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The humble British Jack Knife

Article about: Hi Guys, the clasp or Jack knife was carried by all British soldiers in WW2. They were carried secured around the waist via string lanyard. They were a useful tool and were often kept by for

  1. #1

    Default The humble British Jack Knife

    Hi Guys, the clasp or Jack knife was carried by all British soldiers in WW2. They were carried secured around the waist via string lanyard. They were a useful tool and were often kept by former soldiers and saw long service after the war.



    Both my two examples were gifts from Veterans.

    Both are dated 1942.

    There were many different makers of these. Mostly they were produced in Sheffield.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: The humble British Jack Knife

    Another example. There are many different types to collect. Both mine are the type with spike, blade and tin opener.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: The humble British Jack Knife

    Nice knives mr. Stevenson. After the war they send a lot of this knives to Norway. Here are mine. Both the big ones are made by sheffield in 1944, and the small ones are marked 1943.

    Regards Arvid
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  4. #4

    Default Re: The humble British Jack Knife

    I know this might seem as a bit of a daft question, but does the spike have any type of special purpose?
    Thanks

    Danny

  5. #5

    Default Re: The humble British Jack Knife

    it's a "Marlin Spike" for rigging on ships, netting, etc.............

    Very robust Knives.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The humble British Jack Knife

    Also good for opening tins of condensed milk

    Hi Arvid, they are great examples you have shown.

    Cheers, Ade.

  7. #7

    Default Re: The humble British Jack Knife

    Hello Ade,
    Here are some bit's of my kit. I had to replace my original issue 'Pussers' knife at my own expense because I dropped mine in the channel. I'd removed it from the lanyard for ease of use and it was inevitable that the tool would end up with Davy Jones.
    I still use the palm and needles for leather and rope work.
    Cheers,
    Guy.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: The humble British Jack Knife

    As an X-Botswain mate in he US navy,the Marline Spike is used to open shackles and line for splicing cables and cordage.

  9. #9
    ?

    Default Re: The humble British Jack Knife

    Ive had two of these over the years.
    One of the all steel late issue types that I gave to my son when he joined up, (not sure if he has left it at home or has it with him in Afghan!) and one of the earlier types with black grips, (not sure of the date, so will have to find it and check).
    I got the older one from Silverman's in Bow, East London back in 1981 for the then princely sum of £5!!
    The newer one I had given by a mate.
    If I can find either or both, I will post some photos.

    (How many of the forum subjects is that Im supposed to be putting photos on now? LOL)

  10. #10

    Default Re: The humble British Jack Knife

    Quote by wildman View Post
    As an X-Botswain mate in he US navy,the Marline Spike is used to open shackles and line for splicing cables and cordage.
    Hello,
    This is a bell rope I made whilst very bored in hospital. It's been with all my boats for a good few years now, which is why it's a bit grubby. It is now my door bell, there is no way you could sleep though the noise it makes in a building.
    Despite being an ex matelot I have learned more Knots, splices, and bends from this book; 'The Ashley Book of Knots' by Clifford W Ashley' (ISBN 0571 09659), first published 1944) and I would recommend it to anyone who fancies having a go. It's just a matter of concentration and practice.
    Start with the easy ones and make sure you have a marline spike, (a filed down large nail will do if it's smooth), some thin twine, a curved sailmakers needle, and some three strand rope. Insulating tape is handy for keeping the strands from unraveling whilst working.
    If you are a real pedant you can put a whipping on each strand, but I prefer the easy way in this modern world.
    This is a good reason for having a Jack Knife with a sharp blade, it will fulfill the needs for most of this sort of work, and of course undoing or tightening shackles
    Happy splicing,
    navyman.
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