Kilij – The Sword of Vlad the Impaler

Also known as the Kilidj, Kilic, Kalig, Qillij.

What is it?

The Kilij is a Turkish sabre, its name comes from the Turkish Kilic, literally meaning sword.  The Kilij had a deeply curved, single edged blade with a flaring tip called a yelman.  It has a cruciform (cross-shaped) guard, with a curving hilt that ends with a downturned pommel. Continue reading Kilij – The Sword of Vlad the Impaler

The Fenian Raids 1866 – 70

Canada GSM with Fenian Bars
Canadian General Service Medal and miniature with 1866 clasp. (Author’s collection)


Just over fifty years had passed since British Canada had successfully fought off an invasion and defeated the American armed forces during the War of 1812.  Since the end of the war, following the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, the two countries had enjoyed a period of mutual trade and peace; albeit an uneasy peace.  In the mid 1800s Canadian newspapers carried stories of the Underground Railroad, a clandestine series of safe houses stretching from the United States to Canada with the purpose of providing slaves a means of reaching freedom in Canada.  Also of interest to the Canadians was news of the American Civil War that had started in 1861, nearly tearing the United States apart, until the end of hostilities in 1865. Continue reading The Fenian Raids 1866 – 70

The British Home Service Helmet

An example of an officer’s version of the Home Service Helmet. This one is provenanced to W. Swan of the Army Ordnance Department. (Author’s collection)

While we focus on sun helmets on this website these are, of course, only one form of headgear among many worn by armies throughout history. The subject of this article is the British Home Service Helmet, which in this writer’s opinion was inspired by the Colonial Pattern sun helmet worn in India from at least as early as the 1850s.

“In 1878, nearly forty years after it was first mooted as an alternative headdress, a helmet was approved for the Infantry. Made of cork and covered with blue cloth (dark green for Light Infantry [and Rifle Regiments]), this helmet had a spike as did the Prussian model, which had inspired its adoption, but its silhouette owed more to the white foreign-service helmet adopted by the British a few years before.” 1 Continue reading The British Home Service Helmet