Original British 21st Lancers Officer Uniform Set of Lieutenant Robert Napier Smyth
Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. This uniform set and sword belonged to ROBERT NAPIER SMYTH, born 1868, son of General J.H. Smyth. He was educated at Wellington School and was commissioned on February 12th 1890 in the 21st Hussars which a little later became the 21st Lancers.
Lt. R.N. SMYTH took part in the famous Cavalry Charge in "A" Squadron during the "last cavalry charge in British history. The charge of the 21st Lancers at the Battle of Omdurman on 2nd September 1898. This was when Great Britain took re-control of the Sudan after the massacre of General Gordon in Khartoum in 1885.
As it happened WINSTON CHURCHILL, at the time a journalist war correspondent, charged with the 21st Lancers and was much shocked by the terrible destruction of the enemy who lost over 10,000 men, had 13,000 wounded and 5,000 taken prisoner. British losses were minimal at only 47 killed and 382 wounded. After the battle Lieutenant Smyth was "mentioned in dispatches" for his leadership.
Robert Napier Smyth was promoted Major in 1905 and eventually became a Brigadier
General. He died in 1947. An extensive Biography of this Officer is available at the website angloboerwar.com which details all his participation in the wars of the Empire at the close of Queen Victoria's reign and after.
This uniform set consists of Robert Napier Smyth’s:
Regimental officer's tunic in light and dark blue (rank of Lieutenant)
Regimental silver hallmarked document box with cross belt and all fittings.
Correct leather officer’s Chapka lancer's helmet adorned with genuine swan feathers complete with cap lines and gold roped harness.
Heavily gilt decorated sword belt with hangers.
Private purchase Regimental sword bearing Serial No. 40574 indicating that it was supplied by the Wilkinson Sword Company in February 1905 to then Major Robert Napier Smyth.
This is an amazing and extremely rare uniform set, not only of a very famous regiment but a known officer who was mentioned in dispatches for his participation in that regiment's
greatest glory, the last cavalry charge of the British Empire.
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