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Can't say I care if it is unique but it is damned unusual - I have not seen another!  Just love this sword and a great balance to my 1897 Infantry sword with Royal Marine crest.


1854 Infantry sword, probably 1860's/70's with the blade and scabbard chromed.  Proved plug indicates a Thurkle sword but no obvious makers mark - lost in the chroming.  Remains of the VR cypher and crown.


Regimental badge added = Royal New South Wales Regiment.  I served with 2/17 Battalion, RNSWR in the 1970's.

Edited by aussiesoldier

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The Royal NSW Regt traces its heritage back to the oldest infantry battalion from New South Wales and is a successor unit of the Sydney Volunteer Rifles which were raised in 1854 in the then colony of New South Wales in response concerns about possible threats posed by Russian naval forces in the Pacific during the Crimean War. Following that the unit went through a number of changes in composition and designation as the various colonial defence forces were reorganised during the mid to late 19th Century. By 1860 the unit had become known as the "Sydney Battalion", but in 1878 following the decision to introduce a system of partial payment for volunteer soldiers, the unit was absorbed into the 1st Regiment of New South Wales Volunteer Infantry.

In 1885, the 1st Regiment provided a detachment of one officer and 75 men to serve in Sudan during the Mahdist War, for which they received the battle honour "Suakin 1885". During the Second Boer War 12 officers and 91 men from the regiment served in South Africa as part of the New South Wales contingent, for which they were later recognised with the battle honour of "South Africa 1899–1902". Following Federation the regiment became the 1st Australian Infantry Regiment.


One can't help but think that the sword dates back to the very origins of the 1st Regiment of New South Wales Volunteer Infantry.

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An excellent specimen and thank you for posting the sword along with the history.

A very interesting and informative post.




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1854 was the change to this pattern Infantry Officer's sword.  This was when  they removed the folding side to the

guard and yours will be this later period.    I am afraid that this has been badly interfered with  -  the original 'VR'

cypher , which was surrounded with the emblems of UK countries - daffodil, thistle etc. has been removed and the

badge of the NSW regiment inserted.    I suspect that this is a later change and not made in Victorian times.  The

sword had probably become distressed by being left and it has been chromed.  Original swords were, of course,

nickel plated.   Chrome can be removed and it would be better if the original nickel was polished.  Apart from these

points the sword seems to be in fair condition and is certainly worth restoration.  Keep it cleaned with a light gun oil.    Out of interest the pattern was originally changed in 1845.


Unfortunately, there is no way of proving a link to the original NSW Regt.  -  unless under the chroming there

are markings or, names.   The first time Australia sent troops overseas was to the Egyptian campaign which

dates from 1882.  I am not sure - without looking up refs. - which units were sent  -  however, it is nice to

have your information.   Interestingly, when I served my National Service back in 1953 we were trained by

1st  Aust. Regt.  -  the Country only had two at that time - 1st and 2nd.  After training I was attached to the Sydney

17th Light Anti-Aircraft  Bn.  -  on Bofors.           Mervyn 

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Thanks Mervyn,


Even if it is just a display piece, it helps fill out my collection in an interesting way. I have read some of the pitfalls of removing chrome and I hesitate on this. The guard has certainly not been chromed - perhaps the blade remained in the scabbard uncared for too long. I have ordered Ballistol oil on the recommendation of Sword Forum.


Thanks for the info.


1st Battalion (City of Sydney's Own) RNSWR and the 2nd Battalion was an outer suburban regiment but became the 2nd Battalion (City of Newcastle's Own) RNSWR.  


The old Regiment disbanded in 1860 and a much larger regiment of 2,000 rifles was raised in its place. The unit was re-titled the First Regiment NSW Rifle Volunteers, known as the Sydney Battalion. The withdrawal of the British Garrison in 1870 led to a rapid increase in the size of the regiment, to 2,382. Red tunics were adopted in the Sydney Battalion to replace the grey, making the regiment smarter and more soldier-like in appearance. In 1885, the colonists urged the Government of NSW to send a contingent to the Soudan to serve Queen and Empire. 734 men were dispatched, 74 of whom came from the First Regiment. This was named the New South Wales Soudan Contingent and was Australia's first fighting force to serve in an overseas campaign.

With the outbreak of the Boer War in 1898 patriotism again ran high and the Regiment sent 103 of its rank and file to assist "Queen and Empire". With Federation in 1901 the Regiment became part of the Commonwealth Military Forces redesignated the First Australian Infantry Battalion Royal New South Wales Regiment City of Sydney's own.

I will make a second entry on some uniform photographs including some detail of Major George Stack's uniforms.

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