Is this a commando knife Fairbanks?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by arantxa1967, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. arantxa1967

    arantxa1967 Member

    This was in a house clearance I wondered if it was the the top of the bottom pic that was on line
    Thanks and advice would be great

    Attached Files:

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  2. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Are there any markings on the blade or crossguard?
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    It doesn't look like the one that Fairbanks gave to Maid Marian in the 1922 version of 'Robin Hood' :)

    Aixman, Tricky Dicky, timuk and 2 others like this.
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    "Is that a fairbanks I see before me" - "no I'm just pleased to see you Marion" :omg::huh::whistle::blush:

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  6. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Not the best place to get a ladder in your tights...
  7. arantxa1967

    arantxa1967 Member

    the overall length is as you have listed i would say the handle is made of wood i cant see any marks

    Attached Files:

  8. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Other opinions may be available...

    British Commando Knife

    The different balance of a wooden-hilted knife did occur to me and the point is raised in the article. The 'large brass nut' mentioned in the spec against the wooden hilt may have been meant to move the centre of gravity back.

    Anyway, its twin is there...
  9. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Sorry if I’m late to the party...

    If I remember correctly I think it was called the Fairbank - Sykes Commando knife for a short time (about a week?) in the mid 1950’s after it featured in an Eric Sykes penned Goon Show (Spike Malignant was poorly).

    The episode was called ”Ill Met By Goonlight” and was set on Crete as a beefed up adaptation of the Ill Met By Moonlight film starring Dirk Bogarde

    The hero Eccles played the role of his life as a brave and daring British Commando (he was a method actor and channelled Fairbanks in his 1922 Robin Hood performance cited above - obviously minus the cod piece as there was still post war food rationing).

    In the wee small hours of the morning he was chasing his fellow Commando Bluebottle towards a hidden cliff overlooking the sea brandishing the above described weapon - in the mistaken belief that Bluebottle was a “nasty Boche” - with the sadly inevitable result that there was a loud splashing noise after Bluebottle ran over the cliff edge. He was last heard of loudly exclaiming “I’ve fallen in the water”.

    I do hope my memory isn’t playing tricks:)



    The Goon Show Site - Script - Ill met by Goonlight (Series 7, Episode 23)
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  10. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    No it’s not a Fairbanks or Fairbanks Sykes. What you are talking about is a Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife, named after the two Shanghai Police Officers who developed it. TD posted the link to the Wikipedia site a few posts ago but didn’t draw attention to the name.
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  11. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Thanks for the clarification:salut:


    JITTER PARTY Active Member

    I think that was because everyone else was in on the joke.
  13. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    However, the two invented the knife when they were in Fairbanks, Alaska, while en route to Shanghai.
  14. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    It’s not much of a joke if it’s at the expense of someone with a genuine query but who hasn’t got something quite right
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  15. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Ah well back to reality.....
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  16. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Just as we were about to progress beyond "Is this a dagger which I see before me ?" :)
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  17. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Curiously enough W.E. Fairbairn and Douglas Fairbanks were well acquainted. Fairbairn acted as body guard/guide to the other on a visit to China in 1929 and Fairbanks wrote the preface for Fairbairn's 1931 book "Scientific Self-Defence".

    The Worlds First Swat Team By Leroy Thompson.jpg

    Regards ...
    Tullybrone likes this.
  18. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I'm with VW, chaps.
    Old hands expect a bit of a pisstake for little mistakes or even autocorrect/typos, but newer members asking questions maybe deserve an explanation for the giggling before it starts.
    (Try and type Fairbairn on yer phone. Mine automatically switches it to Fairbanks.;) )

    Carry on!

    Is it me or is ID of these knives a nightmare?
    A more recent service ex-Commando mate had dozens of the things. All good military provenance but seemingly all slightly different.
    And if imitation is flattery, the designers certainly got something dead right. No shortage of 'unofficial' copies.
  19. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I don’t want to dig a bigger ‘ole but while Arantxa1967 may not have posted much I was aware before my posting that he has been a member for almost 4 years. I made the assumption that he would be aware of the culture of the site via his non posting visits over that time.

    To use the analogy you used with regards to the member who made his first post one day last month and then asked repeatedly for a new sub forum and went on to make an accusation of bullying when members responded humorously - the forum is like a Pub where friends get together and if a friend commits a “faux pas” then some mild ribbing can ensue. The “faux pas” that members picked up on in this thread was the written equivalent of a “malapropism”".........

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Not annoyed or condemning, mate. Just the landlord occasionally peering in from the cellar.
    I too giggled, realising it was just locals being silly rather than youths not being able to handle their cider.

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