Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Share

    horseman
    New Member

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2010-09-13

    Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by horseman on Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:30 pm

    New to the forum and looking to see if anyone can help with a project I have been working on for the past year or so.

    A bit of history to start with. I was given a 2nd pattern FS fighting knife (all nickel plated, Wilkinson Sword /FS version etched) by a friend, who’s father (long since deceased) was a Lt. in the RCA during WW2. This gentleman was only in England from March to July of 1942 then returned to Canada. It is assumed he brought back the knife at that time.

    When I received the knife I noticed that scratched on the metal chape of the sheath was …… GRANT K74246.…

    I am trying to identify who GRANT was or at least which unit/regiment he was with that would warrant him having been issued a FS knife. To date all I know is that the service number K74246 was issued to “Unallotted (Inf)” in MD 11 (British Columbia).

    I have searched, on line, the war graves site, the RC Legion Magazine Last Post in the event he died during or since with no success, and without knowing if he is deceased (date etc) I can not access his records from National Archives. I have also tried several of the BC regiment association sites to see if any of them had on line “Nominal Rolls” for WW2 but drew a blank.

    Like I mentioned I am assuming he was in a BC Regiment and in England prior to July 42.

    Any thoughts, suggestions or help would be appreciated.

    Jim Camirand


    Rob
    Member

    Posts : 64
    Join date : 2010-01-08
    Age : 47
    Location : Calgary, AB

    Re: Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by Rob on Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:53 pm

    Hello Jim

    I can't give you any definitive answer on this, but I did come across some possibly relevant information about two other men from the same BC ‘Unalloted Infantry’ group (K74001 - K77000). These are:

    K75030 Pte E F Desrosiers
    K76591 Gunner G G Irwin

    Both these men are listed in the regimentally produced history booklet from the 5th Field Regiment, RCA as they were both wounded (Desrosiers with 28th Battery and Irwin with RHQ, and yes, Desrosiers is listed as a Private not a Gunner, oddly enough). Although this is not, as I said, an answer for you, it does show that men from this source did serve with the RCA, so your man, Grant, could easily have served in the same unit as your Lieutenant. Out of interest, what was the name of this officer?

    Of course, you always have to be really careful with using Canadian regimental numbers to identify units, as the number only identifies the unit the man enlisted with, not necessarily the one he served with. Using 5th Field Regt again, there are men serving as gunners with numbers from the 1st Army Tank Bde, the RCASC, the Rocky Mountain Rangers and even 2nd Bn, CSR (MG)! Furthermore, I’m afraid you can’t assume he was in a BC regiment, as 5th Field was a Quebec/New Brunswick unit.

    Anyway, I hope this helps in some way.

    Rob

    horseman
    New Member

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2010-09-13

    Need help on Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by horseman on Thu Oct 21, 2010 3:59 pm

    Rob

    Thanks for the response and the info. Yes I know what you mean about the Service Numbers not necessarily "positively" identifying the person to a unit. But hay, it is a starting point sometimes.. This could be , bang on, since the Lt. (Lawrence BURRELL) was also RCA. Here are his postings.........

    39-41 6th Anti Aircraft Battery
    41-42 16 A.A. (M.G.) Battery
    Can. Army Overseas March - July 42
    July 42 - Sept. 42 104th Coastal Battery
    Sept. 42 - Dec. 42 24th L.A.A. Battery
    Dec. 42 - Nov. 44 23rd A.A. Regt.

    As you can see he was not overseas (England) that long, could have been for training on Coastal guns/tactics, or returned for medical reasons, not sure....

    In any event now I can look into which RCA units would have been in England during the same time period as he was, you never know I may be getting near the end of my search hmmmmmm.

    Thanks again Rob

    horseman
    New Member

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2010-09-13

    Re: Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by horseman on Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:08 pm

    Rob

    As an afterthought Lt. Burrell was from New Brunswick so..... 5 RCA may fit in.

    Thanks again

    Jim

    Rob
    Member

    Posts : 64
    Join date : 2010-01-08
    Age : 47
    Location : Calgary, AB

    Re: Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by Rob on Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:14 pm

    No problem, you're welcome.

    Burrell seems to have a lot of Ack-Ack in his life, so you might look at 3rd LAA Regt, RCA. The clues seem to be pointing at 2nd Division Arty, and I know 3LAA recruited a lot from BC for their 16th Battery (not the same as 16 AA(MG) Bty I don't think). That may be the source of the two 5RCA men in fact. Having said that, I do have a grouping for a 5RCA man from BC (a CP 'ack') and he joined up and was just posted to 5RCA, just because, I suppose, that was where he was needed.

