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katana 20th January 2012 09:50 PM

2 Victorian Lances
 
5 Attachment(s)
Hi,
just acquired 2 1868 pattern lances. Totally complete with their 'shoe' pieces, leather strap handles and even the leather protective sleeve/handle ....only missing their red/white pennants....I'm more than 'made up' :cool:

Markings on the lance head / 'shoe' are faint but have a crown with 'E' below ....I'm assuming an 'Enfield' armoury mark ....a few numbers '94 and '97 ...so assuming they were re-issued 1894 and 1897.

However, the bamboo shafts are also stamped ... with a crown, 73 and 'E' ....1873 ? if so only 5 years from the pattern's first issue.

On one lance the head and shoe have 'T P' marked ......no idea as to reason.

Please any info, comments or discussions on Lances/ Lancers gratefully welcome...

As a footnote ......if I got one more lance would I be a freelance ???? :D :rolleyes:

Kind Regards
David

Jim McDougall 20th January 2012 11:26 PM

OK freelance :) !!! LOL!!!
These are beauties and hard to find, nicely done. I'll get some detail a little later, I know Ive got an article here somewhere in the bookmobile.
All the best,
Jim

katana 20th January 2012 11:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
OK freelance :) !!! LOL!!!
These are beauties and hard to find, nicely done. I'll get some detail a little later, I know Ive got an article here somewhere in the bookmobile.
All the best,
Jim



Hi Jim :) ,
thank you very much Jim, look forward to your insights ... I am extremely pleased to have these ..... originally described as 'African spears'....my hope is that these lances were brought back from Africa (Zulu wars or the Boer war ) and that is where the mistake originated .... unfortunately no proof :(
On Stefan's website (Ashoka), he mentions the use of the 1868 lance during the Zulu wars so if anyone has any info on this it will be greatly appreciated.

All the best
David

Rick 21st January 2012 01:36 AM

Oh, those are sweet !
Congratulations .

Gavin Nugent 21st January 2012 02:36 AM

Congrats,

Very nice and very very very good order.

I too recently bought 4 of these too, some loop straps intact, some broken one end, others with blue and white banners attached at the spear point.

Mine came with a group of short stabbing spears from Africa, perhaps the blue and white banners on mine can offer some insight to an African campaign....I look forward to what the professor comes back with....Scottish regiment perhaps :shrug:

Gav

Gavin Nugent 21st January 2012 05:13 AM

A quick search turned up the following for blue and white;

3rd Cavalry
Blue koorta with scarlet facings
Dark Blue turban
Red sash
Yellow trousers
Blue over white lance pennon

This dates from british India 1857 records so not likely for mine....

Jim McDougall 21st January 2012 05:53 AM

Hi David,
After hours of 'excavations' here in the bookmobile, Ive plowed through everything I could find on British lances. Found the article I was looking for "The British Lance" by J.D. Chown (Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting, Vol.7 #3, 1974, pp.97-102) but lacks detail, simply specs on patterns. More date found in "Sword, Lance and Bayonet" C.Ffoulkes & E.C.Hopkinson 1938 (repr. 1967). Apparantly earlier lances had langets with attachment screws on both head and foot (butt) intil the 1868 pattern (like yours) where these were affixed with shellac to the shaft (Ffoulkes & Hopkinson p.106).

The 1868 pattern apparantly also called for a male bamboo shaft, which was sometimes difficult to obtain to meet standards with some cases of returning to ash shafts. The M1868 remained the same into later years, but in 1885 the shafts were ash and that became the pattern officially, with the furniture basically the same. This brings in some confusion as we know ash was sometimes substituted on the M1868, while the 1885 was strictly ash.
An experimental pattern in 1895 has long head socket and three slotted holes to affix pennon, but did not become officially adopted in British units. I have seen these however on Indian units' lances from WWI.

The markings are interesting and I think the 'TP' markings possibly have to do with sizes in the sockets for adapting to variations in the bamboo size, there were apparantly 7 head sizes and 4 shoe sizes. I thought there might be possibility that the 'T' was poorly stamped 'I' which would suggest India pattern, but that seems unlikely as the shoes are clearly not that, and the 'E' markings to me of course suggest Enfield Small Arms Factory. The crown and the number '73' (probably year of production) also strongly take away from the India possibility.

