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ralstona

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Everything posted by ralstona

  1. I recently purchased this Scottish 1828 pattern basket hilt sword on ebay here in the US. The BIN price was low so I figured I have a go. It is not in very good shape. No scabbard, no grip, blade is heavily pitted obscuring much etching, basket hilt is pitted and I believed at first spray painted gold. The brass proof mark has also popped out. It does have a few redeeming qualities. 1. The blade is straight and does retain some etching. I can make out the battle honours: Salamanca, Pyrenees, Nivelle (or NIve), Toulouse, Waterloo, Sevastapol, and Egypt 1882. 2. The blade is stamped with a serial number on the spine "1958". 3. There is an etched (possibly) VRI or it could be initials of the owner. I have a couple of questions: 1. What regiment? Cameron or Black Watch? 2. Is that a VRI or intials? 3. Is the gold on the basket original? I assumed not but it will NOT come off. I've tried. It seems gilt on (ormolu?) 4. Does the number 1958 give any information? Its obviously not a year. 5. The sword is what it is. It is never coming back to "new". I would like to put a grip on it though. Anyone have an old beat up one they would sell or know where I could get one? More pics.
  2. I've had a wonderful back and forth with the curator at the HistoryLinks museum in Dornoch, Sutherland. They have confirmed that this is an officer's tunic from the 5th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders (formerly 1st Sutherland Rifle Volunteers). It seems to be a scarce item. I am still looking for a photo of a officer of the 5th SH in full dress. The museum did not have one which included feather bonnet, doublet, dirk, fly plaid, sash, cross-belt, basket-hilt sword, kilt and sporran. I'm curious if anyone has seen one. The closest I've come is the drawing above from Scottish Volunteer Force 1859-1908. I'd be particularly interested to know what he battalions plaid brooch looked like.
  3. Macron1 - your post got me searching. I think you are right. The tunic you posted is an Other Ranks tunic for the First Sutherland Volunteers held by the Historklinks Museum in Dornoch, Sutherland, Scotland. The First Sutherland Volunteers became the 5th Seaforth Highlanders in 1881 or 1908. This picture I found shows uniforms of the First Sutherland Volunteers. The uniform on the right looks a match for the one at the museum and the third from the right seems to match mine. Red cuffs and seemingly no collar badges.
  4. The one on the right is a 1894 scarlet serge patrol jacket (2 pocket) to a Lieutenant in the Gordon Highlanders. I'll post a better picture later. The one on the left is Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
  5. I recently purchased this tunic. It seems to be WWI period from the construction. It is a bit of a mystery, not quite matching any of the standard regimental patterns. It has red cuffs, yellow collar with no collar badges. There seem to never have been any as there are no holes in the fabric. It is ranked for a Lieutenant. The buttons seem to be the biggest clue. They are all the same. A wildcat on crown with the motto "Sans Peur" (without fear). This is the motto and emblem are from the Sutherland clan coat of arms. At first I thought it might be from the pre-1881 93rd Sutherland Highlanders. The construction does not seem that early and I don't believe they wore these buttons. A second possibility (and one that seems more likely) is the 5th (Caithness and Sutherland) Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders. While they were part of the Seaforth Highlanders, the were allowed to wear the Sutherland Clan emblems on their uniforms. (A unusual allowance?... Are there other examples of battalions in the British Army that did not wear (at least) a version of their parent units badge?) Still I'm not certain. I've not been able to find anything confirming the red cuffs or no collar badges. I have seen pictures that show both buttons and cap badges with the "Sans Peur" Wildcat. Any help would be appreciated.
  6. I've decided to sell this on. I am a Royal Navy collector and this doesn't fit as interesting as it is. I've put it on ebay (US) if anyone is interested. Art
  7. Many thanks. Austrian uniforms are totally outside my area. (Although the navy piece is on theme). I looked closely at the sleeves. I don't know, maybe there were ranks cuffs at some point. Are there any cases where there wouldn't have been any (i.e. warrant officers)? I assuming its WWI as opposed to, say, 1870s. Is there any way to nail it down?
