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Clair Stewart (Australian) WW2 Z Special Unit

Article about: That was purely to buy time giving nothing to the enemy ..... Standard in modern day anti interrogation training .. I feel you have been thrown a challenge to clear his name ...... It's up t

  1. #1

    Default Clair Stewart (Australian) WW2 Z Special Unit

    This man was Extrordinary, Operation Rimau (Singapore Shipping) in 1992 his widow gave me his dagger that she took from him because she thought it was disgusting.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Clair Stewart (Australian) WW2 Z Special Unit

    That's a "in one cast handle to the tang" F and S knife.
    These were supposidly a "special order" for the US Rangers who trained in the UK, and took a liking to the Fairbairn.

    A clearer picture can be seen here ......

    Commando knives with different hilts

    Gary J.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Clair Stewart (Australian) WW2 Z Special Unit

    Thanks Gary, this would have been issued late 1943 ??

  4. #4

    Default Re: Clair Stewart (Australian) WW2 Z Special Unit


    Having read your thread : this appears to be an " extremely rare" version / issue. Many thanks.



  5. #5

    Default Re: Clair Stewart (Australian) WW2 Z Special Unit

    Put it like this, .. it's not a "run of the mill" Fairbairn, although of course there are many variants.
    Your pattern is "desirable" to American special forces collectors ......

    I had one the same about 5 years back, and I sold it for 340 GBP then !!! ...... to give you a rough gauge ..

    (Around 1943 would right for the type.)


    Gary J.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Clair Stewart (Australian) WW2 Z Special Unit

    Hi Gary,

    Again many thanks!! I actually dont attribute a dollar value to the dagger as I married Clair's Granddaughter. It was not until 1990 that the Australian Government bowed to public pressure and released the documents corncerning these personnel's records, until then they were known simply as MIA. Clair was remarkable and has been of much debate amongst Australian Special Forces as to why he was never awarded the Victoria Cross.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Clair Stewart (Australian) WW2 Z Special Unit

    When I first got mine, I thought that the knife was a post war copy because of the inferior cast of the handle.
    Then, after a little ground work, it turned out, that the US Rangers training in Britain, had taken to the "British Commando Knife", and I suspect they might have placed a manufacturing order for a batch, but because they were American, the manufacturer took a short cut using a fully molded, non-removable handle as a cheaper option to the British issue.
    I was lead to believe, the handles were either painted green or black.

    How true all of this is, has probably been lost in the mists of time, ... BUT, the amount of interest shown in the knife when I sold it, surprised me .... so there is most definitely a story to uncover here ....

    I would be interested if any other members of the forum could fill in any further details .... to confirm or correct this detail.

    Whatever though, you have a nice "sleeper" of an item there ..


    Gary J.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Clair Stewart (Australian) WW2 Z Special Unit

    Hi Gary,

    Thank you so much for your information, I actually can't express my gratitude better than having said that.

    Clair was the only Australian that mounted the rear-guard fighting retreat from Operation Rimau. He and two English Officers took on 200 Japanese to allow a fighting withdrawal. The two English officers were killed by grenade burst and Clair was captured three days later without ammunition. He was tortured for 8 weeks (!!!!!!!!) by the Japanese who , because of his fortitude announced that they were dealing with Australian Specialist's never before encountered. Sadly , the Japanese actually tried Clair and the other Z special surviving operatives for Perfidy and Subtifuge and found them guilty and given their heroism : condemmed them to death under the Bushido Code of beheading

  9. #9

    Default Re: Clair Stewart (Australian) WW2 Z Special Unit

    A tough chap ... who's belief conquered all that was thrown at him ...

    Keep "digging" on his behalf ...

    His is the type of story that should be told, as justice to his honour, bravery and memory.

    With Respect

    Gary J.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Clair Stewart (Australian) WW2 Z Special Unit


    Belief or not , married with two children under 5, codes comprimised by drunken English Officer, Dutch intellingence f**King the Australian female Signallers so no response for repeated extraction, captured Australian Officer agreed to translating a book for Allied Captives, seen as aiding and abbetting the enemy, therefore no recognition or decorations to be awarded to personnel --disgraceful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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