(click to enlarge)
No. 5 Mk. I
Knife bayonet for use on the .303 caliber Lee-Enfield No. 5 Mk. I rifle and 9 mm. Sterling L2 submachine gun.
This is a wartime British No. 5 Mk. I bayonet and scabbard, both made by Wilkinson. The blade has been thinned to the depth of the fullers, by carefully grinding away the metal. The last image at left shows just how much metal was removed. The modified blade is much too thin to stand up to use as a bayonet.
The No. 5 Mk. I rifle and Sterling L2 submachine gun were the mainstay of British and Malaya forces during the Malayan Emergency of 1948–1960. Large stocks of No. 5 Mk. I rifles remained in Malaysia and were used by Malaysian police forces for many years, before being imported to the USA for sale to collectors in recent years.
According to British Army Senior Armourer (ret.), Capt. Peter Laidler, in the 1960s, British Army machine shops in Malaysia (and elsewhere in the Far East) unofficially modified No. 5 Mk. I bayonets for use as letter openers. Large stocks of No. 5 Mk. I bayonets remained in storage at Far East establishments, after the L1A1 (FN-FAL) and M16 assault rifles replaced the No. 5 Mk. I rifle and Sterling L2 submachine gun. These letter openers were presented to visiting dignitaries; and traded or sold to others as souvenirs. This earned the young enlisted machinists a few Malay dollars to supplement their meager pay.The country of Malaya became Malaysia in 1963, when Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore united. The Malaysian form of Government is modeled closely on the United Kingdom.
Ricasso (Left): "S294" over "W.S.C."
Ricasso (R. Side): "X" bend test mark
Pommel: "14 D 14"
Press Stud: broad arrow acceptance mark
Scabbard (body): "S294"
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