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Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knives.


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That's what I thought. Their ads mention that they've made knives for 70 years, but direct questioning about the Nowill name goes unanswered. Just another repro...

Thanks,

Jim

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That's what I thought. Their ads mention that they've made knives for 70 years, but direct questioning about the Nowill name goes unanswered. Just another repro...

Thanks,

Jim

 

Excerpts from Ron Flook's book "British & Commonwealth Military Knives":

 

John Nowill & Sons

  • Original trademark (D and a star) granted in 1700.
  • Second trademark (crossed keys) acquired in 1842.
  • Company bought by Hopkinson Ltd. around 1950.

From the current parent company website

 

J. Adams Ltd ( http://www.sheffieldknives.co.uk/ ) is a family business which has been making good quality knives for six generations; we are the parent company for three other old established manufacturers F.E & J.R.Hopkinson Ltd, established 14 June 1944, John Nowill & Sons Ltd, whose corporate name was granted by the Cutlers Company of Hallamshire on 27 April 1700 A.D. and Austin McGillivray & Co.

 

HTH.

GB

 

 

 

 

 

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I've a few post WW2 British made FS knives including a John Nowill & Sons. The quality is quite good. I think you would find them satisfactory.

The history of knife companies are full of businesses changing hands. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst.

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They seem to be relatively inexpensive on the website mentioned by gunbarrel. Much cheaper than the same knife they sell thru eBay. I already have a couple of WW2 and postwar Fairbairns, and (I think...) a 1976 marked one leftover from my gun show stock. I guess I'll stick with those for now and keep watch for older, more collectible models.

 

Thanks everyone,

Jim

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  • 3 weeks later...

I found my F-S Bead & Ring in 1966, shortly after I was released from active duty. I don't recall where I bought it and for years thought it was some cheap made thing. It wasn't until a few years ago I decided to do some research, just to see if I could find anything on it. Wow! Was I ever off base. Up until the moment I started looking around, I probably would have put it in a garage sale for a couple of bucks.

 

My go to web site for all things F-S is: http://www.gotavapen.se/gota/artiklar/fs/fs_knife1.htm There is just a ton of information there.

 

Some of the things I've discovered:

1.) The F-S Bead & Ring is a rare variant

2.) Most B&R were made for private purchase so those with the MoD acceptance mark (broad arrow or as some call it, 'crow's foot') (speculated -->) are even more rare.

3.) Those stamped with 'England' were sent to the U.S. in 1946 as part of the reparations for the war debt. From 1946-1952 they were advertised in American Rifleman magazine for $2.98.

4.) It was very common for the tabs to be cut off the scabbards.

5.) Originally the four numbers cast into the hilts of the 3rd pattern knives were referred to as 'mold marks' and signified which mold that handle came from at the factory. It has since been discovered that four companies made the 3rd pattern handles and it is speculated the numbers stand for the four individual manufacturers.

- Perry Barr metal Co of Birmingham

- Walsall Die Cast Ltd

- H. J. Maybrey in New Cross, South London.

- Wolverhampton Die casting Company

 

This is the Bead & Ring I've managed to hang on to for these past 47 years.

 

fs01.jpg

fs03.jpg

fs04.jpg

fs11.jpg

fs12.jpg

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Jerry

 

Thats a beauty.Thanks for posting the picture and your comments as well.Also welcome aboard.I see your a new member.

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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  • 3 months later...

The first style F-S knife is the best and the hardest to find in good condition. They are out there but I have noticed that the price is coming down on them. A sign of the times in military collecting these days.

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  • 4 months later...
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I am new to this forum and I am blown away by the amount of information available through this Forum. It is a lot more fun to read about these weapons in this forum than just GOOGLING, thnaks for the hard work(although I suspect it is a labor of love).

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  • 2 months later...

My very first fighting knife and what started my obsession. Fairbairn Sykes Fatman. Was given to my mother to give to me when I was born. My father gave me the knife when I moved into my house and he wanted "all my crap out of" his house. The knife was originally given to my grandfather in 1946 when he was a boy by a family friend. The picture is of my grandfather sitting on the soldier's shoulders and the letter is from the soldier to my grandfather dated 12/25/1943 from "somewhere in Italy." Only marking on the knife is a broad arrow/4 on handle under guard.

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Collecting early m3 knives, m6 scabbards, 1st & 2nd year Gerber Mk2s, 2nd pattern FS knives, Type 98 Japanese swords, & Type 3 Japanese swords.

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I am trying to find a way to research a WW-II FS style knife. (I cannot figure out how to post a photo) So far I have found the service number on the blade matches a block of numbers assigned to new England, Army National Guard. I would like to find out more about Harold A Brown, ser, #20153409. How would I go about that?

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I am trying to find a way to research a WW-II FS style knife. (I cannot figure out how to post a photo) So far I have found the service number on the blade matches a block of numbers assigned to new England, Army National Guard. I would like to find out more about Harold A Brown, ser, #20153409. How would I go about that?

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

The "later" third pattern were made by a number of manufactureres useing thinner stock but they are still forged blades. You're rightthey are machine ground and the coase grinding makes teh more susceptible to breakage, along with being thinner, and I wondr about the quality of the heat treat on the later ones. Any of the heavier blades with the flats like you show are more than likely Wilkinson because they continued to make the heavy blades. Some of them are probably over-runs from second pattern as well. Any of the third pattern marked either "42", "I", or "B2" on the guard are Wilkinsons.

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I forgot to add that. You are correct in that the hand ground blades (with the little triangular "flat" at the guard) are considered to be left overs from Type 2 F/S production.

 

As for ""B2" on the guard are Wilkinsons", I was under the impression those were built by BSA. (and that's not Boy Scouts of America :D ) but I think I'm wrong about that because Olof Janson says on his fine website -- http://www.gotavapen.se/gota/artiklar/fs/fs_knife1.htm

 

"I must however emphasize that there are strong evidence against the theory that the codes represents certain manufacturers.

Ron Flook shows in his excellent book a letter from MoD (Army) Quality Assurance Directorate dated the 7th of October 1981 says:

‘It is not possible to link examination stamps with manufacturers as our examiners could have visited each of several factories over a period of a few months.’

 

However it is reasonable to believe that knives of similar shape and outer appearance with the same examination stamps come from the same factory."

 

 

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