While there are no issue marks to regiment, it would seem if 1873 is the production or assembly year, these could have been at least of the type used by the 17th lancers who were sent to South Africa in 1880. They arrived to the area of Rorkes Drift around May, 1880 and on July 4, 1880 near White Umvolosi River near Royal Kraal at Ulundi they charged Zulu warriors at the battle called Ulundi.
In the 2nd Boer War (1899-1902) the 16th lancers were with Lord Roberts at Praetoria and are seen with these type lances in photos. The lance was used by British line regiments in combat was by the 5th lancers at Elandslaagle in South Africa at beginning of 2nd Boer War.

While the lance was officially abolished in 1903 it was somehow reinstated in 1909 until 1927. The lance was used effectively by Indian cavalry regiments in various campaigns and in Palestine in WWI, as well as by British units at Moy (28Aug1914) and Marne (Sept.1914).

The lance is still used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in their drill performances, and I will never forget seeing one of those some years ago.

I will also never forget when I got my first pair of lances many years ago. I had won them in an overseas auction and when called by customs in Los Angeles to notify me of thier arrival I was so excited I roared off to the airport some 55 miles away without thinking of logistics. I was driving a 1969 Corvette with T tops, so of course these 9 ft.lances were sticking into the air as I 'charged' down the 405 freeway!!! I got the attention of the Highway Patrol as the bewildered officer could not resist asking what these 'spears' were doing sticking out of my car. Luckily he had a sense of humor and off I went :)

Anyway, I think yours are pattern 1868 as noted, the 73 production year most likely at Enfield, could well have gone to South Africa in either of the instances mentioned or both, but unclear on absence of regimental marks.
Whatever the case....extremely nice!!!!!!

All the best,
Jim

Jim McDougall 21st January 2012 05:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by freebooter
A quick search turned up the following for blue and white;

3rd Cavalry
Blue koorta with scarlet facings
Dark Blue turban
Red sash
Yellow trousers
Blue over white lance pennon

This dates from british India 1857 records so not likely for mine....



Just saw this, excellent work there Gav!!! As far as Ive known British units even native cavalry used red and white pennons, except 3rd Bengal Lancers which used blue and yellow in later years of 19th century.

Any pics of your lances?

All the best,
Jim

Gavin Nugent 21st January 2012 06:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Just saw this, excellent work there Gav!!! As far as Ive known British units even native cavalry used red and white pennons, except 3rd Bengal Lancers which used blue and yellow in later years of 19th century.

Any pics of your lances?

All the best,
Jim


Thanks Jim. Unfortunately they are in storage until the end of Feb at latest but I'll bring them to the table then.

Gav

katana 21st January 2012 02:44 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Thank you for all the replies and the congrats Rick ;)

Gav :) , I would also like to see pictures of your lances when they are 'available' :) I never knew that there were blue/white pennants in the British Army....I thought all were red and white

Jim :) ,
thank you for the back ground ...... the vision of you in 'jousting mode' on a freeway is now stuck in my head ......I do hope you were sporting your pith helmet to complete the 'ensemble' ...... :D as some of the pictures show below......

These lances were used in many conflicts in Africa ....as well as India. The Madhist uprising also saw the Lancers put to use. As far as I can tell the Lancers at the tail end of the 19th C were rarely used in European conflicts perhaps, due to the effectiveness of long range firearms....but in colonial engagements they continued to flourish.

Kind Regards David

A few pics gleamed from the web......

Iain 21st January 2012 02:50 PM

Really neat images David, I wasn't familiar with the use of the lancers in the colonies. Of course congratulations are in order for the lances as well! Really fine looking pieces and amazing to get them intact with the straps.