    Rob

    purcell
    Member

    Posts : 30
    Join date : 2010-09-15
    Age : 46
    Location : Edmonton, Alberta

    Re: Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by purcell on Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:12 pm

    Talking about the 3LAA, i have a battledress with the 3LAA on it, but it has a 7th Canadian Division flash on it.

    Rob
    Member

    Posts : 64
    Join date : 2010-01-08
    Age : 47
    Location : Calgary, AB

    Re: Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by Rob on Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:56 am

    purcell wrote:Talking about the 3LAA, i have a battledress with the 3LAA on it, but it has a 7th Canadian Division flash on it.

    That's odd. Funnily enough, I have a 3LAA Batledress too, although mine has the standard 2nd Canadian Division patches. Do you have a picture of it? I'll take a pic of mine if you like.

    Rob

    horseman
    New Member

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2010-09-13

    Re: Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by horseman on Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:22 am

    Rob

    Thanks for the info on 3 LAA, I believe you are right with the 2nd Div. connection.

    Jim

    Rob
    Member

    Posts : 64
    Join date : 2010-01-08
    Age : 47
    Location : Calgary, AB

    Re: Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by Rob on Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:56 pm

    I am posting these pictures on behalf of purcell (Chris) who was having problems posting them and emailed them to me. Hopefully I can get some others input on his Battledress blouse.

    hi there rob, here are the photos. i know the 3LAA was with the 2nd div. perhaps the gentleman came home from overseas, assignment to the 7div? what is your take on it? i know the badges are original to the battledress.

    chris






    Hi Chris

    Thanks for sending these. Assuming that the badges are definitely original to the blouse, I have to say I really don’t know what to make of it.
    It's certainly not a combination of insignia that was ever authorised as far as I know. If the insignia is to be believed, he did over 4 years service overseas, which doesn't give a lot of room to be back home with 7th Division too.

    What do other people think?

    I will take some pictures of my standard 3LAA BD and post them.

    Rob


    Bill
    Moderator

    Posts : 983
    Join date : 2009-11-28

    Re: Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by Bill on Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:50 pm

    Evening, This tunic is odd, to say the least.
    7 Division was home defence, and as such the order of battle changed considerably during its existence, but the division only had at various times, the 10 LAA Regt, 8 AT Regt, and later 28 FD Regt. At no time was 3 LAA Regt on strength. In addition, 7 Div was disbanded Oct 15, 1943.
    The 3 LAA Regt was formed in 1941 in the UK. It trained and served overseas until disbanded in the autumn of 1945.
    Wearing the insignia of 3 LAA in the 7 Div is not likely. Even if the fellow came back from overseas, he would not be allowed to wear the insignia of a unit that was not on the order of battle.
    Further issues. The patching for the 7 Div was issued in pairs, a left and right which had the leading edge in 3rd Div French gray, over the 4th Div green. On the right arm, the patching is incorrect. The gray should be towards the front of the tunic, not to the back.
    I think this is a creation.

    purcell
    Member

    Posts : 30
    Join date : 2010-09-15
    Age : 46
    Location : Edmonton, Alberta

    Re: Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by purcell on Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:16 am

    hi there Bill, much appreciated advice on the battledress.

    Bill
    Moderator

    Posts : 983
    Join date : 2009-11-28

    Re: Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by Bill on Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:33 am

    By chance, I just found this paragraph in a DND memo dated 17 Mar 1942:

    1. With reference to your memo dated March 13, the question of wearing battle patches by personnel of the Canadian army returned to Canada for various reasons was considered by Military Members of Council, and it was recommended and approved by the Minister that battle patches worn by units overseas should not be worn in Canada except:
    (i) Personnel in Canada on temporary duty from overseas
    (ii) Personnel in Canada on leave from overseas
    (iii) Personnel returned for discharge other than misconduct...
    4. It would be most confusing if personnel who may have served in one field formation overseas were permitted to continue to wear the various patches of that formation while serving with another unit, and this would entirely defeat the purpose for which the distinctive patches were introduced.
    Victor Sifton
    MGO (Master General of Ordnance)

    Sponsored content

    Re: Need Help on a Fairbairn Sykes Fighting Knife

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 3:21 pm


      Current date/time is Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:21 pm