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Old 18th December 2021, 01:56 AM   #1
Cathey's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: adelaide south australia
Posts: 248
Default Global British Sea Service Cutlass Project

Hi Guys

The Heritage Arms Society is the Society for people who are interested in Military history and collecting antique arms and related items. The Society focuses on military and civilian arms and accoutrements over 100 years old, including firearms, edged weapons, medals, armour, helmets, uniforms, badges, and accoutrements etc. Whilst we are Adelaide Australia based, our membership is global and interstate and overseas members also engage in Society activities via virtual participation each month in our magazine and/or website. Our aim is to be the most proactive and educational collecting group in the world and support and encourage research activities by both our experienced and novice collecting members.

Research Project - British Sea Service Cutlass

A growing team including myself, have embarked on this project to catalogue every available example of British Sea Service Cutlass’s, Cutlass Bayonets, Naval Pioneer Swords, Naval Machete’s, Lead Cutters and Single Sticks for cutlass training. We are attempting to capture and record in chronological order official patterns, experimental, transitional, and official conversions and then provide an illustrated table as a guide for collectors.

At this stage the project involves photographing, measuring, and weighing as many examples as possible, and if you would like to participate attached is the most current information template kindly updated by John McGrath, which includes a measurement guide, and a sample of a finalised photographic record. We are also particularly interested in unusual examples as well as known patterns and variations.

The only requirement for photographs is that they are preferably the highest resolution possible, done on a white background, and photographed outside on a cloudy day. Most mobile phones, especially the Samsung 9+ take extremely good photographs and I can usually photoshop your pictures to remove shadows etc. By providing photo’s you also authorise us to publish them in the finished work and future articles that will be published in Barrels and Blades and of course all project participants will be acknowledged.

In addition, if you have any research documentation relating to British Sea Service Cutlass’s, Cutlass Bayonets, Naval Pioneer Swords, Naval Machete’s, and Lead Cutters that you are happy to share, please email it though to me. We are already using the following references; however, I am sure there is other information out there just waiting to be uncovered:
• ANNIS P G W Naval Swords British and American Naval Edged Weapons 1660-1815
• CARTER John My British Naval Cutlasses
• COMFORT Sim Naval Swords & Dirks Volume 1
• COMFORT Sim Naval Swords & Dirks Volume 2
• GILKERSON William Boarders Away Volume 1 with Steel Edged Weapons & Polearms
• Green W P Instructions for training a ships crew in-the-use-of-arms-in-attack-and-defence
• Pringle-Green Lieut-W -Instructions-for-training-a-ships-crew-in-the-use-of-arms- 1812
• MAY Commander W E Naval Swords and Firearms
• MAY W E & ANNIS P G W Swords for Sea Service Volume 1
• MAY W E & ANNIS P G W Swords for Sea Service Volume 2
• MCGRATH J & BARTON M Naval Cutlass Exercise
• McGRATH John and Mark Barton Naval Swords A guide to the swords of Britain’s Naval Officers
• MCGRATH John Swords for Officers of the Royal Navy
• McGRATH-J & BARTON-M British Naval Swords & Swordsmanship
• PERRYMAN-John Kit Muster Australian Navy 1865-1853
• WOLF Sarah Naval edged Weapons in the Age of fighting Sail 1775-1865
• Instructions for the exercise of small arms, field pieces etc for the use of Her Majesty's ships 1859

All contributors will receive a regular project update and it is our intention to make the information available, firstly to our contributors and then to be published over time in the Heritage Arms Magazine Barrels and Blades.

This project is a first for Heritage Arms, but if successful I am sure it will not be the last. Also, I think that the tools we develop along the way will be invaluable in managing future projects of this nature and scale.

Please feel free to disseminate this information to your members and if they would like to be part of this project simply email me at


Attached is also a link to a complimentary copy of the Society Monthly Magazine Barrels and Blades.

Cheers Cathey
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Old 14th January 2022, 06:02 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: adelaide south australia
Posts: 248
Default British Sea Service Cutlass Project Update

Dear Cutlass collectors

The Mission
To create a data base that captures and illustrates as many examples of British Sea Service Cutlasses, Bayonets, Pioneer Swords, Machetes, Lead Cutters or Single Sticks as possible, with the view of making this data available to current and future collectors.

Current Update
Whilst initially this project was advertised via like minded collecting organisations we have now extended our reach to include online collection forums and a number of Naval related research bodies. At this time, we have contacting over 30 such organisations, providing the opportunity to promote this project on the global stage.

The current list of participant list stands at 22, and has representation from Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. Its not to late to come on board, just contact us via email:

The template that has been developed for this project can be downloaded from the following link:

What happens next
We request that if possible all photos are taken on a white background, outside on an overcast day, highest resolution possible and saved in jpeg format. Your photos are then cleaned up as much as possible in photoshop and sent back to you as a one-page collage with your completed template for final checking.

The data and pictures provided are entered into a table in Excel. Whilst this table does not contain all of the data being collected in the template it does include:

Date (Pattern date if available)
Picture (Full length)
Model (Pattern, Variation, Conversion, Bayonet, Pioneer Sword, Machete, Lead Cutter or Single Stick etc)
Overall Length (In inches and cm’s)
Blade Length (In inches and cm’s)
Blade Widest Point (In inches and cm’s)
Weight (in grams)
Blade & Scabbard (additional comments and/or unusual features)
Guard (additional comments and/or unusual features)
Grip (additional comments and/or unusual features)
Owner’s Initials

At this stage 56 items have been added to the draft table, with many more yet to be processed. This project has required the development of a number of tools which we believe will be invaluable for use in future endeavours. That is, if we ever finish this one.
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