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Roy Larkin

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About Roy Larkin

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    Staff Sergeant

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    Great War motor transport and civilian road transport history in general
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  1. Some 'artistic licence' with the advert I think. Much along the lines of '1 careful owner, guv'. Rouen was not the spares depot for the whole of the British Army. Calais was equally as big, if not bigger and then there was also the Middle East and the Home Front Depots. I've not see any reference to Slough Trading selling the entire depot as one lot either and I'd guess that by October 1922 (although the depot must have been sold well before then) that Slough Trading had taken anything worth having for themselves and maybe sold the rest as a one lot as they were very skint by then.
  2. I know it is not much help, particularly as they gave no hint as to how they did it, but 3 Heavy Repair Shop at St Omer were repairing 1,000 ball bearings a month.
  3. It's not the first photograph I've seen that should not exist.
  4. Tim, how do you know it is 1917? Firstly: from August 1914, Thornycroft was a Controlled Establishment so every chassis built went to the War Office. The War Office did supply Russia, certainly in the early days, but not with any War Office approved models or makes as they needed them for themselves. It's why the French were only given Tillings-Stevens in September 1914. There was a big order from Russia in 1917 but that was given to Austin by the Ministry of Munitions. It was never fulfilled though as the Treasury refused to sanction it as there was doubt over whether Russia could pay and there was concern over the impending Russian Revolution. All orders had to go through the Government and not direct to individual companies. I've had a quick check and can't find any Thornycroft chassis going to Russia, so it must have been either a War Office chassis or maybe one of Thornycroft's dealers (possibly in Scandinavia?). There are very few pre-August 1914 J types built and even fewer post 1918 J types. I know absolutely nothing about the trading situation with Russia post Russian Revolution, but suspect there was very little, if any.
  5. On 22 September 1919, a deal was negotiated with the French Mission de l'Armament to be able to sell 750 lorries in France at 15% import tax instead of the normal 70% imposed by the French Government at the end of the war. Sales were held by 24 MT Vehicle Reception Park at Gennevilliers (formerly 1 Heavy Repair Shop) with the first one being on 27 November 1919. A total of 9 sales were held with the last one on 21 January 1920. 248 Thornycrofts were sold. 24 MT Vehicle Reception Park opened on 12 April 1919 when they took over all the vehicles held by 1 HRS, (which formally closed on 1 May 1919) and closed on 26 February 1920. Other makes sold through the sales included Swiss Bernas, Hallfords, Albions, Pagefield, Commers, Leylands, Halleys, Dennis, Wolseley but Thornycroft were by far the highest number.
  6. I'd read it like that Tommo, and shipped home through Havre probably to Avonmouth but quite possibly through Chepstow or Newport and then on to Slough.
  7. Could possibly be identification letters for the port they were leaving France through. "A" was Calais, "B" was Boulogne & "C" was Havre. Letters possible applied by the VRP as instruction for the RTO as to destination of the vehicle.
  8. I would be very surprised if Clayton supplied any chassis rails as spare parts. They would have been simply repaired by the ASC or the vehicle scrapped if beyond repair.
  9. Not an appraisal of the whole fleet, Doc, but a comment on Karriers. And only Karriers because 48 DSC had 15 with broken chassis. Actually it was 1916, but I hit the wrong button and got 15. I suspect it was an example used to inform the War Office that the lack of available spare parts was unacceptable as much as anything. Karriers were also a minority make, so may also been an attempt to not keep buying them. It's not from a report either, it is the War Diary of the Director of Transport, available from Kew. WO 95/71. Not too much about the lorries themselves but more about the organisation.
  10. Doc, nothing odd about the chassis breaking. It was the most common problem for all makers, lorry & car on the Western Front.
  11. War Office contract with Clayton was for 5 lorries per week from 17/10/14 at cost of £775 [£85,000 in 2019] each on a 6 week rolling contract. Clayton/Karrier wanted an increase of £25 [£2,443] per lorry in March 1915 which was refused and lorries continued to be supplied at original price until November 1917. The contract was then revised to increase the cost to £815 [£53,750] (amazing how the wars years affected the inflation calculations according to the Bank of England). In October 1921 Clayton/Karrier took the War Office to court for £24,875 [£1,157,603] which they believed was the money owed from March 1915 to November 1917. The outcome of the court case has yet to be discovered. In September 1915, the Director of Transport in France described Karriers as being ineffective due to lightweight chassis that kept breaking.
  12. I'm doubtful that it was requisitioned by the military. I've not come across any requisitioned cars and the War Office seem to have purchased cars outright from the start. It is possible that it belonged to an officer as, as Tony says, officers took their own cars just as the cavalry officers took their own horses. It may then have been 'taken over' by the military in France for maintenance and running costs. It may of course only been used in the UK as the military had huge numbers of lorries, cars etc for the home front. My feeling is that if (and its a very big if) that it ever went to France that it was with the original BEF. 'New' officers of companies formed as the BEF expanded would have used the car issued to whichever company they were with. In that case, its very unlikely to have been used as cars were being bought new and the Armstrong-Whitworth was 'non-standard', so would have been kept for the UK, unless somebody had taken it with the BEF as his own property. Having said all that, it is WW1 and that has a habit of throwing up bits of information that totally contradict anything and everything known so far. There was an Armstrong-Whitworth ambulance at Kempton Park disposal site in February 1919, but that has registration number AB 1401, (not WD number) so that only served on the home front. Fascinating project though and I look forward to seeing how progress goes.
  13. I've only come across Thresh sterilisers on Foden chassis. They travelled to villages/towns etc and stayed a few days while all the clothing was sterilised and moved on to the next village when done. They were also used at hospitals. All clothing was sterilised as often as possible, irrespective of whether for officers or rank and file.
  14. A friend in Italy is looking for a set of 10.50x16 tyres for an Austin K2. Any ideas or laughter appreciated. Thanks.
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