Thornton B Sword

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John Saunders
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Thornton B Sword

Post by John Saunders » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:26 am

When I left Thornton B in 1955 the house owned a very fine Japanese ceremonial sword taken during the war by an old Blue from Thornton B. It was in a ceremonial case and in today's terms probably worth some money. Did it stay in the house or was it lost? JHGS

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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by michael scuffil » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:47 am

It was in the house until at least 1963. It was displayed in the junior housemaster's study (in fact for some time I was under the entirely mistaken impression that it belonged to Richard Fry). It was very sharp. We had unsupervised musical evenings in that room, and boys being boys, it was occasionally removed from its case and used to bisect books in mid-air in one stroke. I suppose it was mere good fortune that no one's hand or head was chopped off.
Modern health-n-safety probably means it is kept in a less accessible place.
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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by J.R. » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:09 pm

I believe it is now illegal to possess a Samurai sword unless it's cutting edge has been completely made blunt.
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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:04 pm

I believe that genuine antique samurai swords kept by museums and genuine collectors are exempt (and rightly so). But that would presuppose that they are kept safe, I imagine.
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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by Foureyes » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:49 pm

My father served in Singapore and Indonesia in 1945-46 and brought back a Japanese sword. His story was that he saw a Japanese officer walking along a street wearing the sword, which was supposed to have been handed in, so he took it off him. It seems that, rather like the game of fist-paper - scissors, British Service revolver trumped Japanese sword. I never checked on this, but I believe that it was against Service regulations to bring the sword back to England, and I suspect that the Thornton B sword was equally illegal! (I hasten to add that in 1946 such a regulation was intended to prevent looting and had nothing to do with the 'elf and safety of the British public!)
It then resided, well hidden, in our house for many years and we all hated it. I eventually sold it to a collector, who told me that it was genuine, but a bog-standard junior officer's sword. He duly paid for it, but I was very, very happy to see it go - it had a sort of malign feeling about it.

I should add that despite the regulations about looting a lot of small items seem to find their way back to the UK and USA. About four years ago Grand Admiral Donitz's baton was sold by the family of a 'senior officer' who had been in Flensburg in 1945. Very recently a set of cutlery made for Hitler's personal use was sold in a West Country auction, having been found in a drawer after the death of yet another 'senior officer.'
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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by jhopgood » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:40 pm

Foureyes wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:49 pm
I should add that despite the regulations about looting a lot of small items seem to find their way back to the UK and USA. About four years ago Grand Admiral Donitz's baton was sold by the family of a 'senior officer' who had been in Flensburg in 1945.
David :shock:
I seem to remember from my time as OB editor, that an OB was in charge of getting Admiral Donitz to Nuremburg or some other place. I wonder...

On another matter, what are the laws/rules concerning taking swords etc into the UK?
I realise it is not the same but I have a 24" machete from Guatemala, 20" and 12" machetes from El Salvador and a blow pipe with a bayonet type instrument on the end, from Brunei. With respect to the machetes, I bought the very attractive leather sheaths first and then the machetes to fill them out.
Do I need a special import licence?
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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by Foureyes » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:45 pm

Good grief, Hopgood, you sound like a one-man assassination squad! To meet you, have the appearance of a benevolent, kindly, peaceable sort of chap, but hidden from view is this armoury of cutting, hacking and stabbing weapons, together with a multi-purpose blowpipe complete with tube (for poisoned darts) and bayonet (for savaging your victim if he/she does not succumb instantly).

I recently wanted to mount my old British Army machete in a glass case and that needed police permission to carry it (suitably wrapped) to the cabinet-maker. I do not know the rules about importing your armnoury but my very strong advice would be to consult either Customs, or the Police or a soclicitor before your journey. Better safe than sorry!

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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by Katharine » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:03 pm

We were given quite a collection during our time in Borneo - but left them all behind, we were advised against bringing them into the UK, but I can't remember who told us that. I know we had much the same armoury as John, but I'm not sure the blowpipe had a fixed bayonet, I think it was separate!

I only saw blowpipes used to kill balloons, nothing more deadly than that!
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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by J.R. » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:10 pm

Given the rapid surge in knife crime in the UK, I think John would be very well advised to take counsel from the powers that be.

Far better than getting the lot confiscated and possibly facing a trial on return to England.
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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by jhopgood » Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:29 pm

I thought of putting a photo up of the blowpipe and machete but was defeated by technology.
The blow pipe is 70" long with an 8" 'bayonet' attached to the top. It actually belongs to my son, who brought it back from Brunei when he visited with a friend of ours who was in charge of CFBT for Brunei. My son was on a pre university gap year, and got it back to Buenos Aires with no problem at all. It came with 3 darts, two of which were chewed up by our Jack Russell.
The machetes are mine and have been used for chopping down trees and undergrowth, as well as alternative spades.
It seems strange that they have travelled all around the world with me, including to the UK, and until now I had never thought about them as offensive weapons.
At least I refused to take the pistol I was offered, as someone explained, there is no point having a gun unless you are prepared to use it.
I suppose I should take the baseball bat out of the boot of the car now!!!
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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by sejintenej » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:48 pm

jhopgood wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:29 pm

It seems strange that they have travelled all around the world with me, including to the UK, and until now I had never thought about them as offensive weapons.
Whilst I fully understand why a machete and blowtube and datrs (? laced with fatal venom?) could be consu=idered dangerous I missed out on something so simple. Following the Annual Prehistoric Olympics in France my young grand daughter was able to try an atlatl or throwing stick and hit the target first time. That combination of two simple sticks is equally fatal in appropriate conditions.
Every government carries a health warning

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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by J.R. » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:44 am

jhopgood wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:29 pm
I thought of putting a photo up of the blowpipe and machete but was defeated by technology.
The blow pipe is 70" long with an 8" 'bayonet' attached to the top. It actually belongs to my son, who brought it back from Brunei when he visited with a friend of ours who was in charge of CFBT for Brunei. My son was on a pre university gap year, and got it back to Buenos Aires with no problem at all. It came with 3 darts, two of which were chewed up by our Jack Russell.
The machetes are mine and have been used for chopping down trees and undergrowth, as well as alternative spades.
It seems strange that they have travelled all around the world with me, including to the UK, and until now I had never thought about them as offensive weapons.
At least I refused to take the pistol I was offered, as someone explained, there is no point having a gun unless you are prepared to use it.

!I suppose I should take the baseball bat out of the boot of the car now!!
Even THAT willnow be considered an offensive weapon in a vehicle in the UK, unless accompanied by all the necessary baseball equipment for playing the game.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Thornton B Sword

Post by J.R. » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:45 am

J.R. wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:44 am
jhopgood wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 5:29 pm
I thought of putting a photo up of the blowpipe and machete but was defeated by technology.
The blow pipe is 70" long with an 8" 'bayonet' attached to the top. It actually belongs to my son, who brought it back from Brunei when he visited with a friend of ours who was in charge of CFBT for Brunei. My son was on a pre university gap year, and got it back to Buenos Aires with no problem at all. It came with 3 darts, two of which were chewed up by our Jack Russell.
The machetes are mine and have been used for chopping down trees and undergrowth, as well as alternative spades.
It seems strange that they have travelled all around the world with me, including to the UK, and until now I had never thought about them as offensive weapons.
At least I refused to take the pistol I was offered, as someone explained, there is no point having a gun unless you are prepared to use it.

I suppose I should take the baseball bat out of the boot of the car now!!
Even THAT will/can now be considered an offensive weapon in a vehicle in the UK, unless accompanied by all the necessary baseball equipment for playing the game.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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