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British WW2 10 cwt GS Trailer


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Have just bought a mortar trailer ? ? (Square mudguards, rear tailgate, fixed front, and square tow hitch box) Pictures of which I will take and post as soon as the rain stops!

However, I am looking at getting new tyres for her, and noticed on the original black and white photo of trailers beside mortar crews in action, that the tyres seem to be more like Avon Traction tyres rather than the favoured Avon Tourist civvie looking ones seen on most restored trailers. Any info on what to get would be great.

Also looking for a few cleats for her, let me know if you have any tucked away!

Cheers,

Sean.

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I've just acquired a Mortar trailer to tow behind the Loyd Carrier.  Its reasonably complete but has no cleats, I see mention of getting new ones cast, did that happen and are any still available?  I

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Thanks for that Wolfy,I have been trying to find out if the tailgate and front panel are correct, so that I can simply swap them directly or if they need any changes making to get them correct. I haven't found a photo that makes it clear

With this hitch, would you happen to know the manufacturer and would that make it a mk1 or 2? Do you have a link to the manual?

sorry loads of questions!!

Cheers,

Sean.

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Yes its a mortar trailer, the tailboards have been swapped.

 

The hitch you have is original and a very rare variant, it appears in the manuals if you look closely.

 

Don't necessarily rush to that conclusion Carleton. It could quite simply be a GS.

 

The trailer that we have comes from a mixed contract of GS and Mortar trailers. Oddly it has an opening headboard AND opening tailboard. I think that it is a Mortar variant that has been modified because there are signs of conversion at the rear and after all a trailer being used in the GS role would not be a lot of use with a moveable headboard only.

 

There are number of possible explanations for having the both ends moveable. A programme of retrospective REME type modification changing Mortar trailers for GS use or even changes to the balance of Mortar to GS trailers in the contract and modification by the manufacturers before delivery took place. One clue to the role of the pictured trailer might be if there are any signs internally of the mortar or ammunition fittings.

 

Absolutely dead right about the hitch though,I've not seen a survivor before and I'd be interested to know if the internal diameter of this fabricated hitch is larger than the earlier type as fitted to the No 1 trailers with the seperate arms or the same as the cast type fitted to the No 2.

Edited by David B.
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Also looking for a few cleats for her, let me know if you have any tucked away!

Cheers,

Sean.

 

I also need some cleats for my 10cwt GS.

 

I'm not averse to getting thing made - finding people who can do such things is all part of the fun. I've had some wheelnuts manufactured and a replacement body for the first type of hitch (the one used when there are separate handles on the neck) is currently being made as are replacement front and rear raves, front handles etc. Incidentally have you noticed that the rear corner raves are made up from two pieces of the same dimensions to ease fabrication and shaped after welding together

 

Does anyone know how the cleats were made - I have a feeling it was smithed - with a piece of round bar forged onto a piece of flat bar for the base and then the round bar bent to form the hook. If I can find the way they were manufactured it will be easy to get some reproduced.

 

Returning to the hitch - at either end there seems to be a tube that locks the bearing in situ and also acts as a grease channel down into the bearing from the grease nipples at either end - are these still available or is it something else to be manufactured?

 

Thanks

 

sk

Edited by simon king
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Hello fellas,

Just measured the interior diameter of the hitch ring and it looks like 2 3/4" inches..

 

 

Hello Sean,

 

Could that measurement be 2 13/16 inches ? The later No 2 trailers which is what yours is had the tow hitch/eye of this internal diameter fitted as standard in order to be compatible with the standard WD tow hook. The earlier 2 inch id eye would only have fitted the early 15 cwt pin and pintle.

 

The earlier No 1 trailers also had their hitches retrospectively changed for the later type ,either the cast body or the fabricated type as yours is, thus enabling them to be towed by the later 15 cwt trucks with a standard WD hook. About the largest compatible towing truck with a standard hook seems to have been the Bedford OY as the three ton 4x4 truck's tow hook would have been too high in theory.

 

Anyway, nice trailer , are there any holes within the body which might have been mortar or ammunition fittings ? If not, it would have certainly been a GS variant. I can give you a little information about manufacturers and contract numbers if you wish but do have a good look for a makers plate.

 

all the best,

David.

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Hi David,

 

Just had another look at the ring diameter, I think you are right, a bit hard to get it dead on as I can't find my callipers though, as long as I can get it on the Jeep I'll be happy!

 

Here are a few more pics this time showing the interior, no holes, but some ageing marks on the wood planking. Has the woodwork already been replaced I wonder? There are a few square headed nuts on the wood fixings which I presume are not original.. if you had a couple of pics showing fixings at the tailgate etc that would be great reference.