  8. I had originally posted this over in the British section because I thought it was Royal Navy. Thanks to a forum member for properly id'ing it. I hadn't looked at the back of the buttons. (I'm not sure why, I always do.) There are several types: Some say: "A U" and "Qualitat" Others say: "Bruder Schneider Wein" Still others say: "KUK Hof Lieferanten" So a few questions. 1. What date? Obviously before 1918 but more specific than that? 2. No cuff ranks, would there have been any? 3. It has loops for epaulettes. What would they look like? 4. It has loops for two medals. Any idea what they would have been? Not so much which particular medals. I know that's impossible. There are two overlapping stiff cord medal hangers. Would that be for two medals or a bar with more than two?
  9. Taking that close up of the button, it dawned on me to look at the backs of the buttons. I'm not sure why I didn't do that to begin with. Yes definitely A-H. Button say (there are two types): "Bruder Schneider, Wein" and "KUK Hof Lieferanten" I'm going to put a post in the appropriate thread. Thank you Balazs
  10. Interesting. Here is a close up of one of the buttons. This 19th century Royal Navy frock in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich has six rows of buttons. https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/71609.html I had considered that it might be continental. Austro-Hungarian would be interesting indeed.
  11. Hello, I'm looking for some information about this Navy Frock Coat. It has no rank stripes on the sleeve. Doesn't seem to ever have had any. No markings of any kind inside coat. Has stiff cord on left breast for two medals. Shoulders have loops for epaulettes. What era is it from? Any info would be great, thanks.
  12. Interesting points! I have always liked these Medaille d'Honneur. Especially the large ones for marine and colonies. I've always wanted one with an Africa connection (the search continues). I've managed to find a nice early ribbon for it. Sadly I don't imagine St.PetM was high on anyone's priority list so if it got sent out without a name it probably didn't bother anyone. They probably figured it would be so uncommon in the colony that no one would know the difference.
  13. Recent pick up. Medaille d"Honneur 1st class in Silver, Ministry of Marine and Colonies Embossed on Reverse "Incendie du 15-16 Aout 1879" (Fire of 15-16 August 1879) When I bought it I had no information on the details and neither did the seller. Still I sort of knew there was a decent chance of narrowing this one down. My research started with what I knew. A fire in 1879. I reasoned that a "Marine and Colonies" medal for a Fire was likely for a colony and not a marine issue. Even a fire on a ship would not be called an "Incendie". Then the question was ... how many fires in French colonies could have occurred on August 15-16, 1879? Not many, right? Well I was right. I found just one. The New York Times reported a ... "Violent fire that devoured 24 houses along with the ministry of the Interior, the Navy and the Post Office which were totally destroyed." Location: St. Pierre et Miquelon (France's last remaining North American colony. A tiny outpost near Newfoundland, home to the France's Cod fishing interests). Then I found this in the "Annuaire de Iles Saint-Pierre et Miquelon" published in 1900... https://books.google.com/books?id=kdE-AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA175&lpg=PA175&dq="incendie+du+15-16+Aout+1879"&source=bl&ots=8LYfQA_WIl&sig=_a8ZaMhEQkKGGlZVXokC9sCH-WY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi9_pKS_5XdAhWKt1kKHdujCaAQ6AEwAHoECAAQAQ#v=onepage&q="incendie du 15-16 Aout 1879"&f=false "Recompenses Honorifiques" "Medaille de 1re Classe En Argent" "A l'occasion de l'incendie du 15-16 Aout 1879" Hacala, Sergent-Major du Pompiers Marsoliau, calfat (caulker) Bingo! I suppose I'll never know which of these two men earned this medal or why it was embossed with only the incident and not the name too. (Or why the "Annuaire" only printed their last names). Hacalas and Marsoliaus still live on St. Pierre et Miquelon today. Hacala is a common name there, of Basque origin (as many names are on St. Pierre).
  14. Norvege, Afrique, France, Liberation? Not exactly sure. His Levant has "Levant" and "Levant 1925-26" Art
  15. Just heard back from Jim Kern at the Vallejo Naval Museum. "Please excuse my delay in responding to your email about your very interesting Mare Island flag. Beginning soon after the Civil War, a flag loft was established at Mare Island, purportedly to provide employment for Civil War widows. The flag loft eventually grew to make flags for the entire US Pacific fleet and (with the sail loft) also made sails, canvas boat covers, signal flags, banners, and anything else made of cloth. They also made flags for ships of foreign navies that often came to Mare Island for repairs. There were two British ships that came to Mare Island for repairs during the war, HMS Liverpool and HMS Orion. As near as I can tell, Liverpool departed Mare Island in November 1941 and Orion departed in March of 1942, so your flag could not have been from either of these ships. However, US Navy ships were constantly arriving and departing from Mare Island throughout the war, so they may have brought flags to British ships that were stationed elsewhere in the Pacific. Interestingly, before the war Mare Island even made flags for visiting German ships, as evidenced by the attached photos of a German swastika flag made at Mare island in 1936." This flag is the same large #2 size as mine.