Fascinating subject, please keep posting more info guys. :)

Jim McDougall 21st January 2012 03:33 PM

Great pics David! and I actually did have a pith helmet but wasnt wearing it that day in the vette:) I recall my wife once retorting as I wanted to watch 'Gunga Din' for the zillionth time, "OK, but this time dont wear the helmet, you're scaring the cats!" :)

I think one of the biggest confusions in lances are the ever present 'pig sticking' or 'tent pegging' lances which were heavily in use during the Raj.
These are typically shorter and have a heavy lead weight as the shoe. The head is different as well. These examples seem far more common and often misperceived as they are very close to the combat lances in appearance, especially those without the weighted shoe. I recall getting a pair of these back then and having no idea what the heck was up with the huge lead ball at the base.

While the lance was used in numerous colonial situations, it seems it was frowned upon in many cases not only from the standpoint of the advent of repeating firearms, but that it was cumbersome and somewhat dangerous in close quarters combat and melee. The longest standing use seems to have been with the native cavalry regiments from India, the fabled 'Bengal Lancers', who continued use well through the 1930s. I have mentioned before my great visit with Brigadier Francis Ingall (author of "Last of the Bengal Lancers") before his passing in 1992, and his great tales of one of the last cavalry charges on the plains in Khyber Agency in the 1930s.

In research on the lance many years ago I learned that at least one cavalry regiment in Pennsylvania was outfitted as a lancer regiment (I think it was Rush's lancers) in the Civil War period. I cannot recall finding these ever being used in combat, and mostly it sounds like a pretty unfortunate outcome with this experimental situation. As poorly trained as cavalry was with the sword, I can imagine how the lance must have fared. I just thought it an interesting note as we review some lance history.

I had a couple of books written by a Polish lancer in WWI, and in WWI the German uhlans used a fully metal lance of over 10 feet long. The Polish lancers in Napoleons service were quite the inspiration for lancer units in Europe. I recall reading these were much feared and despised as death from these lance wounds was particularly gruesome, and when captured the lancers were seldom given quarter and killed on the spot.

Gav, thanks very much for more on your lances, and I still hope to find something somewhere on the color pairing on lance pennons. Trying to recall work I did on this topic (around three decades ago :) it seems there were of course colors to various countries, I think Germany was black & white, and so on. The blue and yellow for 3rd Bengal Lancers was it seems the single variationin among British cavalry.
In South Africa there were however native regimental contingents much as in India such as Natal Mounted Rifles if I recall correctly, but unsure whether any might have been outfitted as lancers. Perhaps some look into material on the two Boer wars might reveal units which might have that prospective.

Thanks very much guys for sharing these, and the boost down memory lane in my case! :)

All the best,
Jim

katana 21st January 2012 04:41 PM

Some of the Lancer 'actions' in Africa late 19thC....

The 17th....

".........In India, the 17th became the 17th Regiment of Lancers. When, in 1876, it gained Prince George, Duke of Cambridge as its Colonel-in-Chief, the regiment adopted the title of the 17th (The Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers.

The 17th was sent to Natal Colony for the Zulu War. On 4 July 1879, the 17th fought at the Battle of Ulundi under Sir Drury Curzon Drury-Lowe. The 17th was posted inside a large British infantry square during the attack by the Zulu Army, which had surrounded the British. When the attack appeared to be wavering, the 17th Lancers were ordered to advance. Their charge routed the warriors with heavy loss. The battle proved to be decisive. The 17th returned to India the same year, remaining there until about 1890 when they returned home........"

The 5th Royal Irish...

"....A small detachment was sent to serve with the Heavy Camel Corps during the Egyptian Campaign, where they suffered some casualties at Abu Klea. It was also here that Private G. H. Austin was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery under fire.
Also at this time they provided two squadrons of cavalry for the Gordon Relief Force, along with the 20th hussars and 9th Bengal Cavalry. It was here while fighting Osman Dinga that they saw action at Suakin on the Red Sea, Hasheen and Tamai. It was during the actions at Suakin where a full charge with lances routed the opposing Dervishes that the regiment was awarded the battle honour "Suakin 1885". The two squadrons were awarded the Egyptian Medal with clasps "Suakin 1885" and "Toftek"......"