 

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There is also a line of moulding to the top edge of one level of the planks which runs all the around on all four sides including the tailgate, you can see this in pic 4. hmm..

 

I am now finding the areas of rot on the trailer ,I will post more pics and see what you think. I also have slightly different front vertical corner posts ...so some previous repair done on that I think.

 

As far as the the cleats go, I was looking at them today, I thought they were cast but not sure? I am going to take one off and try my local elderly hardware shop owner first, see if he's got any under the counter, you never know!

 

By the way who would be recommended for the canvas cover, I spoke to John at Worthings and he wasn't too familiar with these trailers and is also extremely busy, eta after War and Peace.

 

Cheers,

Sean

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Hi David,

 

There are a few square headed nuts on the wood fixings which I presume are not original.

 

By the way who would be recommended for the canvas cover, I spoke to John at Worthings and he wasn't too familiar with these trailers and is also extremely busy, eta after War and Peace.

 

Cheers,

Sean

 

I think the square head nuts may be original - certainly the "record shots" of 10 cwt GS trailers I have show square nuts throughout. My GS trailer has the same spring hanger castings as yours so is probably from the same manufacturer and had a few remaining square nuts as well.

 

John did some canvas for my 10cwt GS about a month ago - apparently they weren't "tailored" - just a flat piece of canvas with numerous eyelets and double thickness of canvas at the wear areas on front and rear corner raves. For the GS the Data Book of Wheeled Vehicles says that the canvas is deep enough in the sides for the trailer to be loaded 6" above the top rail.

 

Another interesting difference - I always thought that the mudguard supports were bolted to the centre raves on Mortar trailers - but they seem welded on your example.

 

sk

Edited by simon king
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Not rushing anything, it has a mortar handbrake and mortar mudguards for starters. Unless someones gone to the bother of dressing up a GS trailer many yars ago which is extremely unlikely. Enjoy the trailer it looks very solid.

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001.jpg I found my mortar trailer in 1986 and quickly established that there was not much information around at the time and that most people did not know what it was. I restored it to running condition around that time but it is now the next project after my Norton 16H. there appears to be more information available now, especially regarding the types of wood used and the construction. I could only base my restoration on what I was replacing and that has proved wrong judging by the current information to hand. My towing eye is also a mystery - it has the larger ring (as for 15cwt trucks) but a strange housing. The hand grips are welded to the chassis bar which suggests an earlier towing mechanism. Also what purpose do the three metal projections under the rear of the trailer serve? they appear to be original and not later additions. The photos are not the best as the trailer is buried in my garage at the moment but I will try and find some others that I have taken over the years. I have taken the trailer to many events over the years, (Normandy, W&P, Pas de Calais Libere, etc) so you may well have seen it around - if so, nobody has ever pointed out any errors in my 'rebuild'!!was. I restored it to running condition around that time but it is now the next project after my Norton 16H. there appears to be more information available now, especially regarding the types of wood used and the construction. I could only base my restoration on what I was replacing and that has proved wrong judging by the current information to hand. My towing eye is also a mystery - it has the larger ring (as for 15cwt trucks) but a strange housing. The hand grips are welded to the chassis bar which suggests an earlier towing mechanism. Also what purpose do the three metal projections under the rear of the trailer serve? they appear to be original and not later additions. The photos are not the best as the trailer is buried in my garage at the moment but I will try and find some others that I have taken over the years. I have taken the trailer to many events over the years, (Normandy, W&P, Pas de Calais Libere, etc) so you may well have seen it around - if so, nobody has ever pointed out any errors in my 'rebuild'!!

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My towing eye is also a mystery - it has the larger ring (as for 15cwt trucks) but a strange housing. The hand grips are welded to the chassis bar which suggests an earlier towing mechanism. QUOTE]

 

Without seeing much of your trailer I believe it to be an earlier No 1 type with the tow hitch separate from the lifting handles. These were often retrospectively replaced with the larger diameter eye and handles mounted integrally with the tow hitch body fitted as standard on the No 2 trailers. I'm not familiar with your tow hitch type though.

 

What is your body like and what shape are the mudguards ?

Edited by David B.
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Mudguards are angled, body is typically mortar trailer with forward facing drop side. Even the badly rusted data plate says that it is a mortar trailer (OE... Orme Evans) - I will try and sort out some old photos soon. My originals of the condition when I found it are severely water damaged unfortunately

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Mudguards are angled, body is typically mortar trailer with forward facing drop side. Even the badly rusted data plate says that it is a mortar trailer (OE... Orme Evans) - I will try and sort out some old photos soon. My originals of the condition when I found it are severely water damaged unfortunately

 

OK Tony - I may stand to be corrected. I associate the lifting handle brackets mounted on the draw bar as being the typical of the No 1 trailer. This is the case with the Reynolds and SS made No1s for example but they have rounded mudguards which I also believed to be the shape of all No1 models regardless of manufacturer.

