Category Archives: Director’s Blog

Battle Bus: Going back to the Somme

Last week the Museum team made a reconnaissance visit to the Somme to plan out the route for our First World War ‘Battle Bus’ (B2737),  which will be revisiting for the centenary of the Battle of the Somme next year. We worked our way down the rolling hills of the Somme following the jumping off points of the opening attack on 1st July 1916.

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B2737 at the Menin Gate, September 2014

Our mission south from Gommecourt to Marincourt was to identify points of departure and arrival for the bus – villages with space to park the mobile display vehicle and offer short trips on the bus and key points at which we could understand what happened one hundred years ago. For example, in the Sunken Lane beneath the Redan Ridge we could arrive by bus, see shots of the ’Battle of the Somme’ film with soldiers in the lane waiting for the attack and the mine being exploded under the Hawthorn Redoubt, read personal accounts from individual soldiers and get a sense of the lie of the land. What was harder to work with was the contrast between the leafy rural landscape today and the blasted and dangerous trenched landscape of 1916. At key points the photographs and diaries help piece together what was the worst single day for the British Army, with over 60,000 casualties sustained.

This was brought home poignantly to us when we attended the reinterrment of three soldiers whose bodies were uncovered recently by road works. After 99 years, these three men, two unknown, one from the Royal Irish Rifles, another from the Cambridgeshire Regiment, and the third identified from his dog tag as Sergeant David Harkness Blakey MM of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, had lost their lives in the attack on Thiepval on 1st July 1916 were buried with full military honours in the CWGC Connaught cemetery. In warm autumn sunshine, surrounded by their families, local dignitaries, current members of their regiments, and with the respect of a fusillade, the Last Post and a piper’s lament, they were finally laid to rest alongside so many of their comrades who had also lost their lives on that dreadful morning so long ago.

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Connaught cemetery, October 2015

Our bus tour next year will culminate in the centenary commemoration at the Thiepval Memorial on 1st July. Lutyens’ striking arch commemorates the 72,195 soldiers who have no known burial on the Somme. We are honoured to be included in the official commemoration and look forward to our bus and exhibition offering a fresh insight on a key national story.

Sam Mullins, London Transport Museum Director

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1920: King George V and Ole Bill

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King George V in conversation with Lord Ashfield, chairman of the ‘Combine’, with ‘Ole Bill’ driven by James Melton and veterans in the background

This weekend has seen a host of special events commemorating the sacrifices of those made during the First World War, culminating with Remembrance Sunday today. In a series of posts leading up to this event our Director Sam Mullins takes a look at what life in London was like following the war – the beginnings of  Armistice Day, the role of commemoration and the significant contribution made by London’s Transport workers.

In February 1920, a group of LGOC drivers from the Middle Row garage, Kensal Green, who had seen service overseas as drivers were presented, with their B type bus B43, to King George V at Buckingham Palace.  This momentous event was reported in the staff magazine:

“His Majesty shook hands with the men and had a friendly talk with them as His Majesty shook hands with the men and had a friendly talk with them as he passed down the line when they formed up for inspection, and afterwards examined the ‘bus. He remarked that this was the first time he had boarded an omnibus, although he had travelled before on a tramcar of the L.C.C. …There was an appreciative crowd outside the Palace to cheer the old ‘bus and its gallant passengers as they left.”

The bus’s appearance was recorded in a Pathé newsreel, and “thrown on the screen at many picture theatres”.

B43 had been built by AEC at Walthamstow for the LGOC in 1911 and ran on the 8 and 25 routes out of Mortlake garage until requisitioned by the War Department and sent to France in September 1914. Driven by volunteer drivers who joined up, the bus did a huge mileage carrying troops and supplies up to the line and bringing back wounded soldiers. In 1919 it was repurchased by the LGOC and first put back into emergency service still in khaki and then in red to Dalston on the 8 and 9 routes. By the time it was presented to the King, B43 had acquired a small bronze plaque commemorating its passage through the war:

1914 – Antwerp, 1915 – Ypres, 1916 – Ancre, 1917 – Somme, 1918 – Amiens, 1919 – Home

To mark this special occasion, the bus was decorated and became a mobile war memorial. A brass shell was mounted on the dashboard, ornate brass plates for the numbers on the bonnet sides and a brass bust of ‘Ole Bill, the cartoon figure created by Bruce Bairnsfather, formed the radiator cap. This association with the hugely popular cartoon character was to rapidly give the bus its nickname of ‘Ole Bill, commonly but incorrectly rendered as Old Bill. The title was derived from Bairnsfather’s first cartoon of two Tommies under fire in a shell hole, Bill saying to his companion, ‘If you knows of a better ‘ole, Go to it!’

B43 had been given a new body and overhauled for the Palace in 1920. Battle honours were added to the windows – Antwerp, Ypres, Ancre and Somme – before being handed over to the Auxiliary Omnibus Companies Association. The veterans used it for parades and funerals. At the King’s behest, the bus and veterans from Underground and the General took part in the first Armistice Day parade from 1920. These accounts are from the staff magazine ‘Train, Omnibus, Tram’ in the 1920s:

LGOC veterans march with ‘Ole Bill in the Armistice day parade of 1923
LGOC veterans march with ‘Ole Bill in the Armistice day parade of 1923

After many years in the service of remembrance, ‘Ole Bill was retired to the Imperial War Museum in 1970. Back on home ground, this venerable bus is currently on loan to London Transport Museum and plays a central part in the current ‘Goodbye Piccadilly’ exhibition on London in World War One.