12th (Prince of Wales's Royal ) Lancers (Battle honours)

"... Egypt, Salamanca, Peninsula, Waterloo, Punniar, Sobraon, Chillianwallah, Goojerat, Punjaub, South Africa 1851-53, Sevastopol, Delhi 1857, Lucknow, Central India, Charasiah, Kabul 1878, Kandahar 1880, Afghanistan 1878-80, Modder River, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, South Africa 1899-1902....."

Battle of Omdurman....

".....The British light cavalry regiment, the 21st Lancers, was sent ahead to clear the plain to Omdurman. They had a tough time of it. The 400-strong regiment attacked what they thought were only a few hundred dervishes, but in fact there were 2,500 infantry hidden behind them in a depression. After a fierce clash the Lancers drove them back (resulting in three Victoria Crosses being awarded)....."

katana 21st January 2012 04:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Great pics David! and I actually did have a pith helmet but wasnt wearing it that day in the vette:) I recall my wife once retorting as I wanted to watch 'Gunga Din' for the zillionth time, "OK, but this time dont wear the helmet, you're scaring the cats!" :)

All the best,
Jim



Hi Jim,
yes I remembered you had one :) ....also, wasn't there something about a tulwar, a ceiling fan and a lot of Drambuie :D :eek: :cool:

All the best
David

Jim McDougall 21st January 2012 06:22 PM

JUDL!!!
Thanks David, you remembered my Drambuie story :)
Outstanding detail on the unit participations of these regiments, and really gives great perspective on the many places these types of lances might have seen action. Careful, or you will end up a crazed, obsessive researcher rolling around in a Winnebago like me :) I am writing now amid sheaves of scribbled notes and books in the bookmobile.

Im not sure of the provenance on these lances of yours from Stefan (Ashoka) but if they are indeed from Africa, as the group from Gav is, perhaps I may have some interesting findings.
The unusual color pennon on one of Gavs lances prompted me to loom further into native regiments which might have equipped with lances, and found that there were Australian regiments of cavalry there during Boer Wars as well. Actually, these ANZAC units are probably some of the most colorful representations of cavalry during these times.

In Australia in 1885 a volunteer cavalry regiment which ultimately became the New South Wales Lancers was formed, originally known as the Hunter River cavalry regiment. From some of the data on the NSW lancers online, it appears that they were appointed officially as lancers in 1894. In 1897 some squadrons were sent to participate in Queen Victorias jubilee event.
They were posted as well to South Africa, and are noted to have fought with lances in numerous engagements 1899-1902 in the 2nd Boer War.

While this probably does not address the variant colored pennon in Gavs group, as I believe Australian units also had the British red and white, it does seem to show admittedly tenuous connection to the dates you note from your lances.

All the best,
Jim

broadaxe 21st January 2012 10:31 PM

4 Attachment(s)
My city, Haifa, was captured from the Ottoman turks at the end of WWI, 23th September 1918, by the 16th Indian cavalry brigade, Jodhpur & Mysore lancers. 1st photo is a very famous one, showing the Indian lancers as they march into Haifa via Jaffa Road, on that very day. 2nd photo shows Indian lancers somewhere else at the end of WWI - watch the cheering crowd - I think this is Tel-Aviv. 3rd photo shows British lancers on ceremonial guard in Haifa, probably 1920's. Last photo shows 2008 Australian lancers during the declaration of the Australian cavalry Park in Beersheba, captured from the Ottomans by ANZAC cavalry on 31st October, 1917.

Jim McDougall 22nd January 2012 04:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by broadaxe
My city, Haifa, was captured from the Ottoman turks at the end of WWI, 23th September 1918, by the 16th Indian cavalry brigade, Jodhpur & Mysore lancers. 1st photo is a very famous one, showing the Indian lancers as they march into Haifa via Jaffa Road, on that very day. 2nd photo shows Indian lancers somewhere else at the end of WWI - watch the cheering crowd - I think this is Tel-Aviv. 3rd photo shows British lancers on ceremonial guard in Haifa, probably 1920's. Last photo shows 2008 Australian lancers during the declaration of the Australian cavalry Park in Beersheba, captured from the Ottomans by ANZAC cavalry on 31st October, 1917.


