Mid Victorian Antique Large Bone Paper Knife ( Page Turner ) - Attributed to Major Francis Woodley Horne, 7th Hussars, Indian Mutiny Casualty
Regimental / military 19thCentury ivory paper knife ( incorrectly categorised as a page turner - see url link below which dismisses the concept of a page turner, which is a modern invention of auction sale rooms). Paper knifes were blunt to prevent damage when separating the uncut pages of books, periodicals and newspapers which prior to 1900 often were sold with some or all of their pages uncut. For condition see photos, some wear and minor stain on reverse. Circa 12 inches long.
This ivory paper knife has been neatly monogrammed FWH 7th Hussars. Francis Woodley Horne was promoted a Major in the H.M. 7th Hussars on 14 August 1857. He
served with the Regiment during the Indian Mutiny. He was entitled to Medal and Clasp Lucknow (his medal is in a private collection). He was killed in the Indian Mutiny, in a reckless cavalry charge at the Battle on the River Raptee, 29th Dec 1858.
Sir William Russell, the commanding officer of the 7th, was put in command of a cavalry force sent to pursue Nana Sahib. His force included the 7th, 1st Punjab Cavalry and RHA. The 7th were split into two wings of 2 squadrons each, Major Francis Horne led 3rd and 4th squadrons and Russell led 1st and 2nd. The enemy were forced out of a jungle, pursued over a plain and down to the River Raptee. The RHA were held up by a wide and difficult nullah but the cavalry continued. The rebels crossed by a ford but it was covered by Nana's artillery. Russell and his squadrons had to dash along the river to the next ford, under a heavy fire from enemy guns. Horne's men were already there and the order to charge was given. They galloped into the river but met with great difficulties in the form of submerged rocks, trees and holes in the riverbed. When Russell arrived he tried to halt the charge but many casualties had been sustained including Major Horne who was missing. His body was found later under the trunk of a tree with two dead sowars clasped in his arms. Two other privates of the 7th were found dead in a similar way, indicating how various death struggles had occurred in the treacherous waters. It was here that the wounded Captain Fraser won his VC when he swam out to a sand-bank in the river to rescue Captain Sisted and two others.
There is a memorial commemorating him in St. Andrew's Church, Church Road, Little Berkhamsted, East Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire, SG13 8LS.
I will also provide a copy of the summary of his Will.
See here for the history of paper knifes:
Given this is probably made of ivory I am only prepared to post this to a UK address unless there are rules which permit me to post it to destinations outside of the UK. Please email me to discuss.