British Pattern 1908 Cavalry Trooper's sword and scabbard
One of two swords presented by Mrs Mackesy - part of Mackesy collection.
Colonel Charles Ernest Randolph Mackesy CMG, CBE, DSO (1861-1925)
Charles Mackesy, a married man with several children, volunteered for service on the outbreak of war and left New Zealand with the rank of Lieut. Colonel, as officer commanding the Auckland Mounted Rifles. After a brief period on Gallipoli he returned to Egypt to take charge of the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade Base. On several occasions during the 1916-1918 Sinai-Palestine campaigns he commanded the Mounted Rifles. His services were honoured with the award of a Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and his appointment as Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1917. During late 1918 he served briefly as military governor of Salt and Amman, and stayed on for several months as advisor to the new Arab administration. In 1919 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
Charles Mackesy returned to New Zealand in 1919 and resumed farming near Whangarei. He died of heart failure in 1925. His collection was shortly afterwards presented to the Museum by Mrs Mackesy.
Three of his sons also served overseas during the war, and one, Harry Mackesy, was killed during the assault on Chunuk Bair in August 1915.
Robson: fig. 45, 46 & 47, pp54-59
blade length and width: 35 ¼ in. x 1 in. x 5/16 in.
blade type: straight, flat back, single fuller each side to within 8 inches of spear point; double edged for last 6 inches.
guard: sheet steel bowl with beaded edge; sword knot slit near pommel; very large pear shaped reinforcing piece on outside near blade shoulder.
hilt mounts: steel pommel.
grip: plastic with steel ferrule at base and large depression for thumb.
Scabbard: sheet steel, square end, no shoe, detachable mouthpiece, two fixed and opposite loops 2 ¼ in. from mouth; wood lined.
sword weight: 2lb 15 ¾ oz.
scabbard weight: 1 lb 6 ½ oz.
Ref. Robson: pp56-57
The Pattern 1908 Mark 1 cavalry sword was the last new British sword to be adopted, and represented the climax of 30 years of searching for a satisfactory cavalry sword. It was the finest sword ever produced for the British Army.