Major Eric Anthony Sykes was a British soldier and firearms expert born on February 5, 1883, in Barnsley, England. He was born under the name Eric Anthony Schwabe but later changed his last name to Sykes after his mother remarried.
Sykes was a career military man, serving in both the British Army and the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) during World War I. He is perhaps best known for his expertise in firearms, notably the Lewis Gun and the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife. He was an early adopter of the weapon and played a significant role in its development and use during World War I.
In addition to his service in the military, Sykes was also a prolific writer and inventor. He wrote several books on the use and maintenance of firearms, including “The Lewis Gun,” which became a standard reference for gun enthusiasts and military personnel. He also held several patents for firearm-related inventions, including a device for adjusting the sights of a rifle and a system for attaching bayonets to rifles.
Sykes was a highly respected figure in the world of firearms and was often consulted by the British government on gun development and use. He was also a member of several professional organizations, including the British Small Arms Committee and the Royal Society of Arts.
Despite his many accomplishments, Sykes is less well-known than some of his contemporaries, such as Sir Hiram Maxim or John Moses Browning. However, his contributions to the development and use of firearms have made him a significant figure in the history of military technology.
Sykes died on May 12, 1945, at the age of 62. Despite his passing, his work continues to be remembered and respected by those interested in firearms and military technology history.