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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Royal Navy knives


Khaki
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I believe that the issue 'Jack Knife' as they are known was essentially the same between the Navy & the Army and have often wondered if the term 'Jack Knife' is in sme way associated with the term 'Jolly Jack Tar' etc. Being Senior Service I imagine the name may well have derived within the Navy first, and would be interested to know if anyone can confirm this. I also assume this is why the knives have a marlin spike - used to splice rope, which when used on land is said to be useful for removing stones from horses hoofs!

I know of at least one well recognized photo which shows a naval rating on board a ship with a Jack Knife swinging from a length of string tied around his waist. Can locate it at the moment however.

David

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Being Senior Service I imagine the name may well have derived within the Navy first,

David

That makes sense as the working sailor has always needed a knife for his duties. I don`t recall ever needing mine in army service except for eyeing potatoes when on cookhouse fatigues. :angry:

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That makes sense as the working sailor has always needed a knife for his duties. I don`t recall ever needing mine in army service except for eyeing potatoes when on cookhouse fatigues. :angry:

Mine was used and the marlin spike also, well bleeps need rope and wire in different length!

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I believe that the issue 'Jack Knife' as they are known was essentially the same between the Navy & the Army

David

Am I correct in understanding that if I am buying a knife that has no provenance or personal markings that it is not possible to determine whether it is army or navy.

thanks

khaki

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I'll stick my neck out and say 'yes.' I've never seen a personally inscribed jack-knife, but that isn't to say they are not out there. The main thing is to make sure it is a military pattern knife, arrow stamped ideally.

David

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Based on a sample of 1, my Grandfather's naval Jack Knife has horn side scales not the black composite of the army knife.

There is a reasonable amount on Goo*** if you do a web search.

G

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Without doing an actual count, I'd say about one in ten of my first war knives has a service number stamped on the marlin spike. The incidence of marking is higher for the Boer War era ones I have. On those the number is branded into the horn scales. Short of a service number I don't think there is any possibility of determining where it served.

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