Posts Tagged ‘militaria’

Long and Loyal Service

March 17, 2015

Back in Victorian times, the Loyal Volunteers were ready to serve their country as armed soldiers if need arose. They practised regularly and certainly had skills as marksmen. We have seen a couple of pictures of the men on this blog and also buttons found by a local metal detectorist.

Loyal Volunteers were able to earn long service awards and today we show one such award.

Medal 'For long service in the Volunteer Force'

Medal ‘For long service in the Volunteer Force’

Nobody is named on this medal and we do not know who it belonged to. But many local men served lengthy periods in the Volunteer Force.

The other side has an image of Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria is on the other side

Queen Victoria is on the other side

This is a fairly elderly looking queen and that suggests the medal was awarded, perhaps in the 1880s or 1890s.

It’s a lovely item but it would be good to know more about it.

A World War II saw

October 23, 2014


Recently we were given a saw which we find interesting. It came from Vicarage Farm in Easterton but clearly has a military origin.

The saw comes in what looks like a small kit bag – a canvas pouch.


Military saw pouch

Inside the lid of the pouch it is marked with the war department arrow symbol. It is very faded.

The War Department arrow head can just be made out

The War Department arrow head can just be made out

Inside the pouch there are the makings of a substantial two man saw, capable of sawing down quite substantial trees.

Military saw pouch

The contents of this saw pouch

Here we have the rolled up saw blade, two double handles and a saw set for getting the angles of the teeth correct. That should have a wooden handle as well and there should also be a file for sharpening the teeth.

With the items out of the pouch we can see it is purpose built for this saw.

pockets in the pouch

Pockets in the pouch

Here we can see the pockets for the four handles and the two maintenance tools. The blade fits neatly in the middle.

Assembled, the saw looks like this.


The blade has a cutting length of 42 inches – that’s well over a metre.

The teeth are big, bold and sharp.


We believe this item to be of World War 2 age but seek advice from any expert in the field of military saws.

A sword chape

October 19, 2014

It is always good to learn a new word and we learned the word chape when given some metal detector finds recently.

The dictionary defines chape as the metal point of a scabbard.

A scabbard, of course, is that special pocket, usually of leather, which hangs from a belt. It is designed to hold a sword or a dagger.

By their very nature, swords and daggers have sharp points and these points would tend to wear through a leather scabbard, so the base of the scabbard, where the point of the sword goes is reinforced with metal. That metal reinforcement is the chape.

Now if you were a person of status, then your chape could help to mark you out. It could be highly decorative and made in suitably strong metal. Even in base metal, a chape could be well decorated – like this one.

17th century chape found in Market Lavington

17th century chape found in Market Lavington

This chape is reckoned to date from the 17th century so is up to 400 years old. It could even have been in use in the English civil war.

Now we are no experts at metal work, but it is clearly carefully and intricately marked. A metal smith has spent much time getting this item to be as beautiful as that. It would have added quite a bit to the cost of the scabbard. We guess the decoration was produced by careful beating with quite specialist tools.

What a very pretty item to be worn into battle!