William Thomas Whittingslowe

William Thomas Whittingslowe
From the Who's Who South Australia Centenary 1936 Year Book

William Thomas Whittingslowe was born in Wales in 1888, he was educated in England and at 18 left for Canada where he worked in various Engineering establishments for 4 years. Whittingslowe moved down to South America, gathering more experience as an engineer.

Whittingslowe arrived in Australia in about 1912. After working in various states he settled in South Australia and in the 1920's set up his own business, Whittingslowe Engineering specialising in ironworking and knife manufacturing. His firm produced a huge amount of bladeware during World War 2, but unlike other manufacturers, refused to profit from products made under the war effort. He died at Murray Bridge (SA) in 1956.

Whittingslowe was one of the two Australian firms to produce the Australian Army Stiletto, also called the Australian Commando Knife.

Australian made stilettos were issued to independent companies (specialist troops who preceded the SASR and the Commando's) in New Guinea and members of Z force and most probably M force as well..

Whittingslowe was one of four firms to produce the Australian Army Utility Knife.

Whittingslowe also produced vast quantities of the Australian Army Clasp Knife.

(I gratefully acknowledge the previous research by Keith Spencer from the Australasian Knife Collectors Club for the information on William Thomas Whittingslowe.)


Military Knives

Whittingslowe was a prolific supplier of knives to the Australian Military during WW2.

The knives that he supplied all had a Military acceptance mark of a Pheon or Arrowhead /I\ marked on them.

  • Clasp Knife First Pattern
  • Clasp Knife Second Pattern
  • Utility Knife
  • Stiletto (AKA Commando Knife)
  • Machet Long
  • Machet Bolo

The Product 24 clasp knife is occasionally found with the military marked tin opener and/or acceptance marks. It appears that they must have also been issued from time to time.
The Product 24 clasp knife has also been found in the estates of former US servicemen. It is certain that some of these were Private Purchase and this pattern may have been sold to the US Government to supply their soldiers and sailors. However, I have not seen any of these knives with US markings on them.

The Utility Knife was also supplied to US troops and these do have US markings on them.

The rest of the Whittingslowe range were for civilian sale. I have not yet found any evidence of any of these knives being obtained by military personnel as private purchase items. I have no evidence as to when they were first produced. Some were registered designs as early as 1943. The earliest advertisement I can find of the range of knives is 15 December 1945.

If anyone has evidence to the contrary I would appreciate being informed, please


The Whittingslowe Knife Gallery

When searching antique shops, auction houses, flea markets, garage sales and militaria fairs, a collector keeps coming across other knives by Whittingslowe. Far more often in fact than any other wartime Australian knife manufacturer.

To assist the collector identify these I have compiled this display. Unfortunately most of them are not my knives. However, very fortunately other collectors have been kind enough to supply me with images of their knives.

Is this a complete collection of the knives that William Whittingslowe produced? No! There are several variants of knives not shown and I suspect that there are some more that I have not yet found evidence of. What I do know is, that just when I thought I knew them all, another one turns up. So please if you have something produced by Whittingslowe Engineering that I do not have displayed here, please


Folding Knives

First pattern military clasp knife
Whittingslowe First Pattern Clasp Knife

Second pattern military clasp knife
Whittingslowe Second Pattern Clasp Knife

No: 24 clasp knife
Whittingslowe No: 24 Clasp Knife

No: 47 clasp knife
Whittingslowe No: 47 Clasp Knife

Product 40 pocket knife
Whittingslowe Product 40 Pocket Knife

Product 41 Stockman's knife
Whittingslowe Product 41 Pocket Knife


Product 43 Combination Tool

Is this Australia's first Multi Tool?
Whittingslowe Combination Tool


Fixed Blade Knives

Australian Army Stiletto (AKA Commando Knife)
Whittingslowe Australian Army Stiletto


Australian Army Utility Knife
Whittingslowe Australian Army Utility Knife


Product 45 Hunting Knife
Whittingslowe Hunting Knife


Product 46 Hunting Knife with tin and bottle opener RD 21403
Whittingslowe Product 46 Hunting Knife with tin and bottle opener RD 21403


No: 70 Knife
Whittingslowe No: 70 Knife


Machetes

Australian Army Long Machet
Whittingslowe Machete


Bolo Machet
Whittingslowe Machete


Newspaper Ad

The Melbourne Argus, Saturday 15 December 1945 p 8
Whittingslowe Advertisement