The Victorian naval officer’s sword
Naval Items, Military Swords
The Victorian naval officer’s sword of Lieutenant W. Driffield supplied by Wilkinson’s in 1892. The regulation blade No 31897 is etched “HENRY WILKINSON, PALL MALL, LONDON” together with the crowned Victorian Royal Arms, fouled anchor, owner’s initials W.D., fruiting oak leaves, ropes, and with the maker’s gilt proofmark. The regulation brass hilt with lion’s head pommel and crowned fouled anchor on the solid guard. The sword retains its original bullion dress knot. The grip is covered with sharkskin and bound with twisted copper wire. Contained in its leather scabbard, the locket is fitted with a sprung catch to retain the sword, and the maker’s device is on the reverse.
Blade length 31” (79cms) Overall Length 36¾” (93.4cms)
The maker’s confirm that sword No 31897 was supplied to Lieutenant W. Driffield in 1892. He was born 15th April 1863. Son of W. Driffield J.P. of West Huntington Hall, near York. Enters HMS Excellent 1883. Passes as Midshipman to HMS Britannia 14th May 1884. Promoted to acting Sub-Lieutenant 14th May 1888. Promoted to Lieutenant 1889. Resigns his commission 5th December 1893. Goes to Australia, reported drowned there in a yachting accident March 1895.