Wilkinson 1845 Infantry Pattern Sword possibly 28th B.N.I.

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Wilkinson 1845 Infantry Pattern Sword possibly 28th B.N.I.

Postby jplu2 » 06 Jun 2017 09:02

Morning everyone.

I hope that you are all safe and well?

I was hoping that I could pick your collective brains on this sword and in particular it's etching...I believe it to be the 28th Bengal Native Infantry as Delhi was one of their Battle Honours and a few of the officers who weren't executed during the Mutiny took part in Greathed's column which fought at Agra and Allyghur. But of course I could be completely wrong!

The sword is a pre serial number Wilkinson therefore it dates to between 1845 and 1854. Unfotunately I do not have the sword to hand thus unsure if there are any other markings.

Thanks for your input, here are the photos:

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Re: Wilkinson 1845 Infantry Pattern Sword possibly 28th B.N.

Postby swordcollector1 » 08 Jun 2017 09:24

Interesting sword, but also a bit of a puzzle...if the sword was made pre-1854 (ie pre-Mutiny), then the actions on the blade must relate to the 2nd Maratha War, not the Mutiny. However my book on Battle Honours of the British and Indian Armies doesn't show the 28 BNI as being entitled to those honours!
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Re: Wilkinson 1845 Infantry Pattern Sword possibly 28th B.N.

Postby jplu2 » 08 Jun 2017 11:12

Thanks for the reply :)

I have had confirmation from an expert source in the meantime, that they did use Agra and Allyghur as Battle Honours. Allyghur was granted in 1828 and included Agra. Shortly afterward in 1830 they were officially deleted, although their badges are shown carrying honours for Allyghur, Delhi, Agra.

The second source is Lt Col. Poulsom's book on Indian Army Badges which illustrates one button design used by the 28th Regiment Bengal Native Infantry, before the regiment mutinied in 1857, which included the battle honours Allyghur, Delhi and Agra.
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Re: Wilkinson 1845 Infantry Pattern Sword possibly 28th B.N.

Postby Peterem » 08 Jun 2017 12:52

I agree with everyone who says the honours refer to Lake's campaigns of 1803/4, especially as the 28th BNI wasn't reformed after it had mutinied, but was replaced by a new 28th, the 28th Punjabis, in 1861.

I don't doubt your source, but it is odd that the 28th claimed "Allyghur" when they don't actually seem to have been there, and "Agra" when my books say it was never recorded as an independent award. The Bengal Presidency must have been much more relaxed about such things than the War Office would have been.

Finally, any idea why the blade clearly says "Afra" rather than "Agra"? Not an error I'd expect Wilkinson to make!

(edited 18:00)

PS Just found out that before 1824 the 28th BNI was the 1st. Batt. 14th Native Infantry, which was at Allyghur, Delhi and Agra. Just goes to show how much care you have to take with the pre-1857 Indian Army.
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Re: Wilkinson 1845 Infantry Pattern Sword possibly 28th B.N.

Postby jplu2 » 08 Jun 2017 19:17

Thank you for your thoughts, and with your edit, I presume we can seal the deal on the sword being from the 28th B.N.I.?
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Re: Wilkinson 1845 Infantry Pattern Sword possibly 28th B.N.

Postby Peterem » 09 Jun 2017 19:02

I'd say so, yes. Good find!
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