 

If you have the census number or contract number of your Orme Evans still legible on the data plate, I should be able to tell if it was constructed as a No1 or No2 trailer and whether therefore, by inference the brackets welded to the drawbar are original. Our Orme Evans (with angled mudguards and lifting arms integral with the tow hitch ) was made under contract S4302 a mixed contract for almost 2000 No2 GS and Mortar trailers numbered X5421421 - X5423417 .

David.

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I agree with you David on the handles and mudguards.

 

Tony good find! Your hitch housing is a standard post war Bradley doublelock type used on many trailers and caravans and still going in revised form, it does the job though :cheesy:

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The chassis no. is SOE 7175 and the WD no. is X5422735. I have found negatives to all my pre-restoration photo that were water damaged - I now have to get them turned into prints & hopefully I can sort out some post 'restoration ' photos over the weekend

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I agree with you David on the handles and mudguards.

 

Tony good find! Your hitch housing is a standard post war Bradley doublelock type used on many trailers and caravans and still going in revised form, it does the job though :cheesy:

 

 

I'm glad that you have identified the hitch Carleton,it's a new one on me.

 

Tony - your trailer is definitely from the same contract as ours which would place it quite late on.1944/45 at least.Looking again at your picture of the drawbar,the welded-on brackets do look different to the No1 trailer and I would think that they are a modification,probably contemporary to the fitting of your tow hitch. If you wanted to be correct,they should come off and an (expensive) cast hitch fitted of the type which we spent ages to find ,see early on in this thread. Have a word with John Corden or Ian Litchfield who may have spares.

David.

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I'm glad that you have identified the hitch Carleton,it's a new one on me.

 

Tony - your trailer is definitely from the same contract as ours which would place it quite late on.1944/45 at least.Looking again at your picture of the drawbar,the welded-on brackets do look different to the No1 trailer and I would think that they are a modification,probably contemporary to the fitting of your tow hitch. If you wanted to be correct,they should come off and an (expensive) cast hitch fitted of the type which we spent ages to find ,see early on in this thread. Have a word with John Corden or Ian Litchfield who may have spares.

David.

 

David, I would be surprised if the tow handles were a later modification - they certainly appear original. However, this has got me into the mood for restoring the trailer again and so I am after a few pieces of information: has anybody got a photo of a mortar trailer data plate............I have one for a GS trailer and a lightweight airborne trailer but my mortar trailer plate is too damaged to make out all the lettering? Also, I asked before, does anybody know what the three downward projections from the rear of the chassis are for? Some of the blame for getting me started on this must lay at the door of John Corden so if I need a replacement towing hitch no doubt he will let me have his spare at a very reasonable price!!!!!!!!!!!

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David, I would be surprised if the tow handles were a later modification - they certainly appear original. However, this has got me into the mood for restoring the trailer again and so I am after a few pieces of information: has anybody got a photo of a mortar trailer data plate............I have one for a GS trailer and a lightweight airborne trailer but my mortar trailer plate is too damaged to make out all the lettering? Also, I asked before, does anybody know what the three downward projections from the rear of the chassis are for? Some of the blame for getting me started on this must lay at the door of John Corden so if I need a replacement towing hitch no doubt he will let me have his spare at a very reasonable price!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Hello Tony,

 

As you have said before,there has been very little information about on these trailers and although we have had to suspend work on ours I've spent a few idle moments trying to do a little research on them. By correlating some of the existing facts I have made a few deductions which may or may not be correct.

 

Specifically - I think all the No 1 trailers had the lifting arms pivoting on brackets welded to the tow bar and the different type of hitch illustrated earlier in this thread (without the integrally mounted lifting arms) Pictures I have seen of these earlier trailers of whichever maker seem to bear this out and the illustrations in the trailer Parts List and The Data Book of Wheeled Vehicles also support that supposition.

I'm happy to stand corrected and I have to say that your brackets look right ,but that would fly in the face of the fact that your chassis number and other characteristics are those of a No 2 trailer which did not have such brackets but which does have a chassis number in the same contract as ours which is confirmed as a No 2 GS by the steel ID plate which we have.

 

Incidentally your chassis/census details together with ours points to a sequential relationship between chassis and X number and so another Orme Evans chassis number should enable you to calculate the census or X number.

