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Lancashire Fusilier

WW1 Military Motors - 1916 set x 50 cards

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ifanlloyd

The wagon being pulled by the Protected Simplex is a P Class wagon.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The wagon being pulled by the Protected Simplex is a P Class wagon.

Many thanks for the information, I shall be posting some photos of other light rail rolling stock used with the ' Simplex ', including ' D ' Class Wagons and a ' Phillips ' Bolster.

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

In addition to there being light rail petrol tractors made from old motor car parts on Salonika, I have some photographs that show and confirm the ' Simplex ' light rail locomotives were not just used on the Western Front, but were also taken with the British Army to Salonika.

In two of the attached photographs we see a partially armoured or ' Protected ' Simplex locomotive pulling a ' WD D Type Wagon ' carrying British officers on Salonika's ' Stavros ' light rail line which ran on Decauville rail tracks.

The best way to differentiate between the partially armoured ' Protected ' Simplex, and the fully ' Armoured ' Simplex is to look at the roof of the locomotive, on the ' Protected ' or partially armoured Simplex, the four roof support bars are clearly visible, and on the fully ' Armoured ' Simplex, those roof supports are completely enclosed by the surrounding armour plating, and cannot be seen.

In the photo of British troops riding in WDLR ' A Class Wagons ' on Salonika's ' Stavros ' light rail line, it is interesting to note the wooden supply crates they are ' escorting ', some of which are marked ' Huntley and Palmer Biscuits ' and another is marked ' 1 EFC Salonika '.

The first photograph, shows a ' Protected ' Simplex locomotive pulling a ' D ' Class Wagon carrying British officers over a trestle bridge on Salonika's ' Stavros ' light railway line.

LF

IWM 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.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A ' Protected ' Simplex locomotive, pulling a ' D ' Class Wagon carrying British officers on Salonika's ' Stavros ' light railway line.

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.

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Lancashire Fusilier

British troops riding in ' A Class Wagons ' on Salonika's ' Stavros ' light rail line, it is interesting to note the wooden supply crates they are ' escorting ', some of which are marked ' Huntley and Palmer Biscuits ' and another is marked ' 1 EFC Salonika '.



Could someone please confirm if the ' 1 EFC Salonika ' marking stands for ' First Expeditionary Force Salonika ' ?



LF



IWM 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.


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ifanlloyd

The last pic,with the Jocks are A Class variants. All WDLR rolling stock had a letter prefix and went from A all the way to P.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The last pic,with the Jocks are A Class variants. All WDLR rolling stock had a letter prefix and went from A all the way to P.

Many thanks for giving the correct WDLR wagon type, and I shall edit the photos accordingly.

Regards,

LF

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David Filsell

If I did not make it clear my comments were specifically made in regard to the Crewe Tractor - not he simplex. Again Lancs thanks. Keep 'em coming.

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Lancashire Fusilier

If I did not make it clear my comments were specifically made in regard to the Crewe Tractor - not he simplex. Again Lancs thanks. Keep 'em coming.

David,

I did understand that you were commenting on the ' Crewe Tractor ' and not the Simplex, both of which, seem to have done their jobs extremely well under some very difficult working conditions !

Regards,

LF

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David Filsell

Thanks again. The numbers on the CTs that you have put up are low. I wonder what total production was wondering if there are any figures?

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Lancashire Fusilier

A fully armoured Simplex

johnboy,

Many thanks for that link to the photo of the fully armoured ' Simplex ' No. 2182, which was formerly in the Museum of Army Transport, that particular Simplex could be the only remaining original ' Armoured ' Simplex still in Britain.

Attached is a photograph of a fully ' Armoured ' Simplex No. 2198 actually in use on the Western Front, with less than 30 of these ' Armoured ' Simplex locomotives having been manufactured, both the actual ' Armoured ' locomotive and photographs of them taken during WW1 are extremely rare.

