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First World War Battle Bus

07/07/2014

London Transport Museum has just unveiled its newly restored 1910 B-type bus (B2737), which served on Route 9 between Barnes and Liverpool Street. So far so mildly interesting, unless you’re a vintage-bus fan. However, this bus was also commandeered in 1914 and taken to the Western Front. Over 1,000 London buses served on the Western Front along with their drivers and mechanics, transporting troops to and from the battlefields and also acting as ambulances and mobile pigeon lofts.

London Transport Museum currently has an excellent exhibition – Goodbye Piccadilly: From Home Front to Western Front – looking at aspects of life at home during the First World War, particularly how London’s transport network was affected. I ran some text-writing workshops for its curators and helped to edit the text they produced, which is how I found out about their Battle Bus. And first saw this sad image of a wounded double-decker at the front.

Images courtesy of London Transport Museum

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