Original WWI U.S. Marine Corps Dog's Head Swagger Stick Named to Sgt. Leland "Lou" Diamond - Dated 1918
Original Item: One of a Kind. This soldiers's nicknames were "MR. LEATHER NECK" and "MR. MARINE" according to the write up on him found of Wikipedia. His Given name was LELAND DIAMOND, born in Ohio in 1890 of a military family. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 1917 and was shipped to Europe where he saw action at the Battles of Belleau Wood, Asne-Marne, St.Mihiel, and Melise-Argonne. He started in Europe as a Corporal and came home a Sergent and left the Corps.
He re-enlisted and partook in WWII and was part of the 1ST MARINE DIVISION that received a PRESIDENTIAL CITATION for Guadalcanal. It appears he was the role Model for LEE MARVIN and was idolized by many. See the Wikipedia write up on him.
This find Swagger stick, probably made in France, is constructed of from a knotted tree branch, and measures 31" in overall length. It is crowned with a beautifully carved DOG'S HEAD on top. One eye is yellow colored glass, the other a sparkling Diamond, no doubt a fake diamond but nevertheless. There is a silver collar around the dog's neck engraved:
LOU DIAMOND 1918
Swagger sticks were traditionally the items an Officer carried, often carrying only his stick in "Over the top" trench advancements to encourage his men, utter stupidity. It is a little known fact, I understand, that during WW1 elderly Ladies in England started to assail the War Office with complaints that "Common Soldiers" home on leave from the Western Front could be found on Railway Station platforms, having nothing to hold in their hands were publicly Picking their Noses or Scratching their crotches. "DISGUSTING !"
Some bright spark in the War Office came up with the idea that EVERY British Soldier going home on leave should be issued with his Regimental Swagger stick so he could keep his hands occupied thrashing his leg or grasping it under his arm,.......very dashing ! It's a good story, but a great surprise to the old dames was that these soldiers usually had TWO HANDS !
A lovely relic from a known U.S. Marine who kitted himself out like a gentleman
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