Original British WWII Named Commando SAS Beret with Sykes Fairbairn Fighting Knife

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Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-Kind Set. Lieutenant Sir John Child was a member of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards and was recorded as an officer in the Number 1 company on September 1939 as part of the British Expeditionary Force.

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This amazing early WWII set is comprised of the following:

• Early WWII SAS Beret with a Tan colored badge, opposed to later versions which had blue wings. Vivid blue silk lining with cloth named label stitched to the interior that reads St John Child Bart 1 Batl CG. This translates to Sir John Child, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.
• Third Pattern Sykes Fairbairn Fighting Knife nicely marked on underside of the cross guard:




This Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife featured a third model ringed grip and a mold mark black color brass handle version grip. The condition is very good with some moderate wear and the usual signs of combat use. The blade has been professionally dulled.

The leather scabbard is in good condition with elastic keeper intact. It is also has cloth named label stitched around the base of the frog that reads St John Child Bart 1 Batl CG.

History of the Third Patter F-S Knife:

A full official specification for the knife would not be written until 1946, but manufacture continued at a number of companies, with more changes to the design being made as demand increased yet further, resulting in what is now known as the third pattern. Most manufacturers now favored a fully machine ground blade such that the central grinding line ran the complete length of the blade. (More recently, the introduction of a small flat v shape enabled a better fit where the blade meets the guard). The checkered knurled handle was replaced by one with 27 concentric rings to aid grip, thought to be the idea of Joseph Rodgers of Sheffield. The brass handle material was replaced with a non-strategic alloy. The new handle would have been easier to cast and would have been requiring of little or no remedial work.

The current third pattern design is based on specification E/1323E which was issued on 30 November 1949 and it is covered by NATO Stock Number: 1095 99 963 2037. Specification E/1323E demands that the knife has no markings whatsoever and that it balances at particular point (1 1/32 plus or minus 1/16 from the underside of the cross guard). This balancing point however, was not as many believe, to aid the knife’s flight if used as a throwing knife; rather it is critical to enable it to be tossed from hand to hand without the user taking his eyes off his adversary.

The knife is still in use by British Commandos to this day and has been carried by countless heroes. So important and iconic has the knife become to the regiment that it even proudly appears on the Commando badge. It is inconceivable to think that the Commandos would ever enter a conflict without carrying their trusty F-S knife as their predecessors did in World War II.

The Special Air Service was a unit of the British Army during the Second World War, formed in July 1941 by David Stirling and originally called "L" Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade—the "L" designation and Air Service name being a tie-in to a British disinformation campaign, trying to deceive the Axis into thinking there was a paratrooper regiment with numerous units operating in the area (the real SAS would 'prove' to the Axis that the fake one existed). It was conceived as a commando force to operate behind enemy lines in the North African Campaign and initially consisted of five officers and 60 other ranks. Its first mission, in November 1941, was a parachute drop in support of the Operation Crusader offensive. Due to German resistance and adverse weather conditions, the mission was a disaster: 22 men, a third of the unit, were killed or captured. Its second mission was a success: transported by the Long Range Desert Group, it attacked three airfields in Libya, destroying 60 aircraft with the loss of 2 men and 3 Willys MB. In September 1942 it was renamed 1st SAS, consisting at that time of four British squadrons, one Free French, one Greek, and the Folboat Section.

SAS patrol in North Africa during WW2:

In January 1943, Stirling was captured in Tunisia and Paddy Mayne replaced him as commander. In April 1943, the 1st SAS was reorganized into the Special Raiding Squadron under Mayne's command and the Special Boat Squadron was placed under the command of George Jellicoe. The Special Raiding Squadron fought in Sicily and Italy along with the 2nd SAS, which had been formed in North Africa in 1943 in part by the renaming of the Small Scale Raiding Force. The Special Boat Squadron fought in the Aegean Islands and Dodecanese until the end of the war. In 1944 the SAS Brigade was formed from the British 1st and 2nd SAS, the French 3rd and 4th SAS and the Belgian 5th SAS. It was tasked with parachute operations behind the German lines in France and carried out operations supporting the Allied advance through Belgium, the Netherlands (Operation Pegasus), and eventually into Germany (Operation Archway). As a result of AH's issuing of the Commando Order 18 October 1942, the members of the unit faced the additional danger that they would be summarily executed if ever captured by the Germans. In July 1944, following Operation Bulbasket, 34 captured SAS commandos were summarily executed by the Germans. In October 1944, in the aftermath of Operation Loyton 31 captured SAS commandos were summarily executed by the Germans.

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