John Paisley was real. The photo of his roofless forge is nonsense, he produced many superb blades."
In response to a query to my good friend "Fred" (who is a recognized arms expert in England) I got the following reply.
John Paisley was real. The photo of his roofless forge is nonsense, he produced many superb blades."
I have asked for further explanation on his comment about the photo of the forge. As I might have mentioned another friend living near Glasgow has pinned down the area we feel Paisley had his shop. I also have a bit of new information that Paisley was considered "an armourer his entire life." So perhaps the silversmith of Lindsey-Paisley shop is not the same as John Paisley the armourer/cutler?? The photo is of my first Paisley Metford-Fairbairn knife. All of this new information trickling in is another cause for the delay of my book being finished. This long running debate is soon to be resolved in John Paisley's favor.
I just got back from a 2 week vacation in Idaho. We own land out there and plan to eventually build a home on the 40 acres. It is near a small town. My daughter and I spied a small building for rent in town. We both said it was a perfect place for THE Commando Knife Museum. Someday, maybe, heck I traveled to Spean Bridge in Scotland to the Commando Museum. All they had was one 3rd pattern on display!
I bought a new second pattern B2 with an aluminum handle! It is in mint condition and comes in a commercial style (but custom made) sheath. With my purchase my good friend in the west has also gifted me with an unusual wood handled knife. Once they arrive I’ll post the photos. He says it might be post war and perhaps India-made. I don’t care, it’s a really unique looking handle. Wood handled knives do not have the mass to give the same feeling you get with an alloy or brass handle. It’s sort of a hard thing to describe since it is completely a tactile experience.
My friend also sent me a small library of original WW-II commando books. I don’t know what I did to deserve such good karma. Maybe it’s the stray cats I’ve rescued, two of them who feel like they need to lay on my keyboard as I type. Anyway, the package included two original copies of “Get Tough,” “All in Fighting,” “Hands-Off,” “Commando Ju-Jitsu” “Lightning Ju-Jitsu,” and “Guerilla Warfare”. Pretty cool collection of combat text books from the day.
There are a few great knives still for sale from this man. He guarantees your satisfaction with them. If not you pay the postage back and he’ll refund your money. You cannot do better than that.
Here is a short bit from my book. It was an email to me from a good friend and historian, Clive MacPherson. Clive passed away and it was a terrible loss for he was well respected by his friends at the CMSM Museum in Maldon England. For me it was also a loss of a valuable source of information and contacts. A lot of the most valuable information in my book came from Clive and another source I'll just call Fred.
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
August H. Hubert
SMALL ARMS INSTRUCTOR, FEBRUARY 1943 THROUGH DECEMBER 11, 1945.
This is the third time i have written this blog and had it disappear for some reason. Frustrating day on the computer! Research can be frustrating or rewarding too depending on how your luck goes. Many of the genealogical website are now membership only, making it very hard to get any information. This is not very much information for all of the hours spent searching. The hard part was deciphering the man's name that was ink stamped on the sheath. Luckily he stamped it three times and between the three I finally managed to figure out his full name.
Sergeant Hubert's knife is a very cool dagger and sheath combination. I wonder if he taught knife as well as small arms? Sales of my knives on this website helps me continue to grow the collection in a focused direction and as I do I share the new pieces with you. Eventually all of the really unusual knives will find their way into one of the volumes I am writing. Thanks to all of you for your visits to my site.
I wish all of you a safe and fun July fourth holiday. God bless our veterans and those currently serving in all branches of the military.
I know people are wondering what is taking so long with my book. I thought I had it all ready to go to a printer. But I started seeing holes in the manuscript that needed addressed. I took a moment today to stop editing and put together an outline of the topics that will be covered. I think you will see that the volume of material is almost overwhelming. It will be worth it in the end. I told Leroy Thompson it might turn into an encyclopedia and rather than laugh at the idea he said one was really needed because the whole story had never been covered in depth. That's coming from a man who has authored 3-4 books on the subject and done a damned good job! So here is a list of the topics I am writing on. The first three to four portions nearly kicked my butt sorting out the real story. And as a famous author once said I have; "Miles to go before I sleep."
So altogether there are over 400 pages, and I am not finished writing. The size may require dividing it into two or even three volumes. So put on your thinking caps and help me find a way to get it printed (at an affordable cost to you) while I continue to write and edit. It seems like daily I find new versions and previously unknown types of F-S knives. Thank you for your patience and visiting my site.
The fourth of July is coming. What does that mean to anyone today except beer and brats? How many people are really thinking about the struggle for Independence, Liberty, and the establishment of the greatest nation on earth? Please remember the sacrifices made to make us free, the men and women who have struggled and died to keep us free, and fly your flag proudly. God bless America and its people.
The masters of mayhem were certainly the weapons designers at places like Aston House and other SOE stations. These two "hatpins" are wicked, deadly needles of steel with triangular grooved blades. The triangular shape provides great rigidity in small sizes. It also creates a hole that is difficult for the body to heal. This is why Triangular bayonet blades were outlawed. It is also why many men pierced by a small sword in a duel died of infection from the un-healing wound. Today there are similar self-defense weapons available from different makers. They are easily concealed and light to carry. Making one would not be too difficult either. They have no other function than killing, whether in defense or in assassination. If you are caught carrying one the courts may not be sympathetic. Concealed weapons are always viewed as more evil than exposed ones. That is the strange posture of the legal system. But i won't get into the political correctness (or incorrectness) of self-defense or carrying weapons.
FOR THE ANSWER: Check out the page on Odds & Ends.
Alright who out there (who besides Ron Flook) knows what sort of knife this is? I'll give you a couple clues. It came in a box with a Smatchet and another similar dagger. It was made in India during, (or possibly even after) WW-II. It is named after a famous British general who fought the Japanese in Burma. The answer is found on the page for Odds & Ends along with additional photos.
For those of you who asked how my book is coming I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is I am rewriting a lot of it. I had to lay it aside for months at a time due to other obligations. Now that summer is here I determined to get it finished. BUT when I started going through it to do a light edit I found that I had lost the flow by carelessly plugging in new information. So that is the bad news.
The good news is I am making good progress. The book will be a little shorter but a lot more readable with better flow and more new photos and information. Since restarting on it I have made contact with several people very important to the story. They are a Mr. Yeaton, son of Kelly Yeaton, William Cassidy, author of “The Complete Book of Knife Fighting,” and a man whom I refer to as Fred. Fred is an anonymous source who actually owns the original F-S that Fairbairn commissioned from a friend in London. The exciting part is that the friend was not Wilkinson Sword Co. Yes you’ll have to buy the book when it’s done to find out who that friend was. In addition to new information I have added some one of a kind knives and more clandestine weapons like hat-pins and sleeve daggers. So the good news tends to outweigh the bad news. Exciting stuff I have been learning!
Here is one of the recent additions to my collection. It is a second pattern blade which has an antique dagger handle and pommel added. The silver guard is the F-S style. It is lying on my keyboard to give me inspiration during a break. The knife came is a metal scabbard with a leather frog. The back of the frog is identified to the owner with the words: QSM Grant. I am told that QSM stands for Quartermaster Sergeant Major.
You can find out more about me on the "Stories" pages. My hobbies have included training in Japanese martial arts, Kenjutsu, many forms of knife fighting, long range rifles and tactical firearms. I have written several self published books on muzzle-loading firearms, knife-fighting and gas engines and compressors. I am working diligently on my 400+ page F-S book.