I offer for sale a beautifully made and rare, late 19thcentury or early 20th century, Army Officer’s military sword stick, bearing the ‘flaming grenade’ regimental badge of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, a British Army regiment which no longer exists. In 1968 it was merged with the Royal Ulster Rifles and the Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s) to form the Royal Irish Rangers (27th(Inniskilling), 83rd and 87th).
This Irish infantry unit (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) was formed in 1881 and recruited in Ulster. This was the regiment of four Irish counties – Donegal; Londonderry; Tyrone and Fermanagh. It was formed by merging the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot and the 108thRegiment of Foot (Madras Infantry). These became the new unit’s 1st and 2nd Battalions respectively.
During the next two decades after 1881, both battalions undertook garrison duties across the British Empire, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland, South Africa and India. While stationed on the Indian subcontinent in the 1890s, the 2nd Battalion fought in the Tirah Expedition of 1897 on the North West Frontier of India.
Both battalions fought in the Boer War (1899 – 1902), fighting at Colenso in 1899 and taking part in the Relief of Ladysmith in 1900.
In August 1914, the 2nd Battalion moved to France with the British Expeditionary Force, staying there throughout the First World War (1914 – 18). The 1st Battalion remained in India until 1915, when it was deployed to the Middle East before landing at Gallipoli in 1915. In March 1916, it arrived on the Western Front. The regiment also formed nine New Army battalions, which fought in Salonika, Palestine and on the Western Front.
At he outbreak of the Second World War (1939 – 45) the 2nd Battalion deployed to France in 1939. It then fought in the retreat to Dunkirk in June 1940. It later assisted in the capture of Madagascar in 1942, before joining the Sicilian and Italian campaigns from 1943 to 1945. It was joined in Italy by the 6th Battalion, which had earlier fought in Tunisia (1943) and Sicily (1943). In June 1944, the two battalions was merged, going on to fight in the remainder of the Italian campaign. The 1st Battalion remained in the Far East throughout the war, fighting in the Arakan in Burma from 1942 to 1943, and moving to Hong Kong following the Indian partition in 1947.
Post Second World War, the 2nd battalion went on the serve in the Suez Canal Zone and in Cyprus, where it engaged EOKA insurgents in 1954-55, before it was permanently disbanded in 1956.
Meanwhile, the 1st Battalion fought post-colonial insurgencies in Malaya (1948-60) during 1949, and in Kenya (1952-56) from 1953 to 1955.
And so to the sword stick. It appears to be made of Rosewood(?) and measures some 36 ½ inches in length. By twisting the handle of the cane one quarter turn anti-clockwise, you can unlock the bottom section and release a quadrangular cross-section sword blade of some 29 ½ inches in length (no indication of maker). The sword blade in designed purely for thrusting and combat and has a viciously sharp point! A brass and steel ‘ shoe’ secures the bottom of the cane.