 

All of this says to me that there is a long way to go to document and prove any information which at the moment is lacking on these little workhorses. I'm happy to try and keep this info together,if by the provision of other proven information or photos supplied by other owners the facts could be illustrated.

Could we start with other owners observations on the lifting arm question and go from there ?

 

I will say I don't want to get too anal about all this,after all its only something to cart the tent about or or to put the beer in and tow behind the Jeep or 15cwt . I am happy to share any info that I have and if it is all proven step by step the information would usefully fill a gap in trailer knowledge.

Regards,

David.

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so if I need a replacement towing hitch no doubt he will let me have his spare at a very reasonable price!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Evening Anthony,

The one on Ebay recently was for £299............so "very reasonable" would be £250. Ok?

 

If we drag the trailer out of your shed next month, I'll take some clear photos for this thread. We can then have a close look at the welding of the handles and whether the Bradley hitch body fits the orignal holes in the chassis or whether there are other signs of the conversion.

 

Also, you didn't answer the earlier question about what state your body was in. Think we should know.

 

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I hope some of these photos showing detail on my trailer are of use.

First shows the half moon cut out on the hinge bracket.

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The next two are of the catch parts which are located on the rear of the trailer, the small post has nut on the back to secure it. Is this common to rear opening trailers?

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Here is another view of the towing hitch, is this specific to a manufacturer that any one knows of?

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These two central posts are angle iron, unlike the other uprights which have a rounded pressed corner.

They also look much newer! They are welded on.

 

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Detail of the fixing bracket for the mudguards

 

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Next shows the two front corner posts, the left one has been altered/repaired with angle iron.

The right one shows the hole for the catch post to go through if the trailer had a front opening gate.

 

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Some of the corrosion to trailer, it appears pretty bad and a local welder looked doubtful!

 

 

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Those vertical brackets are on mine too, what are they for??

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Corner hoop detail, with more rust....

 

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Quick couple of questions for anyone who can advise me,

The wooden planking on all the sides of my trailer were T and G'ed is that usual?

Has anyone got the widths of the floor planking and how were they fixed? Were they T&G'ed too?

 

Well if anyone can definitely match these details to a makers name that would be great, at the moment Orme Evans seems to be possible, you may know better.....

 

Cheers,

Sean.

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here are some of the identifying features from my No1 GS trailer - manufacturer unknown

 

Spring mounts - cast not welded

IMG_1852.jpg

 

support leg fittings -pins not screws

IMG_1854.jpg

 

front handle mounts -curved rear edge and angle iron construction - position of other fittings also differs

IMG_1849.jpg

 

mudguard supports

IMG_1846.jpg

 

The hitch is currently away being used as a pattern for a couple to be made but its the first type "girder and tube" construction. It has the larger eye though. There also seem to be differences in the construction of the handles with just plain tubes or the ends shut off. My trailer also has the three tabs (well, two and a stub actually) underneath the frame at the back.

 

Other pointers - hinge pins for tailgate both point same way.

 

Hope this is all grist to the mill......

 

SK

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so if I need a replacement towing hitch no doubt he will let me have his spare at a very reasonable price!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Evening Anthony,

The one on Ebay recently was for £299............so "very reasonable" would be £250. Ok?

 

If we drag the trailer out of your shed next month, I'll take some clear photos for this thread. We can then have a close look at the welding of the handles and whether the Bradley hitch body fits the orignal holes in the chassis or whether there are other signs of the conversion.

 

Also, you didn't answer the earlier question about what state your body was in. Think we should know.

 

John,

To answer you last question first, my body is fairly rotund (as you know) but the trailer is rather tatty. I will be pulling it (the trailer) out this weekend and taking several photos to show relevant features (again, the trailer) and hopefully I will have a set of photos in about 10 days from the negatives I took when I first got the trailer in 1986. There are about 12 so they should be a fairly comprehensive selection. I seem to remember that my original timber was t&g but as it differed from other timber sections shown in photos in this forum (such as the top strakes running around the sides) I do not know how original it was. Another thought regarding the towing handles and the census number sequencing.....what if my trailer was an early production but not released to the war office until later (when it would have received it's number). I am still hoping somebody has a mortar trailer plate. I am trying to replicate one but I do not know how correct it is.

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Another thought - all these years I have assumed that my trailer was a mortar trailer but I suppose it could also have been a trailer, 10-CWT., 2-Wheeled, G.S., No.2 which, according to the ID list for these trailers was identical except for the interior fittings. Would the census number identify this? I do not know if this also applies to the tyre size as my trailer definitely has (and had) the larger tyres fitted to the 6 stud wheel rim. This is becoming worrying - am I turning into an anorak?

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