This outstanding and quite scarce 60th Rifles [King's Royal Rifle Corps] bandsman's sword dates to the mid-1800s. The hilt and the scabbard furniture are marked with the Regimental abbreviations and nicely decorated with panoply of military regalia. Blade is 60 cm long, 3.5 cm wide, retaining most of its factory polish, and has some scattered dark spotting. The Mameluke hilt is tight. This lovely sword is in untouched, original condition. A similar sword is pictured on Richard Simkin's watercolor of the 60th Rifles bandsman, dating from 1854.
The King's Royal Rifle Corps was a British Army infantry regiment, originally raised in colonial North America as the Royal Americans, and recruited from American colonists. Later known informally as the '60th Rifles', the regiment served for more than 200 years throughout the British Empire.
During the Napoleonic Wars the regiment saw action in the Peninsular War. The first four battalions had been raised as regular line battalions, but in 1797 a 5th battalion had been raised and equipped entirely with the Baker rifles, and wore green jackets with red facings. The mixing of rifle troops and muskets proved so effective that eventually the line battalion light companies were replaced with rifle companies. The line battalions found themselves in several different theaters, including the West Indies. The rifle battalion was soon joined by a second, and these found themselves in the Peninsula with Wellington's army, serving along with the 95th Rifles, and the King's German Legion rifle units. A 7th battalion was eventually raised as a rifle battalion specifically for service in the American War of 1812.
After the Napoleonic Wars the regiment received a new title: first, in 1815, its name was changed to The Duke of York's Own Rifle Corps and then, in 1830, to the King's Royal Rifle Corps(KRRC). In 1858 the Rifle Depot at Winchester was made their headquarters.
During the rest of the 1800s the unit was active in China, Canada (Wolseley Expedition), Afghanistan, India, Burma and South Africa. The regiment was deployed during the Second Boer War from the outset playing a key role in the first battle at Talana Hill.