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1st Pattern Fairbairn-Sykes Knife, Combat Used.

Article about: Hi gents, I've just been offered this knife, and as it's a bit out of my area I am needing a little experienced assistance. I nearly fell over when he pulled it out of a cheap little blue pl

  1. #1

    Default 1st Pattern Fairbairn-Sykes Knife, Combat Used.

    Hi gents,

    I've just been offered this knife, and as it's a bit out of my area I am needing a little experienced assistance. I nearly fell over when he pulled it out of a cheap little blue plastic bag. I've done some reading and I'm fairly certain it's an original example, 1st pattern FS knife. It has been sharpened in the past but not recently and not badly either. The maker's marks have been ground off and at the same time the grinding wheel caught the cross-guard leaving a little groove. I would imagine it was fairly common for them to be sharpened during the war? The steel quality is superior, it has an incredibly fine point and it has kept the extremely sharp edge all along the blade.

    The guy who brought it to me is the son of the original owner, who was a commando during the war. He told his son some stories and apparently several Germans ended their war on the point of this blade. I will try and get more info on the man when I see the current owner again. Apparently he also had some kind of knuckle duster dagger too, but his mother threw it out years ago, along with some German stuff. Ouch.

    I want to make a fair offer, but really don't know where to begin considering the fact it has been sharpened and the straps cut off the sheath. I know prices can be sensitive but what would be the market value for this particular knife? he has done some internet research on prices but also said it's important it goes to a good home that would appreciate the thing for what it is, as his children are not really interested in the history of it. I would like to be that good home I get the feeling he is not wanting a fortune but it won't be 'cheap' either.

    Thanks for looking, hope you like it and I appreciate any assistance.

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  2. #2


    hi mate .

    the scabbard is ok but the knife has a different blade fitted . its a repacement blade made up from something else ....

  3. #3


    It certainly appears to have been heavily and roughly reground, losing all it's original finish in the process, if it isn't a replacement. Is there a way you can tell?

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  4. #4


    Its possible that its a replacement blade but it looks more like someone has ground down a very badly corroded knife in an attempt to 'improve' its overall appearance..........having done so they have rendered a possibly collectable knife into a worthless shadow of what it was..........the pommel nut looks to be undisturbed (but its hard to tell) which makes me think it is'nt a replacement blade..........if you really want a First pattern then pass this one by and wait......meanwhile there are a lot of nice second patterns around which will hold their value better than this First pattern example.

  5. #5


    Thanks PTS. Could it be the correct blade that has been ground down a lot? There are marks from a sharpening wheel all over, so it could have been reshaped perhaps. Or possibly a replacement from a later pattern that has been ground? The whole thing does not feel like it has been messed with really, at least not in recent years. Patina is nice and uniform. Please forgive any naivety on my part, I'm brand new when it comes to these things. The guy I'm speaking to about this strikes me as genuine.

    He has just returned to me with some more info. This is his Father's Commando Association membership book. A member of the association from August 1943.

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    Edit, the other replies were added as I was typing this. I'm not looking for a 1st pattern per se, but this appeared out of the blue and I was interested. He has left it with me to look over so if any more pics are needed I can supply them.

  6. #6


    Your cash ultimately but when you consider that reasonable examples of First Patterns sell for £1000 plus then this one would need to be very cheap.....its your decision of course.....personally I would cringe every time I had to look at it.......sorry if I'm being too negative but its sad to see one having been so abused in an attempt to 'restore' it.

  7. #7


    I could probably live with it as long as it is indeed the correct blade. Any reworking was most likely done by the original owner, and could possibly have even been done during the war (?). I'm wondering at what point in a Commando's career he would join the Association; if he was in the unit early enough to receive a 1st Pattern and joined the Association as late as 1943 it might have seen heavy use and was perhaps a bit rough around the edges by that point. I called the current owner a few minutes ago and he has no knowledge of his Dad ever grinding it, so it must have been done a long time ago to be outside of his memory. I'm not trying to talk the thing into becoming something it's not, but at the same time I'd be loathe to pass it up if I could get it at the right price.

    Thanks for the comments so far, the expertise is much appreciated.

  8. #8


    Of course thats understandable and I agree if the price is right...........just bear in mind that the quality and finish of an F-S is part of its attraction and gives it its value....ALL First Patterns and early Second Patterns had good quality hand ground blades with etched panels on both sides which identified them as weapons good enough to equip the worlds first Special Forces unit The 'Commandos'.............sorry to repeat myself but the blade on this is worthless whether it is a replacement or re-worked as it has been.....harsh but true......all the best whatever you decide.

    My final word....I promise...the section immediately beneath the pommel nut on the handle seems to have been ground as well, it should not look like that rather the profile of the grip should be continuous to the top.

  9. #9


    I do understand your point regarding the blade, thanks again for the help. If I do go for it it will have to be cheap based on what everyone has said. I would likely display it in a shadow box with the paperwork and a photo of the chap in uniform if I can get one from the Son, that way it will be in the sheath for display too so it would be hidden from view It also makes it a bit more desirable for me that there are some accompanying context items about the owner etc. If it was the same dagger but sold anonymously online without any info I would not be so interested.

    Thanks guys, any more comments are of course welcome.

  10. #10


    Pretty much all has been said. I cannot really add anything of value.

    It would have to be cheap for me...

    Cheers, Ade.
    Had good advice? Saved money? Why not become a Gold Club Member, just hit the green "Join WRF Club" tab at the top of the page and help support the forum!

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