World War One Period British Royal Artillery Officer's Sword to JE Ferrario Double MC Winner, Tank Corps
A George V British Military Pattern Royal Artillery Officer’s Sword retailed by Hawksworth of Sheffield and engraved to a JE Ferrario, Tank Corps, winner of a Military Cross with bar during the First World War.
The sword pattern is not an uncommon pattern but is a rare and collectible example to a notable soldier during the Great War Period who was also of the Tank Corps, a new and experimental regiment during the period.
Captain John Ernest Ferrario served within two regiments during this period. He began the war attached to King Edwards Horse as a second lieutenant and on th 18th of June 1917 won his Military Cross: “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, while on reconnaissance. He displayed great coolness and skill in withdrawing his patrol under heavy fire, covering the retirement himself. His personal example was splendid.” (London Gazette).
The regiment was thereafter subsumed into the Tank Corps where in 1919 Ferrario won a Bar to his Military Cross: “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Mortho Wood, Villers-Outreaux, on 8th October 1918, when he assisted his company reconnaissance officer in successfully laying tape under heavy shell fire through German posts and German main line. Later he tried to get into a burning tank to rescue some of the crew; the tank was being heavily shelled. Again, later he went forward under heavy shell and machine gun fire to make sure that the last tank of his section had got into action. During the whole action he displayed total disregard to his personal safety.” (London Gazette).
King Edward’s Horse was a cavalry regiment formed in 1901, beginning life as a Yeomanry regiment although it saw no service in the South African wars. After the outbreak of the First World War it remained in London until 1915 after which they were sent to the Western Front and were in Italy by 1917. Following that period they remained in France until the end of the war.
Ferrario was part of the second regiment of King Edward’s Horse raised by Sir John Norton-Griffiths in 1914, it was disbanded in 1917 at which point, many of its members transferred to the Tank Corps. It is therefore clear how Ferrario came to earn his awards within two different units.
A unique collectors sword to a double MC winner of the Great War, the sword is in generally good condition, the blade is clean and the engraving is sharp. There is a crack in one of the bars to the knuckle guard and there is some slight lifting of the leather close to the frog on the field scabbard.
Viewing are welcome upon request.