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Old 23rd February 2016, 12:16 PM   #1
harrywagner
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Default Falklands War Kukri

I occasionally see this style of Kukri for sale on ePray and on dealers sites as well. I think it is a Flaklands war commemorative piece for the war's 25th anniversary. That would have been 2007, which I imagine is when these were made. Can anyone confirm this? TIA.

Harry
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Old 23rd February 2016, 03:37 PM   #2
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It is true that Gurkhas were employed in the Falkland War by the British so i guess it's possible, but why do you believe this particular weapon is related to that. I can't make out any commemorative inscriptions that would tie this weapon to that conflict, but your photos are pretty small and don't show a great deal of detail.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 04:59 PM   #3
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Default Better photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
It is true that Gurkhas were employed in the Falkland War by the British so i guess it's possible, but why do you believe this particular weapon is related to that. I can't make out any commemorative inscriptions that would tie this weapon to that conflict, but your photos are pretty small and don't show a great deal of detail.


Hi David, Sorry about the crappy photos. The badge near the throat of the sheath is that of the 7th Ghurka Rifles, and I have been able to find a couple of Web sites with similar knives. Not exact, but very close. I thought I would ask because it seems older to me than nine years. It's not a big deal though. I like the knife. I am just trying to determine if it belongs in the 'Contemporary Arms' catalog or the 'Vintage and Antique' catalog. Thanks! I appreciate the help.
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Old 23rd February 2016, 06:52 PM   #4
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Well since this is a living tradition, and the Gurkhas are still in service in several parts of the former British Empire, the kukri in question may be contemporary, but not a fake or reproduction, but a part of a living history. One day it will be antique.

A nice piece in any case and congratulations on a piece of history!
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Old 23rd February 2016, 11:49 PM   #5
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The Gurkha unit which served in the Falklands War was the 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles. IF this is a commemorative Kukhri, which I personally doubt, then the badge would be that of the particular Unit. I do not see that badge on your item though the pics are rather blurred.
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Old 24th February 2016, 01:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
The Gurkha unit which served in the Falklands War was the 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles. IF this is a commemorative Kukhri, which I personally doubt, then the badge would be that of the particular Unit. I do not see that badge on your item though the pics are rather blurred.
Stu


Good catch Stu. Thanks. It is not the 7th. I was mistaken. If you google "gurkha rifles falklands kukri" you'll see knives described as 7th presentation. Some of them look similar, but not exact. This looks like a presentation piece to me, but I agree, not to anyone in the 7th. The silver mounts on the sheath are thin, but it's a nice knife otherwise - for a presentation piece. Some better photos attached.
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Old 24th February 2016, 03:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrywagner
Good catch Stu. Thanks. It is not the 7th. I was mistaken. If you google "gurkha rifles falklands kukri" you'll see knives described as 7th presentation. Some of them look similar, but not exact. This looks like a presentation piece to me, but I agree, not to anyone in the 7th. The silver mounts on the sheath are thin, but it's a nice knife otherwise - for a presentation piece. Some better photos attached.

If this is indeed a presentation piece I would have expected the silverwork to be of better quality.........
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Old 24th February 2016, 02:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
If this is indeed a presentation piece I would have expected the silverwork to be of better quality.........


I would be very surprised if it wasn't a presentation piece. It's too pretty for everyday use. It was probably presented to someone in a relatively low-level position, given the quality of the piece. I am happy it is not Falkland Island related. I am going to put this one down as presentation, unknown recipient, second-half 20th. Hopefully that is not too far from the mark. Thanks for the help!

Harry
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Old 24th February 2016, 05:21 PM   #9
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Oh no question that this is a presentation piece. However, the old master silver-smiths may be long gone, and so we have who is left.

Now if this were for a king................
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Old 28th February 2016, 11:31 PM   #10
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As far as I am aware the Gurkhas didn't do a commemorative kukri for the Falklands War, the 2nd Gurkha Rifles and the 6th Gurkha Rifles (mainly made up of Magar and Gurung) were amalgamated in to the 1st Royal Gurkha Rifles in 1994, the 7th Gurkha Rifles and the 10th Gurkha rifles (mainly made up of Rai and Limbu) were amalgamated fully in 1996 to form the 2nd Royal Gurkha Rifles
PS Kukri in the Falklands War had blades around 28cm with issue date
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Old 29th February 2016, 12:31 AM   #11
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Well, then, Sirapate, could this piece have been commissioned by one of the particular Gurkha companies for an officer?
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Old 29th February 2016, 10:13 AM   #12
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Hello all,

The kukri Harry shows is a typical mid to late 20th century presentation kothimora.

