The Silver Spear awarded to John Henry Watson in 1876 is an iconic piece of Irish and British military history from the height of the British Empire in the reign of Queen Victoria.
It was awarded to Captain Watson by the Cawnpore Tent Club, which still exists today in Kanpur India, to recognise his prowess in a competition of skill and horsemanship.
The 13th Regiment of Hussars in which John Watson served, were Light Cavalry. Officers’ horseback and fighting skills were developed and refined through competitions and sports mostly conducted at full gallop.
The engraving on the Spear reads: “ Silver Spear of Cawnpore Tent Club 1876 Won By J. Watson 13th Hussars. Taking 28 First Spears. Greatest Number On Record. “
The Silver Spear is a strong and valuable connection. Not only does it link Ballydarton House, family home of John Henry Watson to us, but it links Colonial India, the home of Gin and Tonic and the strong military history of the British 13th Hussars directly back to modern day.
For us, it closes the circle, connecting the past with our present, pointing forward with strength and direction into the future.