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Bushmanland Borderers possible regimental mark on sword 7 years 7 months ago #24661

  • Will M
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I have a 1882p cavalry sword marked B.B. on the guard. The inner guard marked B/7
I have only found the regimental marking for Bushmanland Borderers.
Would they have been equipped with older pattern swords to quickly equip a unit?
Do any photos exist with them wearing swords?


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Bushmanland Borderers possible regimental mark on sword 7 years 7 months ago #24663

  • Frank Kelley
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Good morning,
In a word no, I doubt very much if there were even six of those in the Cape, let alone six hundred, the Colonies forces did not use them, from memory, the Bushmanland Borderer's were only raised in April 1901, they were the Cape Governments emergency stop gap measure in answer to the enemies invasion of their Colony.
They were, in effect, Class D SAMIF troops, to actually have to train six hundred Cape coloured boys as cavalry would have been quite impossible, there was not enough time, moreover, it would have been pointless, far easier and clearly common sense, to issue the Martini and the few Lee Metford available.
It would certainly have taken more than a blade to deal with Hertzog and Brand's one thousand two hundred strong commando and the further eight hundred with Kritzinger, you would almost certainly have been shot to ribbons before you had even drawn the wretched thing from your scabbard.
Kind regards Frank Kelley

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Bushmanland Borderers possible regimental mark on sword 7 years 7 months ago #24667

  • Will M
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I totally agree a sword was past its useful life at this stage. The British refusal to relegate the sword to history carried on through WW1. There is always kit issued and never used.
I believe Frank is right about the sword, I read that lances were more useful but the Lee Metford in .303 was there to stay for a long time.
I could not find a regimental designation even close to B.B. except for Bushmanland Borderers.
The marking must be one that does not pertain strictly to their official naming.
Any help with the regimental marking is appreciated.

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Bushmanland Borderers possible regimental mark on sword 7 years 7 months ago #24668

  • QSAMIKE
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I have a couple of these swords and have found that they were first issued to so called front line troops / units and then passed on down the line and recycled to others..... Each unit would put their marking on them......

Which brings me to the point of the sword (please excuse the pun) is that there is only ONE unit marking and in a way an obscure unit at that so to speak......

I wonder if there is an Indian Army unit that uses the "BB"......

Mike
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Past-President Calgary
Military Historical Society
O.M.R.S. 1591

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Bushmanland Borderers possible regimental mark on sword 7 years 7 months ago #24674

  • Will M
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Mike that's a good idea, though now getting off topic of this forum I could only come up with for India is Governors Bombay Body Guard. Could be B.B. ?
The photo is Madras Body Guard but does show them wearing the 1882/5 pattern swords.

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