The soldier on the right, is from the 1st Australian Railway Operating Company.

Note the construction of the roof of the ' Armoured ' Simplex, which is completely different to that on the ' Protected ' version.

Regards,

LF

AWM P0 3608 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.

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Bombadier

On YouTube, search for "Simplex loco" and you should find the restoration of one of these by the programme Salvage Squad just over 10 years ago. Very interesting.

Nigel

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Lancashire Fusilier

On YouTube, search for "Simplex loco" and you should find the restoration of one of these by the programme Salvage Squad just over 10 years ago. Very interesting.

Nigel

Nigel,

What a great filmed account of the restoration of the ' Protected ' Simplex locomotive No. LR3090, it was extremely interesting and informative, many thanks for posting.

Attached, is a photograph of that fully restored LR3090.

Regards,

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.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Apparently, the ' Protected ' Simplex No. LR3090 never made it over to France, and it spent WW1 working in an Army Depot in Purfleet, Essex. After WW1, it ended up working on the light rail line at the Leeds Corporation's Knostrop Sewage Works.

Attached is a photograph of LR3090 when it was still in a sorry state at the Knostrop Sewage Works, after which, it thankfully underwent a superb restoration.

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.

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johnboy

Not that much of a sorry state in the world of restoration. Is that another one behind it?

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Lancashire Fusilier

Not that much of a sorry state in the world of restoration. Is that another one behind it?

Yes, 2 ' Protected ' Simplex Trench Tractors.

LF

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patrick Eggs

Well done LF great pictures and details and congratulations for passing the 5,000 barrier, I am away in the sun for a few weeks and keeping up with the flow

Crimson Rambler.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Well done LF great pictures and details and congratulations for passing the 5,000 barrier, I am away in the sun for a few weeks and keeping up with the flow

Crimson Rambler.

Many thanks, enjoy your holiday in the sun, and I am pleased to hear you are continuing to enjoy this Thread.

Regards,

LF

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BSM

Great to see the thread prospering! LF re your image 2035, I believe the chap on the left is also Australian. Other than MT drivers in the AIF the only other troops permitted to wear leather peaked caps were those in the Railway Operating Companies and I would suggest he is one such troop! Have a question you may be able to assist with please LF.

In November 1917 the Australian Corps was supported by a number of British Siege/Heavy Artillery Batterys. Each in turn included a Siege Battery Ammunition Column (SBAC - motorised) and two of them, namely the British 141st and the 182nd Batterys were each issued with a Ruston Water tank Trailer. Were these trailers horse drawn equipment under normal circumstances and if so how were they moved from A to B in an MT Company or were they a similar trailer modified for use with an MT Unit? The 1st Australian Ammunition Sub Park at the same time was issued with a Clayton and Shuttleworth Water Tank Trailer and the same question applies. Appreciate you input. Cheers Rod.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Apparently, the ' Protected ' Simplex No. LR3090 never made it over to France, and it spent WW1 working in an Army Depot in Purfleet, Essex. After WW1, it ended up working on the light rail line at the Leeds Corporation's Knostrop Sewage Works.

Attached is a photograph of LR3090 when it was still in a sorry state at the Knostrop Sewage Works, after which, it thankfully underwent a superb restoration.

LF

Here is a photo of one of the two ' Protected ' Simplex Trench Tractors shown in post # 2038, actually in use at the Leeds Corporation's Knostrop Sewage Works on 24th August, 1962, hauling several small light rail tipping wagons.

The 8 glass window panes set in the roof of the ' Knostrop ' Simplex Trench Tractors, at the front and rear, were probably unique to those at Leeds, they were installed simply by adding glazing bars to the original opening and fitting the glass panes, 2 larger panes in the middle and 2 smaller panes on each side of those. This being done, to give the driver a little more protection during bad weather.

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.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Thanks again. The numbers on the CTs that you have put up are low. I wonder what total production was wondering if there are any figures?

