Jump to content
Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Brett Hendey

Pietermaritzburg Borough Police decorated truncheon

Recommended Posts

http://gmic.co.uk/topic/36876-pietermaritzburg-borough-police-badges/

The Pietermaritzburg Borough Police, about which very little has been published, has come to my notice again.  A friend in Cape Town has given me a decorated truncheon of the type typical of mid-Victorian police forces in Britain.   It's origins are clearly with the Pietermaritzburg Borough Police (see below). In spite of enquiries, no-one has seen anything like it for any other Colonial police force.   Sadly, it is too late to ask Mervyn Mitton.  I am sure that he would have had something to say about it.

The truncheon is colourfully decorated with representations of an Imperial crown, a large curliqued 'V', and red cartouche depicting elements from the PBP badge - 'UMGUNGUNHLOVU', the Zulu name for Maritzburg, and an elephant.    There are also the dates '1838', '1848' and '1854', which are significant in Maritzburg's  civic history.

I would be very grateful for any comments on this object.

Regards

Brett

Composite batton pictures.docx

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a maker’s name stamped on the heel end? The shape resembles a Parker, Field truncheon but the painted decorations do not. The painting, while clearly the hand of an accomplished artist, suggests a much more garish style than a typical Parker Field example, particularly the crown. Quite a beautiful one-of-a-kind piece. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brett, I remember one of these truncheons in Mervyns collection. I suppose it is now in the united States with most of his collection. cheers Iab

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike and Ian, thank you both for you replies.

Mike - There is no maker's name on the truncheon.   It has been suggested that it was a specially imported presentation piece for the Chief Constable.    In the mid-1850's and for a hundred years thereafter, Natal tried hard to be more British than the British.

Ian  - It is reassuring to know that Mervyn had one of these truncheons.  It would be a sad irony for him to have lived in Natal for so long and missed out adding one to his collection.

Regards

Brett

1972469668_Natalbumpersticker.jpg.a71983744b938c0b357765a21747ca50.jpg

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

×