To a casual reader it would seem a simple task to search archives and compile records into an historical publication on something as common as the production of more than a quarter of a million commando knives. But the researcher often finds there is a disappointing dearth of information available and many dead ends. As Clive MacPherson once advised me:
“I always tell people who are researching Britain in the early days of the war not to rely too much on documentation. Much was destroyed during the Blitz, nearly every major city was hit at one time or another and huge swathes of records were destroyed. There was a lot of improvisation and private purchase taking place. An example of this is one of the |Commando units made their badge from melted down canteen spoons. It is possible that S.O.E. had daggers of various patterns privately made,( each S.O.E. Section was conducting a campaign against other S.O.E. and each section had a great degree of latitude) this latitude would probably cover a lot of the smaller "agent" daggers. It is important to remember that all of these companies were privately owned. For instance, we know there was a Polish dagger but we don't know who manufactured it. Did the Poles order it themselves? If they did there would be no British record of it being produced. It is possible that some of the more exotic Special Forces units during the war ordered their own knives. There were a plethora of these units, some of them very small.
As with anything to do with SF, then and now, is a matter of conjecture rather than hard fact. Some of our wartime records remain sealed and will do so until 2045. I have a tendency to tell people who believe themselves to be stone cold certain of a fact to prove it, which they invariably cannot.” Clive MacPherson