Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Oct 18, 2010.
One other original photo from my collection. You can see two buses in this photo.
Thank you! The front one is an AEC Regal which looks like it may have had the civilian registration ED 8682?
Memory cells are fading but somewhere on the web there is film of BEF troops disembarking at a French Port ( Cherbourg maybe ) and there are quite a few British half cab coaches on the quayside in military colours.
I wonder if somewhere in Kew there is a list of all the 1000's of civilian cars , trucks buses and motorcycles that were requisitioned for the BEF ?
There must be somewhere. I have tried looking it for it in the past without success.
Identified now as FW 8632 a 1937 AEC Regal with Willowbrook 32 seat body which had been new to Enterprise & Silver Dawn. Only a couple years old! Where was this location?
I think I took some stills from the film I will have a look on my stored hard drive.
Don't get too excited though because buses are very much in the background
A year later a reply On the buses , two British half cab coaches on or near beaches, may be same one.
Stills from Pathe film Second BEF Home Again where there are glimpses again of half cab British coaches around a French Port . BWW400 appears to be in France . Despite the jolly announcers cheery talk that 2 BEF was returning with its equipment I think the vehicles would have been left.
Second BEF Home Again
Captured British Bus used on the Eastern Front, could have come from the BEF. Rare colour slide from my collection.
Re the second BEF the main departure point was St Malo, where they had been landed the week before. Wits in Southampton, where many returned, said BEF stood for 'back every Friday'. With one exception the ships were British merchantmen. I caught sight of the Legs of Man on the stern of one. I can list the ships if it is of interest.
' Back Every Friday ' never heard that before.
My mate was in the TA and they called themselves SAS, Saturdays And Sundays
Excellent pics JCB!
Whilst making enquiries in a different direction I have been told that one of the jetties made up of vehicles comprised "Barton" buses (an operator from Chilwell) and this has come from the Barton family who may have been told this after the war when some of their "Impressed" vehicles didn't return. I can't find any evidence to suggest it is true but then it seems more and more evidence of British buses in the BEF is coming out now.
Never seen a bus in any of the vehicle piers and seen loads of soldiers photos of them.
Having some experience of driving on sandy beaches I would imagine they would bog down in seconds!
Never say never though, suppose they could be towed there.
One more from my collection. BEF bus on tow and a Austin truck.
Perhaps we should haves started a ' Buses of the BEF' thread
Sounds like a plan........I'll do it now.....
1. I am searching for the origins of BWW 400.
2. The two photos of buses on the dockside are the same vehicle from two different views. All vehicles are Leylands.
3.The vehicle on the beach appears to be an ex Maidstone & District Leyland - the distinctive layout of the destination screens makes me think this.
4. The vehicle in what appears to be a scrapyard is another ex-Maidstone & District Leyland I believe
5. The coach at the side of the road appears to be a Leyland - I wonder if a higher resolution scan might reveal the military number behind the driver's cab door or is there too much dirt on the vehicle?
6. The vehicle on tow is another Leyland.
Thank you so much for posting these. My search for my NIRTB vehicles has now extended into searching for any photos and hopefully being able to identify some of them....
Sorry JCB, NIRTB was the Northern Ireland Road Transport Board which was the nationalised provider of bus and trucks in Northern Ireland. Early in 1940 62 buses/coaches were impressed by "Military Authorities" from the NIRTB and seem to have simply disappeared. At the end of the War most operators got back vehicles which had been impressed that had survived. Most lost vehicles completely but did get some back. Of the 62, one appeared briefly "on hire" back to the Board but was then returned to the military and never heard of again.
From the outset of the war, it was viewed by the U.K. Government that Hitler would either attack Northern Ireland directly or would invade a neutral Eire to open a second front. Consequently at least three Motor Coach Companies of the RASC were deployed to meet a need to rapidly deploy troops potentially anywhere in Ireland to counter an invasion. The MCC's were formed in 1940 and were in situ from July 1940 using impressed coaches from UK mainland operators. The RASC worked closely with the NIRTB to convert these vehicles for their military use. These vehicles were retained until the arrival of substantial numbers of American troops in January 1942 in Northern Ireland and once they were there, the invasion threat immediately disappeared. The Motor Coach Companies were either redeployed or broken up. The NIRTB acquired 129 vehicles from the RASC to meet a continuing substantial demand for transport for war workers - principally for Short Brothers aircraft production satellite factories.
So my hunt started by trying to find what became of the missing 62 NIRTB buses - which I haven't found yet but I have become engrossed in what happened with Operation Dynamo and am simply amazed at what happened and what equipment was left after the evacuation.
BWW 400 was a Leyland TS7 (chassis no. 12248) with 32-seat coach body (manufacturer unrecorded) new in March 1937 to F Oade, Heckmondwyke, Yorkshire. There are no further records of it so I think it's right to assume it was abandoned in France.
These two vehicles are believed to be Leyland TS7 with Harrington bodies of a batch of vehicles 1160-1179 (DUF 160-179) of Southdown which were new in 1936-37. 17 of the batch of 20 were impressed but 8 of them never returned. These featured half canvas roof so were ideal for military use.
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