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Major Thackwell’s Regimental Tankard

Major Thackwell’s Regimental Tankard

A pewter Tankard with glass bottom, engraved with the 73rd Perthshire Regimental history of William Polson Thackwell. Thackwell was born in Dymock, Gloucestershire in 1846. His family had a history of army service and his uncle Gen. Sir Joseph Thackwell commanded the 15th Hussars at Waterloo, where he lost an arm. William passed his Direct Commissions examination at Chelsea Hospital in 1865 and purchased his Ensign rank in the 73rd a year later. Shortly after he was stationed at Shorncliffe. He spent the next 10 years with his regiment in the East, first at Hong Kong then Singapore and onto Colombo, Kandy, Rincomalee, Galle, Newaraeliya. By 1874 he was stationed at Cawnpore briefly before moving to Ceylon until 1877. This was followed by 4 years in Scotland, 3 years in Lucknow, 1 year at Portsmouth and then 4 years in British Guiana. He retired in 1886 with the honorary rank of Major. During his military career, Thackwell had also served as Aide de Camp to the Governors of both Ceylon and British Guiana. He settled down at Newent in his county of birth, with his wife of 2 years, Katherine. He had been active in Amateur Dramatics in the army and continued in civilian life. He was also involved in the Ledbury Hunt, becoming Honorary Secretary in 1889. He became a Justice of the Peace in 1892. The glass bottom of this tankard is crudely scratched with the date 1867 and the name Carter Bowles. Carter Bowles were clockmakers in nearby Cheltenham and the date suggests Thackwell bought it early in his military career. There are at least 2 different hands that have engraved the locations and this, along with their layout, would seem to indicate the names were added intermittently perhaps when home on leave. The tankard was used by Thackwell not just to drink from but as a memento of his army life, with its locations and dates confirmed by the army lists. The tankard is stamped by the handle with pseudo hall marks of a Lion Rampant, Sword and T&C which might be for the maker Townsend & Compton. There is also a 6 which refers to its size. Circa 1867.

Height: 6.25 ins (15.88 cm)
Width: 4.75 ins (12.07 cm)
Depth: 6 ins (15.24 cm)
Ref. 81637 £ 245
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