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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Officers' Swords


mhurst
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I know that BEF officers went to war in August 1914 with their swords (Bernard Montgomery was particularly advised to sharpen his before leaving), and there are accounts of their presence during the first few days of action. But did the wearing of swords by battalion officers effectively end with the retreat to the Marne, or did the practice continue past this date - until First Ypres, perhaps?

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Would be a dead giveaway for any self respecting sniper though. I think I would think twice before brandishing one around.

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I should think that for an Infantry Officer a sword would have been an encumbrance (unless it was kept on the horse furniture in the very early part of the war) and soon dispensed with.

Montgomery certainly felt that it was after his inital experience.

Sharpening of Officer's swords and o/r's bayonets was part of the mobilisation procedures.

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Major this would be the man in your photo;

Lieutenant Colonel John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming "Jack" Churchill, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar (16 September 1906 – 8 March 1996), nicknamed Fighting Jack Churchill and Mad Jack, was a British soldier who fought throughout World War II armed with a longbow, arrows, and a Scottish broadsword. He is known for the motto "any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly armed."

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