LIEUTENANT HENRY ROBERTSON BOWERS, R.I.M. (1883-1912)
An officer's dress sword, with fullered blade (no maker's name) etched with foliate decoration, Crowned Anchor, and Royal Arms, regulation gilt-brass guard with folding flap, bearing King's Crown and Anchor, ray-skin grip and gold-and-blue cord sword-knot, with its black leather scabbard with gilt-brass mounts. Chamois-leather cover. Provenance: H.R.BOWERS (name stamp on cover); Edith Bowers (sister, bequeathed to:); Angus McMillan (then by descent).
Bower's autograph manuscript notebook, during his time in the Indian Marine [circa 1905-1909], containing pencilled aide-memoires on various subjects: the character of various native servants, books to read, clothes required, travel arrangements, etc. 31pp, 12mo, stitched in watered-silk wrappers. Provenance: H.R.Bowers; Edith Bowers (bequeathed to:); Angus McMillan (then by descent).
THE SWORD IS AN EVOCATIVE MEMENTO OF 'BIRDY' BOWERS' CAREER WITH THE ROYAL INDIAN MARINE. He was born in Scotland, the son of a master mariner. Having commenced his career as a midshipman in the merchant marine, he joined the Royal Indian Marine in 1905, rising to the rank of Lieutenant by 1909. During this time he sat for a studio portrait wearing tropical dress uniform and the present sword (a copy of this photograph, also from Angus McMillan's collection, sold at auction recently). The support of Clements Markham, president of the Royal Geographical Society, ensured his place on Scott's second Antarctic expedition. He quickly impressed Scott, and having accompanied Wilson and Cherry-Garrard on the tortuous winter journey to Cape Crozier, he was a last minute choice to accompany Scott on his fatal journey to the Pole. (2)