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17th/21st Lancers Motto

Article about: Another item I've had for over 30 years is this "Death or Glory" motto ( cap badge ) of the old 17/21 Lancers. I don't know whether it is pre-war or wartime?...... any ideas? Thank

  1. #1

    Default 17th/21st Lancers Motto

    Another item I've had for over 30 years is this "Death or Glory" motto ( cap badge ) of the old 17/21 Lancers.
    I don't know whether it is pre-war or wartime?...... any ideas?

    Thanks, Dan
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    " When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "

  2. #2

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    Hi Dan,

    Very hard to tell from this obverse pic as this device has been in use for decades and hard metal (rather than anodised aluminium) have been and still are available throughout. It is also still worn by The Queens Royal Lancers.

    At the time of WWI it was the one worn by 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers until they were amalgamated in 1922 with 21st Lancers (Empress of India's) to form 17th/21st (amalgamated with 16/5 L in 1993 to form QRL btw).

    So this device, and you are correct to call it a motto (that's how it is known to the regiment), is very prolific.

    The style you have there could date to any time from WWI up to the advent of staybright. But a word of caution, there are I estimate as many re-strikes as originals and this one looks a little less "crisp" than I would like. Look at the pebbling of the banner, it seems a bit rough to me and I would expect to see some smoothing particularly where the banner folds over the crossed bones and other high points. Also, whilst there should be some visible flash particularly on the bottom of the bones it seems a bit prominent on this example.

    I am not saying yours is a re-strike and these have been made by different makers over many years. I just can't say for certain from this pic.

    I attach pics of one in my collection to compare. The white flecks are from the green fuzzy board, I forgot to wipe it before taking the pics!!

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    I hope this helps.

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  3. #3

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    As already mentioned, lots of fakes of these. Yours also appears to be from the Firmin die, but I could say if good or not.

    Here is my Firmin in white metal, also another firmin in AA with collars and also white metal from the Gaunt dies I think. Also my silver example from the Boer war period.

    Easiest way to tell the different makers is from the shape of the nose.
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    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  4. #4

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    The most obvious signs of a fake is a scar running across the top of the forehead running from side to side, also the interior of the left eye is flattened. There are other things to watch for which would show in the reverse.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  5. #5

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    Love that silver Jerry, it just oozes "collectability"

    @ Dan, I forgot to mention that in your pic the surface of the metal of the skull looks rough. This might be that it has never been anywhere else but storage and you will be able to answer that from holding it in hand just not from a pic.

    As Jerry says a reverse pic may be helpful.

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  6. #6

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    Quote by Watchdog View Post
    Love that silver Jerry, it just oozes "collectability"

    @ Dan, I forgot to mention that in your pic the surface of the metal of the skull looks rough. This might be that it has never been anywhere else but storage and you will be able to answer that from holding it in hand just not from a pic.

    As Jerry says a reverse pic may be helpful.

    Regards

    Mark
    Mark,

    I was very lucky to buy a post WWII Lancers cap that had the Silver motto on it. It has been suggested that it was either a family or regimental hand me down.

    It would originally have been on a sun helmet from C. 1900, and has been repaired on the ends of the long bones and has had the central of 3 lugs removed to allow it to be fitted to the cap.
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    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  7. #7

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    Quote by Jerry B View Post
    Mark,

    I was very lucky to buy a post WWII Lancers cap that had the Silver motto on it. It has been suggested that it was either a family or regimental hand me down.

    It would originally have been on a sun helmet from C. 1900, and has been repaired on the ends of the long bones and has had the central of 3 lugs removed to allow it to be fitted to the cap.
    Hand me down or item of personal choice it speaks to the "style" of the owner who I expect was a career officer. Something different than the mundane issue item marks a soldier out very discretely amongst his peers. I would have done the same but my cap badge had a (Queens) crown so I would not get away with an older item. I had to make do with a brass QC badge rather than staybite. In the same vein back in the days when a Filofax (before smartphones and PDAs) was derigeur for the CO's conference mine was hide leather with a silver collar dog on the front "bullshit baffles brains" as they say. I always have loved the shiny bits

    Again, a cracking badge with stacks of character

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  8. #8

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    Thankyou both for such an education - wow & I thought it was just a neat badge!!

    As requested, here is a reverse photo ( and a shaky side view showing how raised a stamping it is )

    I hope it IS ok ..... I'd be sort of sad if it was a restrike

    Cheers, Dan
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    " When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "

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