Here is a snippet from my forthcoming book:
More germane to our story is the research into the use of a fighting knife. Fairbairn soon determined there was no suitable fighting knife to be found in Shanghai. So in 1930-31 Fairbairn, along with his compatriot Eric Sykes, set out to design a fighting knife to suit their specific methods of combat. Their production of a “suitable” fighting knife began by experimenting with and converting readily available obsolete bayonets. Documenting that enterprise is a major part of our story.
Some of the best sources of information on these early knives were William Fairbairn’s son John, and daughter Dorothea. John was a Captain in the British Army. While living in Shanghai Dorothea Fairbairn was only a teenager. In 1941, despite her youthful age, she was already deeply involved in the war effort as a Secretary for the S.O.E. assigned to Station XII, Aston House. (Much later in her life she described to Leroy Thompson her memories of her father’s involvement in knife making in the 1930s in Shanghai.)
“Dorothea Fairbairn told me more than once that she remembered her father bringing home various experimental knives made from bayonets early in the war.”
So, beyond any doubt, we know right from the beginning of our story, fighting knives were being made “from bayonets” in the early 1930s in Shanghai, China. Many people have testified to such activities and we shall hear from them in due time. Another principle player in this story is a young American Marine, Lt. Samuel Yeaton. Lt Yeaton arrived in Shanghai in late December of 1931.
John Fairbairn described the making of the first Shanghai model F-S fighting knives saying they used a hunting knife he describes as a “Pig Sticker” for inspiration. John Fairbairn says: “It began with a hunting knife, a very nice hunting knife, and we thought what a lovely weapon this was. It was a pig sticking knife actually, but we made our first knives from the tops of bayonets, there in the armory” It might have looked something like this magnificent Shakespeare knife manufactured by the Wilkinson Sword Co.
 When Fairbairn and Sykes arrive in England they find themselves in the same situation, where the military had not considered fighting knives a necessary part of a soldiers gear.
 Noted author of “Commando Dagger” and many books on military topics.
 Miss Fairbairn is probably referring to her time in Shanghai in the mid nineteen thirties.
 Wm. Cassidy “A Brief History of the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife.”