Pages Navigation Menu

Swords, Cutting and Military History

Newsreel footage of Wilkinson sword manufacture 1946-65

Newsreel footage of Wilkinson sword manufacture 1946-65

credit Robert Wilkinson Latham

Share Button

From British Pathé (formerly known as Pathé News), here are several newsreels on Wilkinson sword manufacturing.  The first is a short piece on General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was inducted as a Freeman of London in a 1945 ceremony which included presenting him with a sword which used to belong to the Duke of Wellington.

That sword was only a down-payment however;  his own personal Freeman’s ceremonial sword was being designed by the famous Wilkinson foundry, but wasn’t available at the time of his induction, as the forging company was busy making combat knives for British troops in the Orient, World War II being in its closing days.

This film documents, in short clips, the manufacture of this sword, which took most of a year to complete.  In it we are introduced to Tom Beasley, who was Wilkinson’s chief swordsmith for decades, and was well known for making such blades as the Sword of Stalingrad and a group of specialty etched knives, used in various ceremonies.



This second connected video shows detailed scenes and out-takes from the above newsreel.  While no voiceover is provided, it does give us a closer look at some of the design and manufacturing processes.



Finally, a 1965 colour film takes a look at mass production of ceremonial military swords


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *