With order number 1672 being completed and delivered on 12th August, 1941, the ‘New Design’ and what we now refer to as the Second Pattern was introduced.  It would now be the new standard pattern for the F-S Fighting Knife.  This initial New Design was in all ways a fine knife and a fitting replacement to its predecessor, the First Pattern.  Much of the basic design had not changed but some minor time/cost cutting developments had been implemented. 

The main change to the knife was regarding how the blade was ground.  The original blade was carefully hand-ground to incorporate a ricasso, a square ‘tablet’ section at the broadest part of the blade where it meets the guard.  This style of grind required that a portion of the blade nearest the cross-guard be left unground. dispensed with this ‘ricasso’ style of grind and of course the square ricasso itself.  The blade now showed a continuous triangular grind running its full length.  The photographs adjacent both left and right show a comparison between the two.  At left is an early First Pattern with the now distinctive ‘S’ shaped cross-guard, whereas at right is the ‘new design’, a Second Pattern with straight cross-guard and no tablet ricasso.

The knife above is a splendid example of this early Type I Second Pattern.  The condition of this example is ‘as-new’ and totally unused.  For the sharp-eyed amongst you and of special interest to us here are the two small ‘slits’ that can be seen just under the elastic retaining strap on the frog portion of the scabbard.  This is by no means normal and to date the only such example known to exist.  These two small cuts are actually intended to affix the ‘snap-fastener’ on the First Pattern scabbard.  It would seem obvious then that at least the main body of the frog was  left over from First Pattern production and utilized here to save waste.  Consequently, we can reasonably assume that the scabbard (and by association the knife) possibly represents a very early version of this type of knife and perhaps was even in the first batch to be produced.

In the photographs left and right we see a front and back view of the correct pattern of scabbard to be found with early Type I Second Pattern F-S knives.  Note the same ‘nickel’ plated and round-bottomed chape that is also found on its predecessor, the First Pattern.  As mentioned, there were only initially ‘four’ changes made to the Second Pattern design.  Here we can see the two changes that were introduced on the scabbard.  The original ‘snap-fastener’ has been replaced by an elastic retraining strap, 1/2” wide and approximately in the same location.  To facilitate correct attachment of the elastic and strengthen the frog, there is now the addition of an extra supporting piece of leather on the back.  The two changes are the only modification we see at this time, in all other respects the scabbard remained the same.

The all nickel Type I Second Pattern is a rare knife indeed but even less often seen is an example with a personal etching banner. The photographs below show a fine example of such a knife.  Within an unusually ornate banner is the inscription F. PRATTEN.  The owner was Lieutenant F.R. Pratten of the 2nd Canadian Tank Brigade, Royal Canadian Corps of Signals.  Complete with its correct and unmodified scabbard, this is an exceptionally rare and superb Wilkinson Second Pattern.

By today’s military standards, anything with a bright finish would be frowned upon but times and knowledge were very different back in the early stages of the Second World War and Fairbairn was quite adamant that the ‘glint’ of a blade would strike fear into the enemy.

A finer Type I would be difficult to imagine. This spectacular F-S is the best example I have yet to see.

Initially there were only four changes to the earlier pattern, two to the scabbard and two to the knife itself.  The new knife retained the all-over nickel finish that was a key feature  of its predecessor and it is this that give the Type I its distinction over other Second Pattern knives that would follow it.

Frog backing and stitched.

Elastic retaining strap

Belt loops

Perforated ‘wings’ for sewing to clothing or equipment

Nickel plated ‘round’ bottomed chape

No ricasso, the blade grind continuing full length but showing a small triangular flat.  Below this the standard Wilkinson etching.

Straight cross-guard

Plated and knurled grip turned from solid brass rod

Pommel nut
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