WW2 production No.5 Mk1 bayonet assembled and finished in 1944 by Radcliffe. The parts for assembly were supplied by war-time contractors. Blades for the No.5 were machined by either the Scottish Motor Traction Co. or by Ellesmere of Port Hooton.
The No.5 rifle had a shorter barrel and was lighter in weight, purposely made for airborne troops in the European theatre of World War II. Despite its initial purpose, the No.5 carbine saw most of its service in post war colonial conflicts such as the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960), earning it the nickname “Jungle Carbine.”
Production of the No.5 bayonet began in March 1944, and finished in December 1947. Four companies were initially contracted to produce/assemble the No.5 bayonet.
Wilkinson Sword Company, London made 188,354; Viners Ltd., Sheffield produced 42,000; Radcliffe made 75,000 and Elkington & Co. Ltd., Birmingham produced 10,768. An unknown, but small number were produced post WWII by the Royal Ordnance Factory in Poole, Dorset.
The 203mm clip-point Bowie blade has a single edge and long single fuller below the rounded spine. The blade is in very good condition and retains its original polished finish. The ricasso is stamped with a circle mark.
The wrap around wooden grip scales are in good condition and are held tightly in place by two screws. Both scales are stamped with Broad Arrows and the left-hand scale is stamped with two “RAD” marks that I assume indicate Radcliffe.
An Australian Defence Department contractor stamp, the letter C with a long arrow through it, with the contractor number 756 is also stamped on the grip scale. Small quantities of the No.5 carbine and bayonet were used by Australia during the Malayan Emergency. Ian Skennerton in his book “British and Commonwealth Bayonets” reports that none of the Australian issued No.5 bayonets have been stamped with Australian unit markings but it could explain the presence of the Australian contractors’ stamp on the grip scale. An unusual but partially struck mark is also stamped at the front of the scale.
The bayonet is complete with its original, early issue Mk 1 scabbard. The scabbard retains its original black finish and is stamped with the war-time producers’ code for Vanden Plas Engineering, S286. Vanden Plas produced 20,000 Mk I scabbards in November 1944.
This is an interesting example of a rare WW2 production Jungle Carbine bayonet that appears to have been re-issued post WW2 for service with Australian forces during the Malayan Emergency.