David,

If the numbers shown on the ' Crewe Tractors ' relate to their production numbers, then from the photographs I have posted, we have seen Crewe Tractors numbered 39 - 64 - 121 - 287.

The highest number shown, is that in post # 1990 on a Crewe Tractor numbered LR 0287 photographed in March 1918, if that is indeed the production number given to each Crewe Tractor, then coming as it does towards the end of WW1, March 1918, it may suggest that between 287/300 Crewe Tractors were manufactured during WW1 ?

Regards,

LF

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David Filsell

Thanks. Not a huge number. But more than I thought

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Lancashire Fusilier

Here are some additional facts and figures relating to the ' Simplex ' Trench Tractor :-


" The Motor Rail & Tramcar Co. Ltd., manufacturers of the ' Simplex ' Trench Tractor, was founded in 1911 by John Abbott, to manufacture and sell railcars and tramcars utilising petrol engines and the Simplex gearbox.
The first vehicles were built at the Phoenix Ironworks at Lewes, Sussex. The arrangements for the use of these works cannot have been ideal as by 1914 the company was looking for new premises and several enquiries were made and sites visited. However, at a board meeting of October 1914 it was agreed that in view of the uncertainty of matters generally created by the war, the idea of a new works was to be abandoned for the present.
The situation changed in 1916 following a meeting with the War Office's consulting engineers, Messrs. Rendall, Palmer & Tritton, who informed John Abbott that The War Office required “ Petrol engined Trench Tractors ” of 600-mm gauge that were capable of drawing 10 to 15 Tons at 5 miles per hour.
The Motor Rail & Tramcar Co. Ltd., tendered for, and was successful in gaining a contract to build the War Department's Trench Tractors.
Early in 1916, the Motor Rail & Tramcar Co. Ltd., entered into an agreement with the Bedford Engineering Company to use its premises at Houghton Road, Bedford and by May of 1916 had also opened its own office at 33 Houghton Road, Bedford.
The first Simplex Tractor produced at Bedford took 3 months to produce, and by the end of the year ( 1916 ) they could produce 20-25 tractors per week using a workforce of less than 20. Tractors could be produced at this rate primarily due to the subcontracting of major parts manufacture. All major parts except the frame were bought in and final assembly took place at Bedford Engineering. Deliveries continued through 1917 and 1918, with over 700 tractors of both 20 Horsepower and 40 Horsepower types delivered in 1918. "
Assuming production of the Simplex Trench Tractor started in the last quarter of 1916, with a production rate of 20/25 per week, that would give an estimated production for the last 3 months of 1916 of between 260/325 tractors.
For 1917, Simplex Tractor production would have been at its peak, giving an estimated production number of 1300 Tractors ( 52 weeks @ 25 tractors per week ).
The Company's records show that for 1918, production slowed and 700 Tractors were produced.
The problem is, these figures are not split between 20 hp and 40 hp tractors, and they include both types.
In all, for the years 1916 - 1918, it is estimated that some 2,300 Simplex Trench Tractors, made up of both 20 hp and 40 hp models, were produced.
Whilst the ' Simplex ' Tractor was known by various names, including a ' Locomotive ', a ' Tin Turtle ' and a ' Trench Tractor ', perhaps the best name to use, is the name by which it was known in the original War Office specification i.e. a ' Trench Tractor '.
The gearbox used on the Simplex Trench Tractor was described as being a ' Dixon Abbott ' gearbox, and it should be noted that both the sons of the founder of the Motor Rail & Tramcar Co. Ltd., John Abbott, were named Dixon Abbott, Tom Dixon Abbott and John Dixon Abbott.
At the start of 1918, a new site was purchased in Bedford, this being a former laundry in Elstow Road. Later that year, it was also possible to purchase further land at the front of the works, including the access road, and land at the rear including a rear access point. The company office moved to 16 Elstow Road in January 1919.
LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

Have a question you may be able to assist with please.