Absolutely fantastic photos and info!!! Thank you for adding these, which add perfect dimension to our discussion on these :)

All the best,
Jim

katana 23rd January 2012 03:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Broadaxe :) ,
thanks for the great images and info.


It seems that during the Victorian era there were only 4 lancer regiments ...

The 5th Royal Irish
The 12th (Prince of Wales's Royal )
The 17th
The 21st

All saw action in Africa ....and most of these units saw action in India.

As most of the armoury markings etc are quite rubbed ...I will have to try and decipher those that are legible. I do not think the T.P is a badly struck I.P (India Pattern) however, if this is the case...I have read that consignments of British manufactured lances were sent to India for the use of the British Units, that seem to have been later marked I.P . (The 'standard' Indian Pattern butt has a larger ball/doughnut that is different to the British )

The male bamboo shaft was also considered superior to the Ash shafts ....and Ash was only used with the 1868 pattern if there was a shortage of suitable bamboo.

So its out with the magnifying glass.....

Regards David

katana 24th January 2012 09:19 PM

As best as I can make out, the markings on the lances are..

LANCE 1



SHAFT


E (approx 5mm high)

crown
75
E


crown
71
E


BUTT

crown
06
E

crown
K
(?)

05 (approx 5mm) 90 (approx 5mm)

4 (perhaps size number)

POINT

T.P. (approx 5mm )

'3'

crown
71
E


crown (possibly, badly rubbed)
14


LANCE 2


SHAFT


crown
75
E



crown
73
E


17 (17th Lancers ??)

BUTT too much patination to see any markings


POINT

T.P.

??? ' 27

??? could be SRN or SQN :shrug:



Any suggestions as to the possible meanings of some of the markings gratefully received.....as is any other comments or information

Kind Regards David

katana 8th February 2012 03:16 PM

I recently contact the Lancer Museum requesting information on the various markings and they have kindly replied :cool:

"....... Thank you for your email. It seems to us that the '17' is a Regimental mark and would refer to the 17th Lancers. The small letters could be SQN and
refer to Squadron. '05' & '90' could be dates when repairs were undertaken.
'T.P.' could be TP for Troop and would be with a letter such as 'A' or 'B',
etc. ....."


Link to 17th Lancers ....... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/17th_Lancers

It would seem that these Lances may have seen / been at several historical battles :cool: :cool:

Best
David

thinreadline 8th February 2012 03:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
I recently contact the Lancer Museum requesting information on the various markings and they have kindly replied :cool:

"....... Thank you for your email. It seems to us that the '17' is a Regimental mark and would refer to the 17th Lancers. The small letters could be SQN and
refer to Squadron. '05' & '90' could be dates when repairs were undertaken.
'T.P.' could be TP for Troop and would be with a letter such as 'A' or 'B',
etc. ....."


Link to 17th Lancers ....... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/17th_Lancers

It would seem that these Lances may have seen / been at several historical battles :cool: :cool:

Best
David



Hi there .. I hate to ruin the theory of the number between the Crown & E as being the date , but it is not. It is the Enfield Inspectors number . Each Inspector at Enfield had a personal number and when he was satisfied as to the serviceability of of piece of equipment , his number the plus crown & E ( for Enfield ) was stamped on it. It is possible to identify the names of the individual inspectors provided one has a date of manufacture of the item . British weapons of this period were always dated in the following fashion : '6/79' for June 1879 for example. Enfield Inspectors also checked equipment made by private contractors & forign manufacturers for Service use and indeed if the output was large enough would actually be based at the factory ... in this case although the Inspectors number would remain the same there would be no 'E' .. instead there would be another designated code letter for the factory eg 'B' BSA , 'X' London Small Arms, 'S' Solingen , 'L' Liege etc
Hope this helps .

katana 11th February 2012 11:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinreadline
Hi there .. I hate to ruin the theory of the number between the Crown & E as being the date , but it is not. It is the Enfield Inspectors number . Each Inspector at Enfield had a personal number and when he was satisfied as to the serviceability of of piece of equipment , his number the plus crown & E ( for Enfield ) was stamped on it. It is possible to identify the names of the individual inspectors provided one has a date of manufacture of the item . Hope this helps .




