The stainless steel jungle jack knife is a fairly easy item to pick up, and we have looked at an example previously here. A few weeks back however I came across a variant that I had not found before, an example with a ‘spike’ on the back:The spike sits across the back of the knife, and in this example has suffered quite badly from corrosion over the years:The use of the spike is often recorded as being for the removal of stones from horses’ hooves. Whilst I am sure it would do this job, in the jungles of East Asia in the 1950s, this would seem to be a rather superfluous tool! As a sailor I was always taught that it was for splitting the strands of rope to allow them to be spliced correctly and this seems a much more probable explanation!
The rest of this jack knife is entirely conventional with a single blade and a can opener being included:A large loop is fitted for a lanyard to be secured to:This example was made by JH Thompson in 1956:These examples seem marginally rarer than the two piece clasp knife, but a quick search of the web suggests they are still out there and were being manufactured as late SAS the 1990s. I suspect there is no logic behind which version troops were given, but it is a nice variant to add to my little collection of jack knives.