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English WWII Combat Knife by Southern & Richardson

English WWII Combat Knife by Southern & Richardson

  • Product Code: EWSK-1109-SOLD
  • Availability: Out Of Stock
  • $1.00

This is a very nice example of a World War II fighting knife that falls into the category of “Theater Knives” While many “Theater Knives” were in fact made in the theater of operations, many were also purpose built combat knives provide by established cutlers. This is one of those knives and is clearly marked on the blade in two lines: SOUTHERN & RICHARDSON / SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND. Southern & Richardson was a Sheffield, England based cutlery producer, which was established in 1847. In 1851 they moved to the “Weldon Works, Bird’s Nest” and remained there until the 1920’s, when they were absorbed by the firm of Needham, Veall & Tyzack, another Sheffield based cutler who had established the “Eye Witness’ Works in 1875. NV&T continued to produce blades under both the Southern & Richardson brand and their own Eye Witness brand until they went out of business in 1975.

The knife is a classic “pig sticker” or double-edged dagger. The spear-point blade is 6 7/8” long, and has an overall length of 11 1/8”. The blade is about 15/16” wide at the hilt. The blade is mostly a pewter gray color with scattered patches of peppering, and some pinprick pitting, all the result of having been stored in the leather scabbard for many years. The grips are a series of oval leather washer of varying sizes, creating a minor palm swell towards the center of the grip and tapering at the front and rear. The knife has a brass cross guard that is about 2 1/16” wide. Between the guard and the grip washers are a red Bakelite spacer, a brass spacer, a black Bakelite spacer and another brass spacer. This same pattern of brass spacers and red and black Bakelite spacers is repeated at the hilt, which is capped with an oval brass pommel cap. The pommel is secured to the tang of the knife by a brass spanner nut. The hilt is in lovely condition, with a nice medium golden patina on the brass and no real damage to the leather grip other than a handful of minor handling dings and light impact marks. The knife is contained in what appears to be its original sheath. It is a simple design with two medium weight pieces of leather joined by a double row of stitching and nine round reinforcing rivets. The sheath’s hanger is cut to create a belt loop that can accept a maximum of a 2 ““ belt. The hanger also retains the original hilt retention strap with a brass snap. The snap was blackened, but the finish is wearing off and the inside of the brass snap and button are covered in lovely old green verdigris. The scabbard is in good solid condition and could be used today.

Overall this is a nice, maker marked example of the classic World War II Theater Knife, by a famous English cutler. There is no doubt that many US and British troops purchased knives of this and similar patterns in the days leading up to the Normandy invasion. While so many of the “Theater Knives’ encountered today are clearly related to the Pacific Theater, this is great example of an ETO (European Theater of Operations) combat knife. This knife would be a great addition to any World War II edged weapon or knife display or to flesh out a display of gear that probably went ashore on D-Day in Normandy.


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Tags: English, WWII, Combat, Knife, by, Southern, Richardson