This piece does not appear to have any military association. Similar kukri readily available commercially to this day, so anybody could go and buy one, but I have seen example which either have a presentation plaque attached the front, or which have come on a ready made stand which has said plaque attached.

As has already been stated, such examples usually carry a regimental badge in place of the standard crossed kukris, but not always.

As similar kukri are still produced today, so dating can be difficult. However, there is no reason that this example couldn't date back as far as the Falklands conflict, but naturally without any provenance or supporting evidence then that is as far as the attribution can go.

As they have been made over a long period of time, the quality can vary greatly, as can the silver content, purity and amount. As with most things, older tends to be better.

More often than not I see these pieces being given FROM gurkhas, rather than to them, usually officers and men who have either been posted alongside gurkhas in the field, etc. Part of the Gurkha tradition of gift giving to ones friends.

A good display piece, which will look good alongside your others, but I wouldn't attempt to chop anything with it.

All the best,

Chris
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Old 29th February 2016, 11:21 AM   #13
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Personally I very much doubt it was a Falklands War Era kukri, here are some pics with a 1969 and 1982 service issue kukri, the 1982 issue has the brass mounts (and often mistakenly called a Mk5), its specs are; it has a 28cm long blade, with a belly of 4.5cm, with a brass mounted horn handle of 11.5cm in length, and weighs 480 grams.
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Old 29th February 2016, 11:27 AM   #14
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Also when a Kothimora kukri is presented by Gurkhas to another Gurkha or someone they like, it usually has a silver plaque on the Kothimora scabbard with the recipients name on it as in the picture below, also on older kukri made for Officers given to them by a Gurkha the kukri often had the details etched on the blade, picture below.
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Old 29th February 2016, 06:49 PM   #15
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Lovely MK5 examples Sirupate, not particularly relevant to Harry's kukri, but a lovely contrast between issue and private (presentation) purchase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirupate
Also when a Kothimora kukri is presented by Gurkhas to another Gurkha or someone they like, it usually has a silver plaque on the Kothimora scabbard with the recipients name on it


There appears to be an echo in here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcjgscott
Hello all,
This piece does not appear to have any military association. Similar kukri readily available commercially to this day, so anybody could go and buy one, but I have seen example which either have a presentation plaque attached the front, or which have come on a ready made stand which has said plaque attached.


Good that we can agree for once though!

All the best,

Chris
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Old 29th February 2016, 07:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirupate
Personally I very much doubt it was a Falklands War Era kukri, here are some pics with a 1969 and 1982 service issue kukri, the 1982 issue has the brass mounts (and often mistakenly called a Mk5), its specs are; it has a 28cm long blade, with a belly of 4.5cm, with a brass mounted horn handle of 11.5cm in length, and weighs 480 grams.

I think you need to re-read Harry's original post. No one ever suggested that. He clearly states that his belief was that this kukri was made sometime around 2007 to mark the 25th anniversary of that conflict. Now, that claim might be in question, however, there is no sense arguing against a case that has never been made (that this might be a Falkland War era kukri).
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Old 29th February 2016, 10:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I think you need to re-read Harry's original post. No one ever suggested that. He clearly states that his belief was that this kukri was made sometime around 2007 to mark the 25th anniversary of that conflict. Now, that claim might be in question, however, there is no sense arguing against a case that has never been made (that this might be a Falkland War era kukri).

Thanks for that and my mistake David
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Old 29th February 2016, 10:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcjgscott
Lovely MK5 examples Sirupate.

Mk5 is an incorrect term Chris, the last issued Mark Kukri was the Mk4 (which was not liked and quickly dropped) which was as you know purchased by the then War Department, the very best Simon
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Old 1st March 2016, 07:27 PM   #19
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Even though this has absolutely nothing to do with Harry's original question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirupate
Mk5 is an incorrect term Chris,


Why so? It is the fifth design or "mark" of kukri carried by the British (and other) Gurkha armed forces. It seem a perfectly valid term to me, and indeed, every other reasonable kukri collector/enthusiast.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirupate
Mk5 is an incorrect term Chris, which was as you know purchased by the then War Department, the very best Simon


Speaking of "incorrect terms" you may wish to look up the history of the War Department, which has not been in existence since 1857...

I think you may be confusing it with the War Office.

All the very best,

Chris

P.S.

