Vileika District children find sabre from 1812 war

A battle and burial site dating from 1812 has been found in the village of Shilovichi, in the Vileika District

By Victor Korbut

A battle and burial site dating from 1812 has been found in the village of Shilovichi, in the Vileika District

Local children found the sabre in the park, under a big maple, inspiring historians to ponder its origin. Sergey Gonchar, the Director of Vileika Local History Museum, believes it to be a cavalry sabre, thanks to a monogram on the hilt. He tells us, “The initials are those of the younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte: Jérôme. During the war of 1812, he commanded part of the French army.”

Alexander Zimnitsky, who looks after weaponry at the National History Museum, considers the sabre to be an important find, although the museum already has a good collection of weapons from 1812 and a further large collection is stored at Volkovyssk Museum.

The NAS Institute of History is now excavating the park in Shilovichi, which was once part of the Skirmunt estate. Research may yet provide answers.
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