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Lancashire Fusilier

WW1 Military Motors - 1916 set x 50 cards

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Lancashire Fusilier

Towards the end of WW1, we see the introduction of N.A.P. ( Normal Air Pressure ) tyres.

N.A.P. pneumatic tyres with their distinctive ' triangles ' tread pattern, were promoted as being un-puncturable, un-burstable, non-skidding and some were guaranteed for 10,000 miles, hence their being highly suitable for military vehicles, particularly an armoured car.

Here is a 1917/18 N.A.P. Tyre advertisement.

 

LF

 

These images are reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

NAP Tyres Ad  use..jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

Following the end of WW1, we see the introduction of fully treaded tyres, as are shown in this ' Dunlop ' tyre advertisement, including their ' Golfball ' tread.

 

LF

 

 

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Crossley Dunlop tyre ad.jpg

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trajan
10 hours ago, Lancashire Fusilier said:

 

At that time, tyre treads were still being developed and it was not uncommon for tyres to be without a tread and completely bald ...  The attached photograph shows an Austin Armoured Car ( First Series ) in service with the Russians, fitted with ' Combat Tyres '.

 

Thanks LF. And I see that the other Austin in the photograph has what looks to be a prototype of what became the standard military tread with its opposed 'U' grooves,

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Lancashire Fusilier
There is an excellent written report by a Lt. T. Henderson. R.F.C. regarding a journey he and four others took from Wejh to Mathar via Wadi Hamdh in N.W. Arabia, in May 1917 to recover a damaged BE2.c aircraft, serial No. 4483.
Interestingly, in this recovery party was Capt. T. E. Lawrence ( Lawrence of Arabia ).
 
They travelled in 2 vehicles, a Ford Model T motorcar and a Crossley 20/25 Tender, the Ford Model T was unable to cope with the sandy desert terrain, and was towed most of the way by the Crossley Tender. Eventually, it was decided to abandon the ' Ford ' part way through the outward journey, and pick it up again on the return journey.
 
In his report, Lt. Henderson makes written reference to the benefit of the " fitting of double tyres on all four wheels of a “Crossley”.
 
Attached is an extract from Lt. Henderson's written report, and also an interesting photograph taken part way through the outward journey, which shows their Model T motorcar being towed by the Crossley Tender.
Pictured in this photograph, 2nd from the right in British uniform, is Capt. T. E. Lawrence.
 
LF
 
Extracts from the Route Report : Wejh to Mathar via The Wadi Hamdh 
Dates : 6th May 1917 Till 10th May 1917.
Lt. T. Henderson, R.F.C.
 
First day - 6.5.17 - " changed course about 10 degrees, moving more Eastward, passing over over first of all scrub and then stoney undulations.... it was this latter sort of ground which was found most suitable for the ' Ford ' and good progress was made. " ......
At 8 pm. we started off once more taking advantage of a full moon and the cool of the evening, but were retarded by the soft sand and brushwood in the Wadi. The ' Ford ' being practically towed the whole way."
 
Second day - 7..5.17 - " It was decided to abandon the ' Ford ' car until our return.
 
At the end of his report, Lt. Henderson comments " The fitting of double tyres on all four wheels of a ' Crossley ' was an excellent scheme and facilitated the crossing of soft sand which would otherwise have been impassible for cars.
On the return journey the ' Ford ' car went much better after we deflated the tyres.
Eight boards ( 2" ) 5 feet x 9 feet x 9" broad were carried, and with the aid of a spade, pick and axe the car was helped out of some difficult patches ; the boards were placed longitudinally under the wheels as the car proceeded over the very soft ground.
Water and petrol for the whole journey were taken and ' cached ' at various stages and picked up on the return journey.
All bearings were taken with a pocket liquid compass.
The object of the journey was to salve a damaged aeroplane."
 
Thomas Henderson R.F.C. Lieut.
' C ' Flight No. 14 Squadron, R.F.C.
( Arabian Detachment )
 
The attached photograph shows the Ford Model T being towed by the Crossley 20/25 Tender on the outward journey take to recover a damaged BE2.c aircraft.
Capt. T.E. Lawrence is shown 2nd from the right.
 
 
IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Crossley and Ford MT WH TEL getting plane use..jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

An interesting an nicely detailed photograph taken by Lt. Hendson, showing their Crossley 20/25 Tender near Wadi Hemdh on the Red Sea coast of N.W. Arabia, known today is Saudi Arabia, pictured during their outward journey searching for the crashed BE2.c aircraft they were to recover.

