(and the Homefront)

HOTCHKISS M201/FORD MB REPLICA 1956 - The jeep is a bit of a bitser having probably been built in France from various Willys, Ford and Hotchkiss parts after the war and either sold off in the 50s or kept in store by the French military "just in case". There is no real history with the jeep, however, it has been restored to represent a British jeep belonging to the Royal Signals and attached to the Tyne Tees Regiment in recognition of the owner's northern roots.

c1936 250cc J11/22 AJS price £38 18s – A small capacity lightweight ohv single cylinder machine made at Plumstead, SE London by Associated Motor Cycles Ltd (AMC). Valve gear is open to the elements with 6 grease nipples for lubrication (every 200 miles). The white paint and headlight mask are to comply with the Wartime Emergency Lighting Regulations applicable to UK motorcyclists for WW2.
During the early war period all motorcycles qualified for 2 gallons a month petrol ration*. (Sales literature for the AJS mentions 100 to 120mpg). The front light has a Hartley Pilot headlight mask (costing 16/6d in 1941**). Home Guard volunteers had to use their own petrol and motor cycles for duty. The speed limit was 20mph at night and despite this, nearly 1200 people were killed in one month***.

* Motorcycling magazine January 18th 1940
** The MotorCycle magazine September 4th 1941
*** The MotorCycle magazine March 17th 1940

The Royal Enfield Flying Flea two stroke motorcycle was a development from the 1930s German DKW RT 100 motorcycle.

 In 1942 the War department began testing the "Flea"  knowing that Airborne forces required much needed transport and mobility.
A robust tubular steel cage with a Parachute was designed in order to successfully drop the flea from aircraft.
From 1943 the WD / RE Flying Flea was also transported in troop carrying gliders and beach landing craft and became a common sight during the war

Royal Enfield Flying Flea

"The  P stood for Project or Post-war, the 2 is the evolution and the ‘12’ is the RAC rating for size of the engine.
Rover introduced an open tourer on the 12HP chassis early in 1947. They had lost most of their records and drawings during WW2, so they acquired a 1934 Sports Tourer to use as a pattern. Only 200 were built of which it is believed there are still around 34 in existence.
 This model was used in the film “The Enigma”. 
The 1947 Tourers were intended for export only, but all 200 were fitted to right hand drive chassis, so inevitably some including my own found their way onto the home market.  My car was first registered 23/1/1948 in Kendal, Westmorland. 
Rover was known as the “Poor man’s Rolls-Royce” because of the quality and standard of workmanship and was often used by professionals such as doctors and vets". 

250cc J11/22 AJS

Rover P2 12HP sports tourer.

500cc BSA WM20

MATCHLESS G3L 350cc 1942 - The bike was recovered from a shed on the Isle of Man in 2005 and restored over the next 10 years. Judging by the original paint the bike was used in Egypt or the Middle East prior to being sold off into civilian life, probably in the early 1950s. It is a really lively performer and was seen as the best ride by most despatch riders.

BSA WM20 500cc 1945 - The bike was purchased as a barn find in Aberdeenshire in 2015 unseen. It has been restored over the last 6 or 7 years. The bike was sold from military use in the 1960s and probably used on the farm as cheap transport. The BSA was the most common motorcycle used by the military and whilst being rather "agricultural" was a very reliable plodder.

Vehicles Available To The Unit

Austin Tilly (1943/44)

Hotchkiss Jeep

Matchless G3L

AUSTIN UTILITY (TILLY) 1943/44 - Tilly was recovered part restored from Perth Western Australia in June 2021. Final assembly and testing should be complete by April 2022 and be ready for duty. Based on the Austin 10 saloon Tilly's were used primarily for communications and light cargo duties although, amazingly, some were fitted with twin machine gun mounts or a Bren gun. Most famously the Queen used an Austin Tilly to commute between her MT training school and Windsor Castle during World War 2. There is no known history to the vehicle other than it was part of a contract for a total of approximately 30,000 Tilly's destined for the Army and Navy of British Commonwealth forces during WW2 from 1939 to 1945. It was generally replaced by the Jeep.