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P1827/45 Victorian Winnipeg Rifles Sword by Pillin, Canada

P1827/45 Victorian Winnipeg Rifles Sword by Pillin, Canada

Status: Sold

A good example of a Canadian Sword, and significant in the regiment's history.

The Winnipeg Rifles, at the time "The 90th Winnipeg Battalion of Rifles", were formed on the 9th of November 1883. 

Within two years of formation, the 90th battalion served in the 1885 North-West Rebellion, fighting at Fish Creek and Batoche. The regimental Latin motto is hosti acie nominati, which means “named by the enemy in battle”. After the Battle of Fish Creek, a captured Métis asked, "The red coats we know, but who are those little black devils?" – infantry of the line wore red tunics, but the Winnipeg soldiers were clad in rifle green, a shade dark enough to be mistaken for black. From that point on, the 90th Rifles (and later Royal Winnipeg Rifles) became informally nicknamed the "Little Black Devils".

A lesser known fact is that, upon the regiment's formation, their badge was an image of a beaver, and their motto cede nullis, or cede nothing. In the first two years before they earned their new nickname and badge, officers' swords were issued with these descriptors. It follows, then, that this is most likely one of the swords carried by the officers at the battle that earned the regiment its new nickname and badge. What is more, every officer and soldier who participated have been recorded in the regiment's archives, and the sword has initials engraved on the blade, so it will not be difficult to link it to its owner.

Some former members of the 90th Rifles served in South Africa during the Second Boer War as members of other Canadian units, resulting in the award of the South Africa 1899–1900 battle honour.

The sword is in excellent condition, complete with its original scabbard and sword knot.

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