Of particular interest, is the British Officer standing on the far right wearing an Arab ' Keffiyah ' head-dress and ' deep in thought ', who is none other than Captain T. E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia.

Capt. Lawrence, later writes " They had a difficult trip; the temperature was 118 degrees in the shade and they had to cut their way through dry brushwood."

 

During the outward stage of the journey pictured in this photograph, the ' Crossley ' still has it's standard set of single front wheels, and it was only part way through the return journey after they had recovered the downed BE2.c aircraft, that the decision was made to fit double front wheels to the Crossley 20/25 tender.

 

LF

 

 

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

 

 

Crossley Wadi Hemdh TEL better 1 use..jpg

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David Filsell

I would have thought better weight distribution may have been a factor - particularly in sand - not simply grip.

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Lancashire Fusilier
33 minutes ago, David Filsell said:

I would have thought better weight distribution may have been a factor - particularly in sand - not simply grip.

 

David,

 

They were a party of 5, and I assume that the Crossley Tender was loaded with all their supplies and 2 men rode in the front of the Crossley, with the other 3 men riding in the Model T Ford motorcar. However, even with 3 men travelling in the Model T Ford, as it was such a lightweight vehicle, that may still not have given enough weight to the Ford so as to get it over the sandy desert terrain.

 

Regards,

LF

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David Filsell

LF

Makes sense, wider tyres via two wheels spread load.

Regards

David

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phil@basildon
On 28/06/2016 at 15:09, Lancashire Fusilier said:

This nicely detailed front view of an RFC Crossley 20/25 Tender appears to show it has a lot of bullet hole damage, particularly apparent to it's windscreen.

Also, one of it's double front tyres has been removed, and can be seen on the ground behind the Crossley.

 

LF

 

 

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Crossley with bullet holes.jpg

It could also be a 'Stepney' spare wheel. The Stepney wheel consisted of a rim and tyre that clipped onto the original wheel.

The NAP tyre illustrated in post 5226 above is attached to a Stepney rim. Its possible that Stepney wheels were carried and attached and removed as and when required.

 

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Lancashire Fusilier
16 hours ago, phil@basildon said:

It could also be a 'Stepney' spare wheel. The Stepney wheel consisted of a rim and tyre that clipped onto the original wheel.

The NAP tyre illustrated in post 5226 above is attached to a Stepney rim. Its possible that Stepney wheels were carried and attached and removed as and when required.

 

 

Phil,

 

The use of the ' Stepney ' spare wheel system, would have certainly made it easy to add and or remove the second front wheel as an when required.

 

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

The aircraft recovery party, which included Capt. T.E. Lawrence, searching for the downed RFC B.E.2c aircraft, eventually located the aircraft, and here is the photograph taken of that B.E.2 c aircraft which was to be recovered and salvaged.

 

LF

 

 

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Crossley wrecked plane WH use..jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

Having located the downed RFC B.E.2c aircraft, the recovery party dismantled the aircraft, and the B.E.2c's salvaged parts were attached to the Crossley 20/25 Tender for towing back to base, and it was during the return trip to base that the recovery party picked up the Ford Model T motorcar they had abandoned on the outward part of the journey.

 

LF

 

 

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Crossley Bringing in wrecked plane TEL WH use..jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

The British Aircraft Factory's B.E.2c Bi-Plane shown in the previous post, was introduced into service with the Royal Flying Corps in December 1914.

The attached photograph shows the 2 seater, with the Observer's cockpit located in front of the Pilot.

Also of note, are the Lewis Gun mounted on a tilt/swivel bracket attached to the fuselage on the starboard-side ( right ) of the Observer's cockpit, and the B.E.2 c's distinctive 2 upright exhaust pipes extending to just above the upper wing section.

The particular B.E.2c aircraft shown in this photograph was donated by the people of Tasmania, and is so named on the fuselage.

 

The B.E.2c's general specifications :

 

LF

 

 

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Crossley Brit AC Fact B.E. 2c RFC Tasman use.jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

From Lt. Henderson's report on the recovery of the B.E.2c downed aircraft, we know that for part of the return journey back to base with the salvaged aircraft, the Crossley 20/25 Tender towing the aircraft, was fitted with a set of double front wheels, and at the end of his report, Lt. Henderson comments " The fitting of double tyres on all four wheels of a ' Crossley ' was an excellent scheme and facilitated the crossing of soft sand which would otherwise have been impassible for cars ".