In November 1917 the Australian Corps was supported by a number of British Siege/Heavy Artillery Batterys. Each in turn included a Siege Battery Ammunition Column (SBAC - motorised) and two of them, namely the British 141st and the 182nd Batterys were each issued with a Ruston Water tank Trailer. Were these trailers horse drawn equipment under normal circumstances and if so how were they moved from A to B in an MT Company or were they a similar trailer modified for use with an MT Unit? The 1st Australian Ammunition Sub Park at the same time was issued with a Clayton and Shuttleworth Water Tank Trailer and the same question applies. Appreciate you input. Cheers Rod.

Rod,

Thanks for the information on the 2nd soldier in post # 2035.
With regard to your questions, both Clayton & Shuttleworth, and Ruston, Procter & Co. ( later Ruston & Hornsby ), were old established British engineering companies founded in the mid-1800s, who initially specialized in the manufacture of agricultural machinery and steam engines. By coincidence, both companies came from Lincolnshire.
Also, both companies took part in the WW1 war effort, and again by coincidence, both expanded into making military aircraft.
I can find no records of either companies specifically making any ' Water Tank Trailers ' for either the British or Australian Armies, nor any photographs captioned as being of such Water Tank Trailers. Also, there are no mention of any such trailers in any of the usual reference books.
All I found, was a reference to Ruston & Hornsby making a Tank Supply Trailer which was a wheeled trailer containing supplies for the tanks, which was towed behind a Supply Tank.
As both companies specialized in metal fabrication, especially boilers, perhaps your references relate to the metal boiler tank style of water cart that was typically horse-drawn, and could have been produced by both Clayton & Shuttleworth and Ruston, Procter & Co. for the military use during WW1.
I have many other photographs of WW1 water carts which used the metal boiler design, all of which were typically horse-drawn, I understand the Australian troops called their water carts ' Furphys '.
Alternatively, it is possible for both these metal fabrication companies to have made the large square water tanks that were mounted on the back of Water Tanker lorries, I shall also post some photographs of such a Water Tanker vehicles.
Another possible reason for the reference to both Clayton & Shuttleworth and Ruston, Procter & Co., in terms of water supply to the troops, may have been the use of small portable Water Pumps which were made by both companies, and again I have photographs of such Water Pumps in use by the WW1 military.
Over the next couple of days, I shall post some water cart photographs which may answer your questions.
The attached photograph shows a horse-drawn Water Cart, using the metal boiler style water tank, which could have been made by metal fabricating companies such as Clayton & Shuttleworth and Ruston, Procter & Co.
This photograph was taken in Wancourt, a small village south-east of Arras on the main road from Arras to Cambrai. Wancourt was originally captured from the Germans on 12th April 1917, retaken by the Germans in March 1918, and finally recaptured from the Germans on 26th August, 1918.
Regards,
LF
IWM5270 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.

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BSM

LF many thanks for the wordy response and the great image. Before you go to a lot of trouble, this morning I received an answer to most of the question posed above. Paralleling my entries on a couple of forums I had sent an email off to a very helpful Ruston and Old Engine enthusiast in the UK and his response arrived by email this morning. This fellow has one of those nice and rare Manufacturer's Wartime Souvenir book from WW1. Basically there were three Horse Drawn Ruston models, all with metal tanks and support structure sitting on wooden frames and wheels, in turn kitted out for horse however they would not have been too difficult to modify for travel behind a vehicle I would think and by coincidence the image you supplied is one of the Ruston models I believe!! The jewel in the crown so to speak is a 4th model which was a box shaped steel water tank sitting and support equipment/binning on a steel frame with closed, disc steel wheels and a single draw bar with eye - obvioulsy well suited for travel behind a lorry etc. A chap on the HMVF forum is restoring a WT trailer (steel on timber) and again the draw bar is a single steel rod with eye. Bit of luck an image will surface of a vehicle towing such a trailer. Rod

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