I think we have disrupted this thread quite enough. If you have any further questions, or seek further discussion, I will happily converse with you via PM.
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Old 1st March 2016, 10:41 PM   #20
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Your quite correct on the War Office, however, on the Mk5, that would be correct if the current Service issue was designated as a Mk5, but it isn't Chris
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Old 2nd March 2016, 12:05 AM   #21
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Back on topic, so this type of kothimora kukri would be given to whom from a Gurkha?
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Old 2nd March 2016, 08:02 AM   #22
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I don't think it is a presentation Kothimora (pronounced Kotimora) of the Gurkhas Battara, I think it is more likely to be a kukri made for retail than a Kothimora kukri of the Gurkhas

The main reasons that Kothimora kukri that the Gurkhas give out are;
1. For retired Gurkha Officers
2. For someone they like or has earned their respect that has served with them
3. To another unit that has served alongside them

To civilians like myself Gurkhas themselves tend to give their service issue if they like and respect you.

In 2001 in Nepal with the then Royal Nepalese Army I taught one of the Close Quarter Instructors to their Para Commando Shreedhar Bhujel and he presented me with a swagger stick and a personnel kukri
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Old 2nd March 2016, 06:47 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirupate
Your quite correct on the War Office, however, on the Mk5, that would be correct if the current Service issue was designated as a Mk5, but it isn't Chris


I have always disliked childish games. My least favourite as a child was one called "Simon Say's". I still don't care for it, even to this day...

The "Mark 5" has been in service since circa 1965, to the present day. It was introduced after the failure of the Mark 4. Therefore, it is the Mark 5

Unless you can prove that the Mark 5 has never been designated as "Mark 5" at any time during its long service life, then I guess we shall just have to agree to disagree.
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Old 2nd March 2016, 06:48 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Back on topic, so this type of kothimora kukri would be given to whom from a Gurkha?


My apologies Battara.

Whilst Harry's kukri is not military in origin, i.e. a service weapon, it is still quite common to see such commercially available items bought by regiments, and handed out to various "friends" of the regiment.

As in India, in Nepal there is a long tradition of presenting weapons as gifts.

Generally Gurkha's are a canny bunch, and will tailor the quality of the gift to the importance of the recipient. I recently saw images of a ceremony in Nepal where a Gurkha regiment was presenting some of its members with very cheap Lionshead kukri, of the type commonly labelled "Tourist Pieces".

If I can get permission, I shall share those images here.

Perhaps if Simon still has his "Presentation" kukri he would like to share it with us, it is rather hard to see from his image.

Attached is another readily available commercial kukri, given by The Queen's Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment to a friend of mine in the Parachute Regiment, shortly after their formation in 2001.

Kind regards,

Chris
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Old 2nd March 2016, 09:55 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcjgscott
I have always disliked childish games. My least favourite as a child was one called "Simon Say's". I still don't care for it, even to this day...

The "Mark 5" has been in service since circa 1965, to the present day. It was introduced after the failure of the Mark 4. Therefore, it is the Mark 5

Unless you can prove that the Mark 5 has never been designated as "Mark 5" at any time during its long service life, then I guess we shall just have to agree to disagree.

Well having supplied kukri to the Gurkhas in Brunei I can tell you that no reference was made to the term 'Mk5', but they did talk about the Mk3.
Potentially the earliest pictures I have seen of what the GM's in Pokhara and Winchester as well as the Gurkhas themselves call the Service number one (or ceremonial) is 1953.
There were also many interim kukri issued until the various regiments for whatever reason (probably financial) decided to settle on the service number one, examples of pictures of interim issued kukri are;
1. The picture of Tulbahadur Pun in 1953 shows him holding his service number one,
2. Chan Bahadur Gurung with his service kukri
3. 63rd Gurkha Brigade
4. Lalbahadur Gurung etc.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjXEVYy4aNI
Picture GM in Pokhara
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Old 2nd March 2016, 10:05 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcjgscott
My apologies Battara.

Whilst Harry's kukri is not military in origin, i.e. a service weapon, it is still quite common to see such commercially available items bought by regiments, and handed out to various "friends" of the regiment.

As in India, in Nepal there is a long tradition of presenting weapons as gifts.

Generally Gurkha's are a canny bunch, and will tailor the quality of the gift to the importance of the recipient. I recently saw images of a ceremony in Nepal where a Gurkha regiment was presenting some of its members with very cheap Lionshead kukri, of the type commonly labelled "Tourist Pieces".

If I can get permission, I shall share those images here.

Perhaps if Simon still has his "Presentation" kukri he would like to share it with us, it is rather hard to see from his image.

Attached is another readily available commercial kukri, given by The Queen's Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment to a friend of mine in the Parachute Regiment, shortly after their formation in 2001.