Thanks Richmond,
no other clear markings are legible :( . However the fact that the "17" could indeed signify the 17th Lancers is :cool: It seems that conclusive dates are going to be difficult.

Kind Regards David

PS sorry for the late reply.

thinreadline 15th February 2012 09:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Thanks Richmond,
no other clear markings are legible :( . However the fact that the "17" could indeed signify the 17th Lancers is :cool: It seems that conclusive dates are going to be difficult.

Kind Regards David

PS sorry for the late reply.


Hi David.. a really useful book to have re such markings is 'THE BROAD ARROW' by Ian Skennerton .. it deals comprehensively with markings on weapons from Britain & the Commonwealth .

katana 15th February 2012 02:10 PM

Hi Richmond,
thank you for the suggestion. Would you know if each inspector had his own 'number' specific to each individual person .....that was subsequently not used by anyone else ....ever.
I'm just wondering whether some sort of dating could be discovered by checking inspector marks to their dates of employment ....obviously if the 'mark number' is 'transferrable' then it would be likely that several inspectors would have the same number and would make this more problematic.

Best
David

Norman McCormick 15th February 2012 11:02 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi David,
Here is another couple of lances for comparison. Total length 109 inches the central ferrule marked 14 B.L. presumably for the 14th Bengal Lancers.
Regards,
Norman.

thinreadline 16th February 2012 12:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Hi Richmond,
thank you for the suggestion. Would you know if each inspector had his own 'number' specific to each individual person .....that was subsequently not used by anyone else ....ever.
I'm just wondering whether some sort of dating could be discovered by checking inspector marks to their dates of employment ....obviously if the 'mark number' is 'transferrable' then it would be likely that several inspectors would have the same number and would make this more problematic.

Best
David

Hi David
Yes the no. was assigned to a particular inspector, but sadly only for the duration of his employment .. it was then reissued to the new incumbent. So no help there I am afraid .
Richmond

katana 17th February 2012 12:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi David,
Here is another couple of lances for comparison. Total length 109 inches the central ferrule marked 14 B.L. presumably for the 14th Bengal Lancers.
Regards,
Norman.


Hi Norman :) ,
thanks for posting these......are they yours ? Interesting that they are 2-piece with a spigot/ferrule .....never seen this type before. Perhaps ceremonial as the 'joint' would generally be a weak point. The 'shoe' is a good example of the Indian Pattern. I do like the fact the pennans are attached.....may have to use a sewing machine :eek: and make up a couple for mine, only problem is that I am unsure as to the type of material used....probably the same as that used for flags and standards of the period.

Kind Regards David

katana 17th February 2012 12:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinreadline
Hi David
Yes the no. was assigned to a particular inspector, but sadly only for the duration of his employment .. it was then reissued to the new incumbent. So no help there I am afraid .
Richmond



Hi Richmond,
thanks for the clarification, a little disappointing when the wear, tear and age (read, rust pitting) has hidden the markings/clues I seek

Kind Regards David

Norman McCormick 18th February 2012 10:32 PM

Hi David,
Not mine I'm afraid, old auction catalogue but I thought they would be of interest. The male part of the joint looks to have a sprung retaining piece so that it locks into the other so might not be such a weak joint as first appears.
My Regards,
Norman.

laEspadaAncha 23rd February 2012 04:36 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Wow, I wish I had been browsing the European weapons forum a month ago when this thread was begun. Not that I would have been able to contribute much other than to share the following image(s) following an encounter I had with a close friend of the late CO who commanded of the 6th Bengal Lancers during their last charge, against Red Shirts and Afridis near the Khyber Pass in or around 1929-1930.

In addition to my temporary possession of the Brigadier's sleeved cloak, cap, and boots, he loaned me the book written by said Brigadier, the cover of which depicts said charge... interesting to note the absence of pennants on the lances in the photo - were the pennants only attached during parades?


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