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: 26
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:24 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Postby 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.

galvanic1882
Posts: 2100
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:39 am
Location: Payson AZ

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Postby 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
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:24 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Postby 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.

galvanic1882
Posts: 2100
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:39 am
Location: Payson AZ

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Postby galvanic1882 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:24 pm

Thanks again for all the great info, Mike

GCB
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:09 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Postby 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
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:24 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Postby 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
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:09 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Postby 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
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:24 pm

Re: British and Commonwealth Military Knives

Postby 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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