An Unusual Method of Self-Defence

bxp22839hSurprising Snippets 3.  In its early days the London Command of the Legion of Frontiersmen had a number of acclaimed and highly-skilled swordsmen among its ranks. One of these was Capt. Graham Hope who wrote an article in 1907 for the magazine of the Northern Command:

The large majority of us mercifully pass our lives without ever undergoing the necessity of defending them, and the number of those who have to go through even the mildest of “scrapes” is very small…

Captain Hope’s suggestion for the most suitable article for the Edwardian gentleman’s defence against any cut-throat, footpad or robber was a surprising one:

Probably no item of everyday equipment seems so essentially peaceful as an umbrella…

Some of Hope’s instructions on the way to utilise an umbrella against an attacker are very violent and, if followed to the letter, would result in severe injury – or worse – to the assailant. He does suggest one less violent defence:

…A safer place still, if you can make sure of hitting it [with the point], is the “mark”, i.e. about the middle of the waistcoat, or where that would be if he had one. And as regards defence, pure and simple, though an umbrella snaps easily when used for striking, it has great resisting power against a blow aimed against yourself, as the ribs and covering form a cushion which effectively breaks the force of an attack…

Hope then goes on to explain how an overcoat can be used as an additional form of defence.

I doubt it would be wise to make the London Police aware of Hope’s full and detailed article on the use of the umbrella and how it could be lethal. The Police might then decide to arrest every bowler-hatted City gentleman carrying an umbrella for being in possession of an offensive weapon!

© Copyright Geoffrey A. Pocock. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced in any form, in part or in full, without prior permission.

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About Windows into History

Author of windowsintohistory.wordpress.com Co-writer on junkyardview.wordpress.com Administrator of frontiersmenhistorian.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Frontiersmen, History, Legion of Frontiersmen, Surprising Snippets, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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