German Navy ceremonial sabre : C R Page, 51st Highland DIvision

Place Europe: Germany, Bremerhaven
Accession Number REL41993
Collection type Technology
Object type Edged weapon or club
Physical description Brass, Cotton, Cotton grosgrain, Gilded brass, Gold bullion wire, Ivory, Leather, Metal, Steel, Velvet
Maker Alcoso
Place made Germany
Date made c 1930s
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

The sword's guard is a clam shell pattern. The larger right side of the guard is hinged and folds in against the handle of the sabre when worn. The front of the guard has a fouled anchor in raised detail. The smaller left side of the shell is hinged and folds downwards. It has a small locking hole which fits over a lug on the scabbard to secure the sabre whilst being worn. Stamped just below the hinge on the left side is the ordnance mark which is a Prussian eagle, over a stylised 'M'. On the right side is stamped the property control number 'N 1755'. The 'N' stands for Nordsee or North Sea and only issued swords carried these markings.

The handle of the sword is ivory and is horizontally bound with brass twist wire. The pommel is a lion's head with the mane of the lion forming the back strap. A gold bullion wire 'portepee' is attached to the base of the guard beneath the lion's mouth. This is then woven around the base of the guard and knotted. The gold bullion wire acorn extends forward of the guard.

The blade is curved nickel plated steel with a pipe back and spear point. There are no decorative markings on the blade. Stamped on the left side of the ricasso just below the guard is a stamp which reads 'ADOLF BRAHM / BERLIN'.

The scabbard is black leather and has a gilded brass locket, middle band and chape with a drag shoe. Carry rings are fitted to the locket and middle band. 'N 1755' is stamped into locket next to locking button. Clipped to the upper carry ring are two woven black leather hangers with brass swivel clips at each end and one cotton grosgrain backed, velvet hanger. The shorter leather hanger has a gilded aluminium chain and brass regain hook attached.

The hangers are clipped to a belt known as the 'inside belt'. This belt is 3.5 cm wide and is a faded blue colour. A one pronged metal buckle is sewn to the right end of the belt and a leather tongue with buckling holes to the left side. Two leather slides containing gilded brass 'D' rings are attached to the belt as anchor points for the hangers.

History / Summary

Associated with the service of Charles Reginald 'Reg' Page, who was called up for full time duty as a medical officer with the 51st Highland Division in 1940.

Page spent almost two years in England with the division, before being deployed to North Africa in 1942. During his time in North Africa, Page met a number of Australian soldiers. His division also fought along side the Australian 9th Division at El Alamein.

Page served with the division throughout the Italy and Normandy campaigns and the final campaign on German soil. He was present at the surrender of the 15th Panzer Division at Bremerhaven, a unit the 51st had previously fought against in North Africa.

Also present with the German officers of the 15th Panzer Division, was a German Naval attache, who surrendered this sword to Page.