd picture. It has some ID numbers on it. Long shot, but perhaps someone may have some info on what it means.

As best as I can make out they are:

16-50

R-795

The last two are pics of both ends, just an FYI.

Thanks in advance

Ed

Edited by speagle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi - Ed. Nice to see this post brought back. The nightstick - as you call them in the US - does seem to have an American

background. 25 " seems about the right size to be hand carried -or, hung on the belt. Britain has this size available now for

use as Riot sticks - they carry a shield with it.

I hope other collectors can start adding their new additions to Ed's thread. Mervyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ed.   My apologies  -  I've just realised that we haven't replied to you since the beginning of last December.  Nothing intentional I promise you.    I have a number of items that I will get photographed and will add  -  however, at present it looks as if photos have not caught up with the new downloads.

Meanwhile, I have been preparing a  new series on Riot Police of the World and will try to get this on fairly soon.  Best wishes, hope all is well and my regards to your Mother.    Mervyn

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mervyn,

I had some problem trying to sign in a couple of weeks ago. I was getting a message saying the site didn't recognize my name or password (the same one I have been using since I joined. I tried to send you a regular e-mail but got no response. I tried again tonight and decided to go for a "password change". I obviously was successful and here I am again :-)  Things are going well with the family. I'm adding another pic of some more of my collection.

Night sticks.jpg

' alt='' class='ipsImage' >

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the 4th from the right is what we call a "fish wacker" used by fishermen NOT police (although it could probably do the job just as well :-) The bottom one was one my Dad took away from a US Army prisoner while we were stationed in France. A neat story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ed - some of the 'sticks' you show are old and very sought after.  The Boston , New York and I believe, Philadelphia Police , all carried specially carved truncheons on ceremonial parades.   The woven cotton wrist grips were always very fanciful.      I think some of yours are of this pattern.  Fish clubs are used all over the World , so I expect you are right in your ident.     You must tell us the history of the strange Banana shaped one  -  good workmanship.

I will show 4 from my collection which are not standard shapes.    Mervyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an American Police pocket club  -  known as a 'ZAP'.    8 1/4 inches (21cm) it weighs 6 1/2 ozs.(205gms) and is filled with lead.004.thumb.JPG.0afc2cd4c0b8d0a6d316c7d507

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This next pattern has replaced the old wooden truncheons.   Based originally from the folding  steel folding batons carried by German Commandoes, it is now used in most Countries.   This is a South African made one.  8 inches when folded - it extends to 19 1/2 inches ( 20cm - 49.5cm).  The weight is 11 ozs  -  355 gms.012.thumb.JPG.2ad2260f78ab0da5863353a0f5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This last one is a private purchase I made in France when I used to have a boat in Antibes.  Never used, but it felt safer to walk off the boat at night

A word of caution  -  these will all get you arrested if you carry them outside of a collection.

009.JPG

Edited by Mervyn Mitton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

​Hi Mervyn,

These were also used in Ontario, Canada by the Ontario Provincial Police in the 1960s.

Regards

Brian

This is an American Police pocket club  -  known as a 'ZAP'.    8 1/4 inches (21cm) it weighs 6 1/2 ozs.(205gms) and is filled with lead.004.thumb.JPG.0afc2cd4c0b8d0a6d316c7d507

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×