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2nd Boer War clasp knife? 1 year 4 months ago #79563

  • TheHistoadian
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I've recently acquired a clasp knife from an antique store because of how much it resembles the World War clasp knives I've seen in the past. I noticed that the handle appeared to have been made of horn or bone which I've heard is used on the Boer war knifes. The only markings on the knife are on the blade and they are "ENGLAND" and on the other side of the blade it reads "JOHNSON WESTERN WORKS" and "C.J". If anyone has any information on Boer War clasp knives I'd greatly appreciate it.

Here are some pictures of the knife and of a Canadian soldier wearing a clasp knife:

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2nd Boer War clasp knife? 1 year 4 months ago #79564

  • QSAMIKE
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It looks just like the knife I was issued when I joined up in 1965......

Mike

Here is the Kit List for Strathcona's Horse:

Kit, Clothing &c To be issued at place of concentration:
 
The under mentioned articles of Kit, Clothing &c will issued, article per man.
 
Frocks, Serge Green, with white collar and red braid    2
Trousers, Pairs, Dark Green, with red stripe                   2
Frocks, Khaki, stand and fall collar                                   2
Pantaloons, Khaki, fully strapped, pairs                           2
Ditto, cloth, blue, winter use                                              1
Putties, Khaki, Pair                                                            1
Do. , Cloth, Black, pair                                                       1
Long Boots, Special Pattern, Pair                                     1
Boots, Highlows, Pairs                                                      2
Jumper, Sailors, Blue                                                        1
Hat, Cowboy                                                                      1
Field Cap                                                                           1
Tuque, (immediate use)                                     1
Cloak                                                                          1
Cape                                                                                   1
Waterproof Cloak (Officers Pattern)                                 1
Drawers, Pairs                                                                    2
Shirts, Flannel                                                                    3
Belts, Flannel                                                                      2
Braces, Pairs                                                               2
Socks, Pairs 2
Holdall, (Comb, Knife, Fork, Spoon)                           1
Towels                                                                                2
Boot Laces, Pairs                                                               5
Pocket Handkerchiefs                                                        2
Spurs, Jack (Mounted Men) Pairs                                1
Water Bottles                                                                1
Haversacks                                                                     1
Shoes, Canvas, Pairs                                                  1
Clasp-Knife End Lanyard                                                   1
Mess-Tin, Cavalry Pattern                                  1
House-Wife                                                                   1
Tin of Grease                                                               1
Curry Comb, Mounted Men                                          1
Horse Brush, Ditto                                                          1
Stable Sponge, Ditto                                            1
Hard Brush                                                                         1
Cloth Brush                                                                       1
Waterproof Sheet                                            1
Blankets                                                                3
Strap for Bedding                                                    1
Rugs, Horse, 1 Per Horse                                                  1
Roller to Fasten Horse Clothing                          1
Saddle Covers, 1 Per Horse                                              1
Hair Brush                                                           1
 
Arms and Accoutrements
 
Sword Bayonet with Frog__________________________1
Sling Rifle                                                          1
Rifle, Lee-Enfield                                            1
Belts, Waist, Brown Leather_________________________1
Revolver and Case                                        1
Bandolier                                                1
Leather Strap for Waist Belt                                               1
 
Issue of Kit and Clothing:
 
The whole of the Kit, Clothing &c will be issued at Ottawa or forwarded to the place of embarkation as arranged between the O.C. Corps and the Mil. Dep. Civil Branch.
 
Kit and Clothing:
 
The Officer Commanding will arrange for the issue of whatever clothing he may consider advisable for the use of the Corps under his command while at Ottawa, or on board ship. The balance will be conveyed to South Africa in bulk.
Life Member
Past-President Calgary
Military Historical Society
O.M.R.S. 1591

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2nd Boer War clasp knife? 1 year 4 months ago #79566

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Thank you for that list of equipment, very interesting and useful for future projects! And yes this clasp knife design I've noticed seems to have been in use for several years (I own a reproduction WW2 varient and they look very similar) main difference that I noticed with this knife though is that it doesn't have a can opener like most other varients and the handle is made from bone or horn where as the others usually seem to be plastic or metal grips. Thanks again for the list!

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2nd Boer War clasp knife? 1 year 4 months ago #79567

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The one that I was issued was the Navy (RCN) version...... Black Diamond Handle with just 1 blade and marlin spike..... The Army (Cavalry) ones that I have seen have a diamond shaped hoof pick (what I was told) Blade and Marlin spike.....

Mike
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Military Historical Society
O.M.R.S. 1591

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2nd Boer War clasp knife? 4 months 2 weeks ago #87049

  • Lawrie W
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Hi, it's some time since I last visited however I have been busy with the preparation of a research paper on the topic of "Clasp Knives of the Boer War" which can be easily accessed on my website: www.CASK.info - "Cask" being short for Collectable Antique Sheffield Knives. There is another research paper (referred to as Collector Notes) available on the website having the title "Private Purchase clasp knives" which also details clasp knives that are associated with the 2nd Boer War. As this website is intended as a knowledge base for collectors of antique Sheffield knives, I will be most appreciative of any knowledge that members may have that can be added to these Collector Notes in order to progressively expand the knowledge base.
Lawrie
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rob D, Moranthorse1, latt

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2nd Boer War clasp knife? 4 months 1 week ago #87088

  • latt
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Thank you for putting that together resource together Lawrie! I just acquired my first Boer war era clasp knife for my collection and it was incredibly useful for confirming what I have.

I was wondering if you would be able to help look into who may have carried the knife, and any other details.
The knife is marked with the number 16295, Royal Artillery (There is a small divot in the horn scales before the number starts but I assume that is unrelated to the service number). I searched the service number and it wasn't registered to anyone on this website. I looked on Ancestry and found a J Bannerman in the Royal artillery who had that service number. But what is throwing me off are the initials carved into the back which appear to be W.S., so I am unsure if those are the users initials or added sometime after the fact. I found a W H Savage in the RFA whose service number is 19265, but that just may be a guess as I noted you found some otehr transcription errors between these knives and the records.

The knife was made by Brookes & Crooks,, and is marked W /|\ D 1 on the tang. There appears to be small initials on either side of the copper bale that are very difficult to make out and I am wondering if those were added by the user or the manufacturer, because I don't see anything similar on other clasp knives. It looks like H.B, or H.S possible. It came with a lanyard which seems similar to those I have seen on other clasp knives, but I am not sure if it is correct for the Boer war.
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