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RAF Officers' dress sword.


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One of the least seen officers' swords is the pattern for the RAF. Possibly because they don't

have so many occasions for ceremonial parades ?

The RAF were created in1918 from the Royal Flying Corps and the pattern for the sword was

established at the same time. Quite different to military swords - it is covered with 22 ct. gold

and the bowl guard has a different design for the hole patterns. The guard has in addition to the

Royal Cypher, a lovely panel with the RAF Eagle.

This one was made by Wilkinsons and is for Queen Elizabeth - therefore within the range of

1952 - 2012. Wilkinson have now been sold and the dies sold to small companies prepared

to make their own swords. I am afraid from the examples I have seen that an original one

from Wilkinson is the one to look for.

I will show a number of different views.

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2012/post-6209-0-03766800-1336139726.jpgCLICK TO ENLARGE

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I see a lot of swords - however, for me, this is one of the most attractive of the British Dress Swords.

Perhaps it is the unique design - perhaps it is the impact of the gold - it just seems to 'jump' out

at you. The price to buy one is well over a thousand pounds ($1600) - but it would prove to be the

centrepiece for most collections.

ps. I see people on Facebook have been following my mistakes this afternoon. I would like to give an

invitation to join - gmic.co.uk - the World's leading militaria forum. Mervyn

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_05_2012/post-6209-0-94610100-1336141264.jpgCLICK TO ENLARGE

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I only had occasion to wear an RAF sword when part of a Guard of Honour at service weddings, so never had the 'L' shaped hooks sewn to my No 1 jacket to support the swordbelt - without them the belt quickly sagged down on the left side from the weight of the sword and scabbard, and looked extremely scruffy.

After the WRAF had been absorbed into the RAF, and servicewomen had the right to bear arms, we were amused to hear that a special three-quarter length sword was being introduced for female officers. Obviously part of the latest defence cuts, we agreed.

Bill

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Thank you for posting this more recent example from the Wilkinson company. With (in addition to the RAF sword) what I found of considerable interest the evolution of the firm's proof marking into what it is now, as contrasted with swords from earlier eras. FP

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi - Frogprince. I often find that peope are not quite sure about the proof marks. Because of the surrounding

'Star of David' many peope think they have a Jewish sword. Well done for showing earlier proof marks - if

you have the interest - and the time - this would make a good article. Mervyn

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A number of years ago I dropped into a small junk shop near Blackpool while on holiday in UK...... In a barrel near the cash was a number of swords with a price label on the barrel...... L 75 (Pounds) Each Your Choice....... I picked up 2 Naval Swords with Scabbards and a 1908 Cavalry with scabbard named to a Canadian Regiment..... Then run out of ready cash...... In the barrel I remember there were 4 (3 with scabbards) King George VI R.A.F. swords...... I kick myself now for not picking up one of them instead of the RN.......

Mike

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Hi - Frogprince. I often find that peope are not quite sure about the proof marks. Because of the surrounding

'Star of David' many peope think they have a Jewish sword. Well done for showing earlier proof marks - if

you have the interest - and the time - this would make a good article. Mervyn

Hello Mervyn,

I have the interest, but I'm a little short on time right now with some Springtime activities. Still having some what I believe to be good examples for some of the interim periods, which most regrettably were reduced in numbers in the years before I acquired an easier to use digital camera. (Which even now does not always do what I want it to do.) With something that I did not realize at the time being that with the early swords by Wilkinson that the small proof discs may actually be gold. And as you say the "star" being something else which does not immediately come to mind. Both of which were soon copied by others to try and "elevate" the quality of their swords in the minds of prospective customers.

Best Regards, Fred

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