British and Commonwealth Military Knives

A place to discuss military related knives and tools. Conversation relating to objects of war and peace from all eras welcome.
cottage hill bill
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:24 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by cottage hill bill » Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:15 pm

Not to take this thread terribly off track, but I too have a fondness for Kennedy boxes. I was a Jaguar/MG/other things British mechanic in an earlier life when those things were sold in this country. My first box was a Kennedy roll around with a machinist's top box. I've had good luck finding Kennedy boxes at flea markets and yard sales. The wooden boxes you cited are beautiful but stupid expensive. Haunt the estate and yard sales. Often times dad or grandad has moved on to the celestial machine shop and the kids don't have a clue what to do with tools. Most people these days when confronted with anything more mechanical than a bent nail are at a total loss. I've picked up a small Kennedy machinist box still loaded with various measuring devices (telescoping gauges, calipers, micrometers) for $20 at a yard sale. Asked them if they were sure about the price they had on it. "that junk's no good to us" was the answer. Look around and be patient, you'll find something.

knife7knut
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Location: Tecumseh,Michigan

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by knife7knut » Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:51 am

cottage hill bill wrote:
Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:15 pm
Not to take this thread terribly off track, but I too have a fondness for Kennedy boxes. I was a Jaguar/MG/other things British mechanic in an earlier life when those things were sold in this country. My first box was a Kennedy roll around with a machinist's top box. I've had good luck finding Kennedy boxes at flea markets and yard sales. The wooden boxes you cited are beautiful but stupid expensive. Haunt the estate and yard sales. Often times dad or grandad has moved on to the celestial machine shop and the kids don't have a clue what to do with tools. Most people these days when confronted with anything more mechanical than a bent nail are at a total loss. I've picked up a small Kennedy machinist box still loaded with various measuring devices (telescoping gauges, calipers, micrometers) for $20 at a yard sale. Asked them if they were sure about the price they had on it. "that junk's no good to us" was the answer. Look around and be patient, you'll find something.
Staying a bit off track;I usually prefer the wooden boxes to the metal ones as they seem to resist trapping moisture. Just my opinion but metal tool boxes seem to form condensate inside when exposed to a damp environment or drastic temperature change.
That said I like the Kennedy boxes as well and I still see them at yard sales occasionally for reasonable money(usually).One of my best scores was a Kennedy 7 drawer top box and roll around for $5! A little rusty but an easy cleanup.I use it to store a lot of my sign making supplies that aren't prone to moisture damage.At one time I had about a dozen Kennedys but of late have thinned the herd a bit.I have several unusual ones including a carpenter's box(over 3 ft. long)and a tiny one(model 613)I use to keep my watch repair tools in.Also a really old one that I keep small ammunition in. I may have to do a post in the General off topic forum about them.
Adventure BEFORE Dementia!

Hiron
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:54 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by Hiron » Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:27 pm

Hi all, new to the forum.
I am having trouble finding some info on a knife I came across.
I believe it was made by Empire Cutlery as this is the only marking on the knife.
I hope that some one one here may have some idea about its manufacture date or any other facts about these knives.
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Nephilim
Posts: 75
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:45 am

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by Nephilim » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:18 am

A curious knife indeed, Hiron. Certainty follows the pattern of a British army knife, except for the makers mark and unusual handle scales. I looked up Empire knife company, an American manufacturer that opened in the mid-19th century and went bust in 1930, in the midst of the Great Depression. I don't think this is one of their knives, principally because of the can opener. That style of can opener, with a cap lifter hook at the base, first appeared on British Army knives in '44 or '45. Also, the flathead screwdriver bit is fairly particular to British army knives starting in 1939. The handle scales look like hand checkered horn, which where common on WW2 period Indian knives. My speculation is that this is an Indian Army knife from '45 or post WW2, probably pre-Indian independence, considering the manufacturer was called "Empire". Or it could be a commercial knife just based on the military pattern.

Hiron
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2021 3:54 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by Hiron » Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:50 am

I was leaning toward late 40s , 50s but having no bolsters sort of threw me.
India makes perfect sense. It does bear all the hallmarks of an Indian clone now I think about it.
Great information Nephilim, than you.

nif6969
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:56 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by nif6969 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:11 am

Yes indeed its a indian army jack knife you can tell by the crude hand cut scales.

cottage hill bill
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:24 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by cottage hill bill » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:08 pm

I agree, Indian produced version of the 1938-1945 issue clasp knife. It could very well be war-time production. I don't think any of the Indian knives in my collection are dated. Nice lanyard with it. I'd value the lanyard equal to the knife.

Nephilim
Posts: 75
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:45 am

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by Nephilim » Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:12 pm

Got a somewhat unusual WW1 pattern British Army Knife and I thought I'd share it here.
Tang stamp reads Walker and Hall.
Tang stamp reads Walker and Hall.
I think this is a wartime production knife, for a few reasons. This doesn't have any inspection stamps, date, or WD marks, just the maker's mark on the tang. Walker and Hall was a Sheffield based firm specializing electroplating and silversmithing. They made a lot of flatware and a few watch fob knives, but I don't know of any other jackknives that they manufactured. My speculation was that they only made these Army knives under a wartime contract. Also, the scales are made of fiber (I think. It hasn't shrunk much, but its chipped in a couple places. It could be vulcanized rubber. I'm not sure what that material looks like after 100 or so years.), a substitute standard material. The 1913 pattern knives made during peacetime typically had checkered horn scales. Also, it doesn't appear to have ever had a bail, strangely. Flook's book has an example of a Walker and Hall knife much like this one, but with the bail. Are these undated 1913 pattern knives fairly common?

cottage hill bill
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:24 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by cottage hill bill » Sat May 01, 2021 1:14 pm

I think your knife might be a post war civilian product, mostly because of the lack of he bail. It is certainly a 6353/1905 pattern, but the military specification clearly included a bail. The regulation method of carrying the knife was a lanyard attached to the bail on one end, the other end around the left shoulder and the knife in the left breast pocket of the tunic. Many cutlers were left with completed knives or pieces of knives when the war-time contract were cancelled. These were assembled and sold on the civilian market. The scales could be either fiber or pressed leather. Pressed and checkered leather was the grip specified for cavalry sabers from the P-1853 until the P-1908 so plenty of precedent for its use. I have a fair number of 6353/1905s and only the Canadian ones are routinely marked with a property mark. Without a careful search, I don't think any of my British ones are /|\ marked. Some do have a soldier's service number stamped on the marlin spike.

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