Great Uncle Norman’s Cavalry Sword


I had an email recently from Barry at D&B Militaria who’d bought a job lot of weaponry that had come from prop hire company Babty & Co. One of the items was a ceremonial cavalry sword that had the inscription Lt. N. Birtwistle 19th Royal Hussars. As mentioned in various posts, Norman Birtwistle was my great Uncle. He was Lieutenant in the 19th (Queen Alexandra’s Own Royal) Hussars who’d been awarded the MC, and was Killed In Action on Tuesday, 8th October 1918 aged 21. I picked up his sword today, which you can see above being held by my daughter Beth. The Sword may have been used as a prop in the film War House, which Beth is reading at her school as part of the 100th Anniversary of the start of WW1. She’s planning to show the sword to her class mates and talk about the part her great great uncle played in the war.


5 thoughts on “Great Uncle Norman’s Cavalry Sword

  1. Darling,

    That’s really wonderful, well done, I am thrilled. The whole thing is absolutely amazing and I can’t get over it.

    Wonder who picked it up from the battlefield and where it has been all this time before the prop company got it. Somehow it is very touching to be holding something that belonged to him.

    Shall I send you a cheque? How much for?

    Tons of love to you all,

    xxxx Mum

  2. Justin,

    I am amazed that you managed to acquire you Great Uncles sword.

    It made me think of my grandfather who was fighting on the German side, and was severely wounded on 22 November, 1915 and died on 28th November 1915 in Noyon, Picardy.

    Crazy really that members of the same family, at least they became the same family 15 years later. were fighting on opposite sides.


    George Westarp

    1. George my great great grandmother Charlotte Rudolphine Louise Von Beckmann was German, although can’t work out where the Von came from. Her father was a pastor from Holzendorf in what was Mecklenburg-Schwerin. It’s quite conceivable that her son and my great grandfather Ernest FitzHerbert Wright also fought on the opposite side of his close cousins.

  3. It is quite amazing what this blog has helped uncover. It was a ceremonial sword so wouldn’t have been on the battle field, but still strange that it ended up with prop hire company. Nice to have found it though.

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