  16. Just picked this up. Royal Navy Ensign marked "Great Britain No. 2" and "Mare Island Feb 1943" on the hoist. Flag is big (Hoist = 7.5 feet, Fly = 15 feet) A bit tattered. It is covered with old repairs. Mare Island Naval Shipyard is in Vallejo, California. The first shipyard on the west coast it was opened until 1996. There was a flag makers shop that produced ensigns for the US navy (and some Allied navies during WWII). The flag shop was staffed by 400 people and included 300 female seamstresses. They produced, among many others, the two flags that flew at Iwo Jima in 1945. I have an email in with the Vallejo Naval Museum to see if they have any more information. I believe the "No. 2" refers to the size. They made sizes 1 - 12, #1 being the biggest and 12 being the smallest. Among the Royal Navy ships repaired at Mare Island during the war were HMS Liverpool and HMS Orion. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  17. DanEMS, yes I think that is the full entitlement. Chris, thanks. Yes I'd love to get this shown more widely. Any ideas how to do tbis?
  18. Thank you Elmer. I just got these books. Pacchiotti is confirmed as being with the 26th Regiment (they have the AVM entries for all army units in the Italo-Turkish War).
  19. Pacchiotti seems to be listed under the 26th Regiment but his rank is Zappatore. Did infantry regiments have this rank or was it only Engineers (Genio)? Maybe he was attached to the 26th Regiment? The only other 26th regiment MBVM for 27 Dec 1911 are two zappatore (including Pacchiotti), two medics, and a Lieutenant Colonel. Also the two Zappatore awarded MBVMs are from different cities (Rome and Turin) which would imply they were not in the same unit.
  20. Mustapha Kemal, Derna, Libya 1911. He was wounded in Libya in early 1912 in one of the first aerial bombardments in world history. "During the Battle of Derna on 16–17 January 1912, while Mustafa Kemal was assaulting the Italian-controlled fortress of Kasr-ı Harun, two Italian planes dropped bombs on the Ottoman forces and a piece of limestone from a damaged building's rubble entered Mustafa Kemal's left eye; which caused a permanent damage on his left eye's tissue, but not a total loss of sight. After receiving medical treatment for nearly a month (he attempted to leave the Red Crescent's health facilities early after only two weeks, but when his eye's situation worsened, he had to return and resume the treatment) on 6 March 1912 Mustafa Kemal became the Commander of the Ottoman forces in Derna. He managed to defend and retain the city and its surrounding region until the end of the Italo-Turkish War on 18 October 1912." (from the website - http://www.liquisearch.com/mustafa_kemal_atatürk/military_career/italo-turkish_war_1911–1912
  21. Thanks Paul, I must admit, I have a weakness for these when they have an Africa connection. Here's a picture of one of the 10 officer casualties from the battle at Derna on Dec. 27, 1911. Lt. Barberis served with the 7th Regiment of Infantry and earned a Silver AVM for the battle. And a postcard from the 26th Regiment's time in Derna, Libya.
  22. Just picked this up. A nice Bronze AVM for Italo-Turkish War in Libia. Named on Back: Derna 27-XII-1911 Pacchiotti, Mario The action at Derna in December 1911, saw an Italian force of 3,500 repel an attack by Turkish and Libyan forces. Ten officers were killed or wounded and 108 other ranks were killed or wounded. Turkish forces at the battle were led by Mustapha Kemal (later Ataturk). Pacchiotti's citation reads: During the combat he was always the first to rush where most serious was the danger, and fights bravely and tenaciously urging his comrades by word and example. – Derna, 27 December 1911. Pacchiotti served with the 26th Infantry Regiment as a Zappatore. Lt. Giovanni Esposito of the 5th Alpini Regiment won the GOLD AVM for this action.
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