Kind regards,

Chris

An interesting picture there Chris, as it was originally made for my company, and wasn't in production until 2004, note the Tiger (Japanese Tora), by the late Nawaraj, other Khukuri houses have copied it to various degrees since, and it is one of the kukri I have sent to Brunei
PS a Lion Head Kothimora
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Old 4th March 2016, 01:42 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirupate
An interesting picture there Chris, as it was originally made for my company, and wasn't in production until 2004, note the Tiger (Japanese Tora), by the late Nawaraj, other Khukuri houses have copied it to various degrees since, and it is one of the kukri I have sent to Brunei
PS a Lion Head Kothimora


Attached is an image of the presentation plaque fixed to the stand of the Tiger kukri I illustrated. As well as being a kind gift given between brothers in arms, it also appears to be magical and time travelling, being gifted a full two years before you say you had it made?

Which rather puts your claim of designing this “Tiger” motif in doubt?

Especially considering the example you share also shows a Tiger. Tigers and indeed Lions are a very common theme on many presentation weapons, especially kukris.

You may also be interested in this Tiger example, presented in 1965…quite some time before you invented it!!

http://www.abridgeover.net/kukri.htm
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Old 4th March 2016, 01:43 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirupate
Well having supplied kukri to the Gurkhas in Brunei I can tell you that no reference was made to the term 'Mk5'


That is not how I understand it Simon, I believe you sent them some samples, and that was as far as it went. Quite a difference I think, and very misleading to claim you hold any kind of supply contract with them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirupate
Potentially the earliest pictures I have seen of what the GM's in Pokhara and Winchester as well as the Gurkhas themselves call the Service number one (or ceremonial) is 1953.


Plenty of mistakes in both museums Simon. Note this image taken recently at Pokhara, clearly showing a WWA replica listed as original.

You seem to illustrate the “parade” version of the MKV. In uniform terms, a service No1 refers to a soldiers parade uniform. I believe this is where your confusion stems from.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirupate
There were also many interim kukri issued until the various regiments for whatever reason (probably financial) decided to settle on the service number one



Post WW2 most Gurkha units would have used up the vast stocks of MKII and MKIII left over from the war. Once these were gone, and the MK IV proved unsuccessful, it seems various regiments made their own arrangements until the MKV was decided upon. This took several years, and did not emerge until the mid 1960's.

It has now been in production for over 50 years with some variation, but basically unchanged. Its constant characteristics are a horn handle, brass furniture, and a 10 to 11 inch blade. Not all are marked and dated as you state, but most carry the words “Ordep” or “Ordep Nepal” and a date.


*Picture credit V.K.Kunwor*
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Old 4th March 2016, 01:43 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirupate
1. The picture of Tulbahadur Pun in 1953 shows him holding his service number one,
2. Chan Bahadur Gurung with his service kukri
3. 63rd Gurkha Brigade
4. Lalbahadur Gurung etc.


As to the photographs you allude to, I have taken the liberty of attaching them here:

The picture of Lieutenant Tul Bahadur Pun VC (To afford a brave man his full title)

Clearly not a MKV. Obviously one of those “interim” issue kukri you mention, or perhaps a private purchase piece? Victoria Cross winners are usually cut quite a lot of leeway, especially in publicity photographs. But certainly not a MKV.

Chan Bahadur Gurung isn’t holding a MKV either, and that image dates from 1962. (Image Credit Getty Images)

Lalbahadur Gurung appears to be holding a MKIII. (Image Credit: Taken from "The Gurkha" by James and Small, Published 1966)

And as for this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirupate


I don’t think this esteemed forum is really the place to advertise your ailing kukri business, do you Simon? Most of these advertising/self promotional video’s are so filled with errors they really are laughable, not to mention misleading and unhelpful.
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Old 4th March 2016, 02:49 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcjgscott
Attached is an image of the presentation plaque fixed to the stand of the Tiger kukri I illustrated. As well as being a kind gift given between brothers in arms, it also appears to be magical and time travelling, being gifted a full two years before you say you had it made?

Which rather puts your claim of designing this “Tiger” motif in doubt?

Especially considering the example you share also shows a Tiger. Tigers and indeed Lions are a very common theme on many presentation weapons, especially kukris.

You may also be interested in this Tiger example, presented in 1965…quite some time before you invented it!!

http://www.abridgeover.net/kukri.htm

Perhaps you didn't read what I said originally 'An interesting picture there Chris, as it was originally made for my company, and wasn't in production until 2004, note the Tiger (Japanese Tora), by the late Nawaraj'; in other words that particular Kothimora with that particular decoration was made for Tora.
How you magically came to the conclusion that I said that I invented the use of the 'Tiger' on Kothimora is beyond me, and fanciful me thinks!
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