Object Title

Pike

Pike

Date

1913-1945

Object Number

VII.3537

Provenance

Received from the Ordnance office, Tower of London, 11 September 1942, as one of '5 Home Guard Pikes' (see Notes) (AR.37 1: Tower Armouries Occurrence Book, 1939-1948).

Physical Description

The bayonet has its grip fitted into a length of 38 mm (1.5 in) diameter iron piping and fixed with two spats of welding.


The base of the blade retains its blackened surface finish and is generally in rather better condition than that of VII.1478.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 1585 mm (62 7/16 in), Blade length: 432 mm (17 in), Blade width, by hilt: 22 mm (15/16 in)

Inscriptions and Marks

On inside of blade, on ricasso, stamped: '1913' over '1' and '17'; 'REMINGTON' within a circle (maker's mark).On outside of blade, on ricasso, stamped: broad arrow over 'C7' over 'A'; a crown over '1' over 'A' (both inspection marks) and 'X' (mark indicating it was sold out of service).

Associations

Places Britain

Bibliographic References

R. Chester, 'The castle at war. The Tower of London in World War II', Royal Armouries Yearbook, 5, 2000, pp. 172-7, at p. 173 (mention of the five received in 1942).

Notes

Of the five pikes acquired in 1942, originally numbered VII.1475-VII.1479, only one (VII.1478) could be found in 1993. The present example was also found, having been fairly recently numbered, VII.3537 and this, by process of elimination (see below), must be that originally numbered VII.1476.
Five Home Guard Cudgels (3 of which are VIII.71-VIII.73) were received from the same source on 14 September.
The missing three pikes and two maces are almost certainly those sold by the Armouries at Christie's, 19 July 1966, as part of Lot 1: 'Three Home Guard pikes ...; two maces - circa 1940'. A typed list of 'Arms and Armour for Disposal', dated 9 November 1965 (on file 'Disposals - 1963 - May 1965' at August 2001), includes the following: VII.1475, 1477, 1479 (Home Guard pikes) and, under class VIII but without numbers, 'Two Home Guard maces'. (PJL 08/08/08; photocopies on inv. file).
Pikes of this type were issued to the British Home Guard in 1942, when there was a shortage of weapons to meet the expected German invasion. The scheme was introduced by Brig. Gen. Henry page Croft P.C., Baron Croft, Under Secretary of State for War, 1940-45.