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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Books on the cycle battalions?


yperman

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I am fascinated by the concept of cycle battalions - especially the combination of mobility without the need for vast amounts of fodder. Can someone please point me at books on the subject?

Thanks, Yperman

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hi not a book but if your interested in cycle battalions ( the gaspipe cavalry)

try looking at www.huntscycles.co.uk quite a useful resource i find.

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There was a history published, History of the Kent Cyclist Battalion, Territorial Force, 1908-20 by Cyril Bristow. Paperback, 132 Pages, Published 1986. ISBN 0-9512880-0-8. Available at the British Library

Cheers

Maureen

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"the cads on castors"

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Thank you very much for the leads. 'Cads on castors' sounds a bit harsh!

Yperman

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Hello Yperman

I think the real problem is that none of the cyclist battalions served overseas, apart from Ireland which of course was still part of the UK. There are therefore few, if any, war diaries or published histories.

Have you tried the Department of Manuscripts at the IWM? They may have unpublished diaries or memoirs of cyclists.

Ron

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The works on Operation Albion cover the German use very well.

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Yperman

It depends which cyclists you are interested. The TF Cyclist battalions of various infantry regiments did not see much service overseas as Ron has suggested. In addition there isn't much published on the various divisional cyclist companies or corps cyclist battalions which did see service overseas for scouting, observation, traffic control and other corps general duties. However half of the war diaries for the divisional companies should be available to download for a price from the NA covering bits of 1914-1916 with the other half coming out later in the year. They may be of interest. The corps battalion diaries will need visits to Kew - some of these did see some action during the 1917 March Retreat where they acted like cavalry for scouting and rapid pursuit of the enemy.

Kind regards

Colin

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Good point Colin - I had completely forgotten the corps cyclist battalions! Mea culpa.

Ron

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The London Cyclist Battalion : A Chronicle of events connected with 26th Middlesex & 25th City of London Cyclist Battalion & Military Cycling in general. Published in 1932. There's also one on the 60th Divisional Cyclist Company from around the same time. Check on ABE but both rather pricey!

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Thank you all very much - you have given me a lot of food for thought.

Yperman

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