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
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by cottage hill bill » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:24 pm

Flook only has 4 lines about your style of knife. He says there were marked and unmarked versions. The marked version had the Air Ministry stamp, which would be a Crown over AM. He also says the marked one has a maker's mark of G.I & Co. which would be George Ibberson and company. Ibberson made a lot of knives for the British military. The folded single piece body being typical of a couple models of Ibberson knives.

The Made in England stamp on yours makes me think post-war production or at least post-war sale. From 1930 on, items imported into the US were required to be marked with the country of origin. Stuff in the 50's and 60's was often marked with Made in XXX. Since the 80's or maybe a bit earlier it seems like markings have changed to just the name of the country. Great Britain was in a world of financial hurt after the war. We don't think about it in the US but rationing in the UK went on until the late 50's. The cutlery industry, like all the businesses that had geared up for war production were hurting for work once the military contracts were cancelled. Ibberson was one of the better known knife makers. From the mid 1800's until 1980 it was a family owned firm. Bought by a bigger fish, the Ibberson trademark is still in use on knives.

It would made sense that if they had left over production from military contracts they would just stamp the Made in England on it and bingo, instant export product. It is not uncommon to find the British WWII issue folder with no military markings indicating either post-war production or more likely leftover military contract production sold off as commercial product.

Neat knife.

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galvanic1882
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by galvanic1882 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:47 pm

Thanks for the info it is much appreciated. Any idea what the non sharpened blade was for? It is a thick square piece of steel. MIke

cottage hill bill
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by cottage hill bill » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:38 am

Flook just describes it as a spike. Might have had some common RAF useage, now lost to time, or maybe just a crude form of marlin spike.

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galvanic1882
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by galvanic1882 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:24 pm

Thanks again for all the great info, Mike

GCB
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by GCB » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:12 pm

I found this knife in a second hand shop in Glasgow UK. I've been through the thread here and I think this is a Navy pattern clasp knife? On one side of the blade it has the text RODGERS, SHEFFIELD, England below the Maltese cross and a six pointed star. On the other side it has the serial number 21306. I cannot find a broad arrow stamp anywhere on the blade or the marlin spike.

My questions are (1) is it possible to date this knife? (2) is it possible to tell whether this knife was ever government issued?

Thanks in advance if anybody is able to provide any info. Gareth
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cottage hill bill
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by cottage hill bill » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:17 am

Yes that is the Navy issue clasp knife. It was in service from 1940 until 1986. 21306 is the VOCAB number, a stock number. The NATO stores number, NSN, started being used in 1956. I'm not super smart on the post-war numbering systems. You could probably ask about it on a more Brit centric militaria forum. Flook says "later pieces carry only maker's name or maker's name and VOCAB or NATO stores number". For some reason these knives don't seem to carry a /|\. Sometimes there is a name or service number on the shield on scale. I think you can assume it is Navy issue but I can't help a lot on date. I suspect post WWII. If you can find out more about when the VOCAB number was used that may help date it.

You've got a nice example of the breed.

GCB
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by GCB » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:29 am

Thanks for this info, much appreciated. It gives me a great starting point for more research. Interesting what you say about the government mark, I wonder why it fell from use post war? That's a question for another day. Again, thanks a lot for the pointers.

cottage hill bill
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by cottage hill bill » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:30 pm

No clue why this model escaped the /|\. The all stainless version that came out around 1945 did have the arrow.

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smiling-knife
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by smiling-knife » Fri May 03, 2019 12:30 pm

British Navy knives at this time did not have the /I\ stamp. Army knives did and this pattern did appear to be used by both branches. During WWII the Navy knives had the year stamped on the reverse of the tang. This a Jos Rodgers Navy issue knife 1940.
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jerryd6818
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by jerryd6818 » Fri May 03, 2019 2:19 pm

smiling-knife wrote:British Navy knives at this time did not have the /I\ stamp. Army knives did and this pattern did appear to be used by both branches. During WWII the Navy knives had the year stamped on the reverse of the tang. This a Jos Rodgers Navy issue knife 1940.
Steve, it's good to see your post. I'm the only one still doing your trivia. Everyone else has bailed on it and mostly bailed on AAPK. :cry:
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smiling-knife
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by smiling-knife » Fri May 03, 2019 2:37 pm

Hi Jerry, Thanks for your message. I'm very impressed that you are still playing the trivia. You must be tired of the same old categories. I'll see if I can still access it. Maybe we can revive it.
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58chevy348
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by 58chevy348 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:28 pm

I picked up this lot about 8 months ago. Still researching them.
11584
11586
11585
11583
11582

cottage hill bill
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by cottage hill bill » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:03 pm

British knives.jpg
1, 2, 4, 12 – Canadian. Depending on markings either WWI, WWII or post WWII. If marked on the scales as M&D Canada then WWI, Case XX Metal Stampings = WWII, M.S. Ltd = 1948,1949, Case XX Stainless =1950-1965. Some of these could be British made substitute patterns for the 6353/1905, need to see the markings.
3,6,10,11,18 – Pattern 6353/1905 This was the basic Army issue clasp knife for WWI. Issued with a white cotton lanyard. The lanyard was worn looped around the right shoulder with the knife carried in the right breast pocket of the tunic. Is pattern was in service from 1905 to 1938/39.
5 – Need better pictures – The only 6353 pattern with bone scales I’ve seen are the Camillus or Schatt andMorgan made ones for a Canadian contract. Should be stamped on the main blade ricasso with a three-line stamp. If not Camillus would like to see markings.
7 – Navy issue clasp knife in service 1940-1986. Most made by Rogers.
8 – WWII style Army clasp knife, probably Indian manufacture. The ones in my collection with the rather thick horn scales with somewhat crude hand done checkering are Indian. Same pattern as the British knife but made in India. Most issue knifes for the Indian Army (part of British forces until 1947) were locally made.
9 – Post WWII Army issue. 1952 or later. Should be stamped with date and possibly NATO stores number.
13 – Belgian post WWII copy of British WWII knife. Belgium used mostly British style military equipment including web gear in the post war era. ABL is the abbreviation for Belgian Army.
14, 15 – Two variations of the Admiralty Pattern 301. This Navy issued knife was in use from early 1900s until about 1939. Replaced by newer style like No. 7
16 – Look like the WWII pattern but is a bit large, might be commercial pattern, need to see markings.
17 – Boer War period knife. Often found with soldier’s service number branded into the scale. Replaced by Pattern 6353/1905.
19 – WWII standard issue Army knife. Should have maker and possibly date stamped on blade. In service from 1939 until late 1940s. Replaced by all stainless knives like No.9

Hope this helps. I've sent you a PM

huw13
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by huw13 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:31 am

Was wondering if anyone could help me out with this one. No date on the tang. Makers mark is Scotia , j mcclory, Sheffield. Handle material is layered. Feels like leather although I'm not sure it is. Could be horn.
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cottage hill bill
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Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Post by cottage hill bill » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:01 am

The scale material is pressed fiber, the same material that British dog tags were made of. Flook lists a few similar knives in plates 352, 353 and 354. 352 is by Wade and Butcher and has no marlin spike but fiber (or fibre) scales like yours. 353 is a drawing from the Maleham and Yeoman design book. 354 is by Joseph Allen and Sons and has a service number on the spike. He describes another like 352 by Wostenholm with a W/|\D stamp on the spike.
The tin opener is certainly the WWII style. These models differ from the standard WWII issue knives. They are less common than the standard knife but not rare.
I have a couple of WWI knives by McClory, and they too differ slightly from the contemporary pattern.

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