To mark the occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Chief of the General Staff (CGS) General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith has presented a unique walking stick to demonstrate the Army's constant and unwavering support of Her Majesty. It is also 70 years since The Queen became head of the Armed Forces.
The walking stick has been hand crafted by renowned Cumbria-based traditional stick maker Dennis Wall and is made of mottled hazel, locally sourced locally in Cumbria. Hazel is traditionally known in Ireland as the ‘Tree of Knowledge’ and has a reputation in English mythology as a protective talisman.
The handle is made from Highland Cow horn, a breed originating in the Scottish Highlands and known for its hardy and robust constitution.
General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith said: ‘It was a great privilege in celebration of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee to hand over a small token of our gratitude and appreciation of our Sovereign’s contribution to the Army over the last 70 years."
"We wanted something useful and relevant and always to hand that represented our loyal support and which Her Majesty might find helpful," said General Sir Mark. "And this beautiful walking stick, fashioned from mottled hazel with a Highland Cow horn handle fitted the bill perfectly. It’s elegant, simple and wonderfully handy.”
The collar is made from solid silver and has been engraved with a dedication to Her Majesty by Sam James Engraving, based in Goldsmith’s Centre, London. “The Army presents its loyal support to THE SOVEREIGN. Platinum Jubilee MCMLII-MMXXII” is inscribed below the Army crest on the silver collar.
Dennis, who has been making bespoke hand-crafted crooks and sticks for more than 25 years, has previously crafted a walking stick for His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Along with wife Linda, who is also a stick maker, Dennis, based in Ulverston, is a member of the British Stick Makers Guild.
It was a great privilege in celebration of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee to hand over a small token of our gratitude and appreciation of our Sovereign’s contribution to the Army over the last 70 years General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith
Both Dennis and Linda’s sticks are popular with walkers, shepherds and field sports enthusiasts all over the world.
It’s a traditional process which takes the horn from its removal from the animal to its final place atop the stick, including shaping the horn by heating and squeezing it into shape, before carving the design. Dennis seasons the horn for 12 months before he sets to work creating the final masterpiece.
Award-winning founders of engravers Sam James Ltd, Samantha Marsden and James Neville, joined forces in 2011 to create a company offering the highest quality service, using specialist hand tools and machine engraving. They have combined expertise of more than 50 years.