2. The MK 2 (WW1-WW2)

The 20th Century British Military Gurkha Issue Kukri.

Including Official Pattern approved, unit & unknown issue types.

Updated 2015 (original article 2006).


Mr. Jonathan Sedwell.

Part 2 of 7;



Heritage Knives MK2 Kukri. MK 2, m43, m 43, Kukri, khukuri, knife, khukri, history, heritage, indian army, british army, nepal military, gurkha, ww1, ww2, world war.  The 20th Century British Military Gurkha Issue Kukri.

Here 3 mk. 2´s a typical Co. made 1917, at top,

a Queeta Bros. mk.2 in the middle,

and a m.43 at the bottom.

RFI {Rifle Factory Ishapore} stamp.

Rarer manufactures include,

- E. Boota Singh & sons, {Rawlpindi} 1917 
- AS & Sons Ltd.

A model of which only 3 very high-quality piece are known all dating from 1916.

- RFI {Rifle Factory Ishapore}.

Are also known to have made a small high-quality batch batches in 1926 & 1927. 

The MKII Pattern Kukri - 

The mk.2 was in production by 1915 & was to stay in manufacture for the British army until at least 1944 so certainly they ran into production figures of many thousands. 

All the pattern issue pieces have steel bolster & buttcap, brass was a restricted metal only to be used if superior to other metals for the job in question. {Such as arguably rivet surrounds & scabbard chapes.} Those issue marked mk.2 kukri found with brass bolsters are sadly fakes that have been marketed in the west for several decades. Although some late & post WW2 Private purchase pieces in the style of mk.2 kukri do have brass bolsters, buttcaps & often have buffalo horn or ivory hilts. Those marked tempered steel made in India seem to be from the time of Indian independence {1947}.

The mk.2 design was unusual for the era in being a riveted hilt design on to a full width & length tang, with a buttcap, both presumably to hopefully protect the wooden hilt from coming loose or being chipped & broken in use.

The issue mk.II kukri has been produced by many manufactures & armouries over the years. Commercial private purchase version production continued after the war & fakes & replicas are still made today.

Blade lengths are usually 13 1/4 to 13 3/4 inches. There weights can vary from 20oz to 28oz. {On those I have examined.} On average WW2 era issue ones tend to be heavier most of the time than the WW1 era pieces.

The three WW1 manufactures most often seen are {with years of production runs that I know off so far}:

- CO. 1915,1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920

The predominant maker by far, made at Cossipore arsenal more famous for its artillery pieces.

- DHW 1918, 1919 
- GDB & Co. 1917, 1918

GBD stamp.

WW2 well known manufactures include:

- ATD, {Army Traders Dehradun} 1942, 1943, 1944,

- M or MIL, {Military industries Ltd.} 1941, 1942, 1943,
- Pioneer, {Calcutta} 1942, 1943, 1944 
- Queera Bros. 1942, 1943, 1944                   

- JNB 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 

-Mat 1944,

-Mad, 1944

& others. 

Here is typical WW1 Cossipore & WW2 era m.43 stamps.

One variant mk.2 often called the M.43 after the manufactures stamp found on it is identifiable by the mark & sunken rivets combined with an integrally welded tang, bolster join, but as these 2 later features can be found on other mk.2s the mark is the real key. {Although some occasionally appear to have escaped marking.} 

Some people refer to this as a separate model in my opinion it is just a particular manufacturers interpretation of the design as none of the differences sited only occur on m.43s other than the stamp.] I have seen an early m.43 which has the original style handle of the early mk.2s, which helps show its ancestry.


There has been suggestions by some in the past that the M.43 mark proves manufacture by the English firm, Broadway Engineering Co. Ltd. who appear on lists as the user of the m.43 mark but to date research shows the company was just contracted to make small component parts for machine guns etc. & were not capable of all the manufacturing processes used in the manufacture of the m.43}

And an exceptionally high-quality A.S & Sons piece in a traditional scabbard, as was often worn by the 5th Gurkha Rifles as opposed to the usual Official pattern Cawnpore Armoury scabbards usually found with mk.2 kukri. Complete with a with Officers Sam Browne style Frog.



“Text & photos copyright, Spiral JRS 1st Feb. 2015.”


This 7 part series is based directly on the original longer article posted on

“The International Kukri Research & Historical Society” (www.IKRHS.com); http://www.ikrhs.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1201 on 1st Feb, 2015.

Press HERE to continue to part 3, the MK3 Kukri.