 

Attached is a photograph of the aircraft recovery team's Crossley 20/25 Tender, after it had been fitted with a set of double front wheels.

 

LF

 

 

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Crossley RFC Recon car Wadi Hamdh use.jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier
The ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyre system referred to by Phil in post # 5234 was an ingenious vehicle spare wheel and tyre system invented by Welsh brothers Thomas and Walter Davis, who were Ironmongers by trade from the town of Llanelli in South Wales, with the name for their ' Stepney ' invention coming from the name of the street in Llanelli where they had their Ironmongers business ' Stepney Street '.
 
The Davis brothers' Stepney system was intoduced at a time when motor vehicles typically did not have a spare tyre, and being ironmongers by trade, the Davis brothers designed a circular metal rim to which was fitted an inflated spare tyre, and in the event of a puncture or other tyre damage which caused the tyre to be changed, the ' Stepney ' rim and spare tyre could be easily and quickly clamped to the wheel rim having the damaged tyre, and securely held in place by two strong ' Butterfly Clamps ' which were easily tightened by thumb screws, and it was claimed that a ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyre could be easily and quickly fitted without the use of any tools, or the need for the vehicle to be jacked up.
 
The Davis brothers patented their ' Stepney ' vehicle spare wheel & tyre system, and introduced it for sale in January 1906 by their Company the ' Stepney Spare Motor Wheel Ltd. ', and their ' Stepney ' system was so successful, that in just a few short years, the Davis bothers were both millionaires with vast numbers of their ' Stepney ' systems being sold not just throughout Britain, but also all over the world.
Their 1913 advertisement, claimed that 400,000 ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyres had already been sold.
 
The ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyre systems was used by the British, and Empire's military during WW1 on various vehicles, and from the photographic evidence, they were mainly used as the spare wheel on Ambulances.
 
After WW1, the company moved from Llanelli to Waltamstow, London, and as more and more vehicles started to be sold already equipped with a spare wheel & tyre already fitted to a road wheel, the ' Stepney ' system became obsolete, and the Davis brothers concentrated on rubber tyre manufacturing, forming the Stepney Tyre & Rubber Co., also based in Walthamstow, London.
 
The first photograph, shows an original ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyre.
 
LF
 
 

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

 
 
 
 
 

Stepney rim and tyre museum use..jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

An early 1907 ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyre advertisement.

 

LF

 

 

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Stepney 1907 AD.jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

A privately owned motorcar, fitted with a ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyre.

 

LF

 

 

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Stepney spare on early MC use..jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

An original ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyre fitted to a vintage ' Ford ' motorcar.

 

LF

 

 

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

 

 

Stepney spare tyre fitted to Ford.jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

Details of one of the two ' Stepney ' Butterfly Clamps which held the spare wheel in place, and were tightened using the thumb screws.

 

LF

 

 

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Stepney utterfly clamp details.jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

A November 1913 ' Stepney ' advertisment, stating that 400,000 Stepney spare wheels and tyres had been sold.

 

LF

 

 

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Stepney 1913 ad 400,000 in use.jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

An interesting coloured photograph, probably taken in France, showing a British Army Tender collecting mail from an Army Post Office Mail Train, with the Tender fitted with a ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyre.

 

LF

 

 

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Stepney Army Mail Tender with SSW use..jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

Two British Red Cross Society/St. John Ambulance Association Ambulances mounted on American ' General Motors ' chassis, and both fitted with a ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyre.

 

LF

 

 

 

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Stepney GM Ambs with SSW.jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

A 1910 ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyre advertisement detailing 5 available ' Stepney ' options.

 

LF


 

 

 

Graces Guide This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

 

Stepney 1910 AD.jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

An Australian Army ( AIF - Australian Imperial Force ) Ford Model T Ambulance fitted with a ' Stepney ' spare wheel & tyre.

 

LF

 

 

 

AWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Stepney Model T amb fitted with Stepney rim use.jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

A WW1 ( 1915 ) ' Stepney ' advertisement showing a nice clear view of the tread pattern used on their ' Road-Grip ' tyre, with the advertisement stating this was ' The tyre that takes you nearest the trenches ' no doubt a reference to the ' Stepney ' spare wheel and tyre systems being used by the military.

 

LF

 

 

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Stepney 1915 AD.jpg

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