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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

swagger sticks in the Buffs


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Hello redwoodmiss,

If you could post a photo it would help a lot, swagger sticks were used widely by the army including enlisted men. By WW2 they were really an officer's affectation.

Styles and methods of manufacture differ wildly from cane with cartridge fittings to german silver fittings on NCO's sticks. I am guessing that as you have identified it as being from the Buffs, it is more likely a better quality piece.


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Many Regiments had standing orders which stated that no Soldiers were allowed "out of Barracks" without carrying a swagger stick. They were used to keep Soldier's hands occupied and out of their pockets.

I am uncertain when Military Swagger Sticks came into use, but they were certainly carried by Victorian Soldiers. The First World War killed off their usage (not useful in a trench!) and I do not recall seeing any post WW1 photographs of the sticks in use.

Swagger Sticks were a "Private Purchase" item, rather than "issued", and came in a variety of forms, with different canes or sticks with an end cap bearing a Regimental device on one end and a small ferrule on the other. The end caps were usually made of white metal but high quality "Swagger Sticks" had hall-marked silver end caps. A "Buffs" Swagger stick would be difficult to date, unless it is hall-marked

Because of the large variety of designs, "Military Swagger Sticks" are quite collectable. There are also Civilian examples of varying designs and quality.

Hope this helps.


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