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WW2 20cwt Water trailer/bowser restoration

Ian L

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On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2020 at 7:14 PM, TankNutUK said:

Email sent to you Ian.

Hi Alan.

It was you that posted the photos of the straps as I have just found the post on the internet. 'Quote'

'This is a particularly obscure piece of militaria and took some detective work to identify, however it is these little puzzles and the learning of new things that I love so much about collecting! My thanks got to Alan Tanknut for his research and for supplying the diagram above'


Now I need to find a pair of 1 1/2" X 32" leather belts with similar buckles. 

Bowser strap 1.png

Bowser strap 2.png

bowser strap 3.png

bowser strap 4.png

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1 Ton 180 gallon Bowser behind a Jeep. The Canadian trailer was different in detail in almost everyway but does look the same from 10' away.  

The main difference was 9.00x16 wheels/tyres rather than the British trailer which had the larger 9.00x20 wheels.

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A few conversations recently have got us thinking about a suitable trailer to restore to go behind our 30cwt Commer GS truck.

I am just sort of dipping my toe in the water regards trailers really, I have had a good look round at different types and both my Son and I are quite keen on finding a Bowser, rare I know but its something to aim for.

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There was a nice set of spares for water bowser for sale on one of the FB groups. The seller stated post-war, but in my opinion the strainer and float are the same pattern as WWII. Unfortunately someone was faster then me and the set sold. The seller was kind enough to send me some pictures with a messure of the above items and was ok for me to share these. I wonder if the mag and the scoop are WWII pattern for water purrifying chemicals?





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It was me who bought the bowser bits …

Firstly they are all unused and post was but…

The float has is canvas balsa wood (far too light for it to be cork), and has an original label “On Her Britannic Majesty’s Service” [thus Queen Elizabeth II], the design is virtually the same as late WW2 versions

The strainer again has the same dimensions as a WW2 one.  I have seen (what I think is an actual WW2 one) and there are some subtle differences, but this may be down to different manufacturer.  The WW2 closure mechanism has small clips either side of the aperture for the ball/pipe strainer and the base is riveted before being galvanised, the hinge is also a different size. Either way you will never be able to tell the difference





The jug with the lip on again is a similar design, I have only ever seen one photo of a WW2 one, which appears to have a smaller lip. This was used to fill the meta/stellar filters with Kieselguhr Filter Powder


The scoop is like a standard animal feed scoop made of aluminum, don’t think that this is actually bowser related and is not show in the “stores” list.

The tank cleaning brush and meta/stellar filter cleaning brush are again post war, but I can’t really see the design changing very much


If anyone needs some more detailed photos/dimensions just PM me






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