Related events and exhibitions

Battle Bus
On Saturday the Museum’s ‘Battle Bus’ appeared in the Lord Mayor’s Show, representing Transport for London. Today marchers and spectators in the Remembrance Sunday parade will also have a chance to see the Battle Bus on display in Parliament Square from 9am to around 3pm.

Exhibition and Symposium
If you want to find out more about the First World War you can visit our current exhibition Goodbye Piccadilly: From Home Front to Western Front, on until March 2015, or attend our Symposium 1914–1918 from Home Front to Western Front on Saturday 15 November which explores the themes of the exhibition in more depth.

1919: Battered War Buses back in service

This weekend will see a host of special events commemorating the sacrifices of those made during the First World War, culminating with Remembrance Sunday on 9 November. In a series of posts leading up to this event our Director Sam Mullins takes a look at what life in London was like following the war – the beginnings of  Armistice Day, the role of commemoration and the significant contribution made by London’s Transport workers.

Less than a quarter of the 1,185 buses sent overseas by the War Department returned to London. At the end of the war, the capital was short of petrol, drivers and buses. Battered surviving buses were slowly released by the War Department as they returned from overseas, vehicles which had served at home were refitted with bodies which had been in store and the final batch of B-types was completed in April 1919.

LGOC staff inspect a B-type bus
LGOC staff inspect a B-type bus returned from the front, December 1919

250 buses returned from overseas service. They were judged substandard for conveying passengers but shortages of materials for new vehicles led them being pressed back into service in May 1919 as ‘Traffic Emergency’ buses. They were repainted in army khaki with the ‘General’ logo painted in white on the side. Pre-war bus chassis were also returned to service with timber bodies as lorry buses. Licensing regulations were relaxed to permit these temporary solutions to London’s depleted bus fleet.

Lorry Bus at Victoria, summer 1919
Lorry Bus at Victoria, summer 1919; a lorry chassis with crude wooden bus body and rear staircase, running a service from Victoria to Liverpool Street

Related events and exhibitions

Battle Bus
On Saturday the Museum’s ‘Battle Bus’ will appear in the Lord Mayor’s Show, representing Transport for London. On Sunday marchers and spectators in the Remembrance Day parade will also have a chance to see the Battle Bus on display in Parliament Square from 9am to around 3pm.

Exhibition and Symposium
If you want to find out more about the First World War you can visit our current exhibition Goodbye Piccadilly: From Home Front to Western Front, on until March 2015, or attend our Symposium 1914–1918 from Home Front to Western Front on Saturday 15 November which explores the themes of the exhibition in more depth.

1919: The first anniversary of peace

This weekend will see a host of special events commemorating the sacrifices of those made during the First World War, culminating with Remembrance Sunday on 9 November. In a series of posts leading up to this event our Director Sam Mullins takes a look at what life in London was like following the war – the beginnings of  Armistice Day, the role of commemoration and the significant contribution made by London’s Transport workers.

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Underground poster for Armistice Day 1928

The First World War finally ended with an armistice between the combatants on 11 November 1918. LGOC conductress Lesley Davis remembered driving past Waltham Cross depot that day; ‘the inspectors ran and out and yelled, ‘It’s been signed!’. Women came rushing forward and kissed the drivers. Others started crying because they remembered their lost sons or husbands.’[i] 1,429 Underground Group employees and 803 from the London General Omnibus Company had lost their lives. The capital was exhausted by the four years of war and recovery was slow.

From the beginning of November 1918, it had become clear that victory was in sight. The Lord Mayor’s Show on 9 November 1918 included 400 captured German guns and that evening it was announced that the Kaiser had abdicated. Although a large Victory March involving 15,000 Commonwealth troops and captured German tanks, guns and aircraft was held in May 1919, the capital’s mood shifted rapidly from celebration to commemoration. For the Victory Parade of July 1919, architect Edward Lutyens was commissioned to design a temporary Cenotaph built in wood and plaster for Whitehall as a tribute to the fallen. This temporary Centotaph formed the centrepiece of the first Armistice Day on 11 November 1919, as reported by the Manchester Guardian:

“The first stroke of eleven produced a magical effect. The train cars glided into stillness, motors ceased to cough and fume and stopped dead…. Someone took off his hat, and with a nervous hesitancy the rest of the men bowed their heads also. Here and there an old soldier could be detected slipping unconsciously into the posture of attention. An elderly woman, not far away, wiped her eyes and the man beside her looked white and stern. Everyone stood very still. The hush deepened… It was a silence which was almost pain. And the spirit of memory brooded over it all.”

The outpouring of emotion generated at the first anniversary of peace led to the temporary Cenotaph being rebuilt permanently in Portland stone and dedicated at Armistice Day in November 1920. The ceremony that year, reported by the Times, has been followed every year since:

“…the great multitude bowed its head….People held their breath less they should be heard in the stillness… A woman’s shriek rose and fell and rose again, until the silence bore down once more.

The silence stretched on until, suddenly, acute, shattering, the very voice of pain itself – but pain triumphant – rose the clear notes of the bugles in The Last Post…

The ceremony of dedication of the Cenotaph was very sombre, heightened by the presence of the gun carriage bearing the coffin of an Unknown Warrior.”[ii]

[i] Miss Lesley Davis, LTM Box B650, LT News, no.119, p.5
[ii] Manchester Guardian, 12 November 1919

Related events and exhibitions

Battle Bus
On Saturday the Museum’s ‘Battle Bus’ will appear in the Lord Mayor’s Show, representing Transport for London. On Sunday marchers and spectators in the Remembrance Day parade will also have a chance to see the Battle Bus on display in Parliament Square from 9am to around 3pm.

Exhibition and Symposium
If you want to find out more about the First World War you can visit our current exhibition Goodbye Piccadilly: From Home Front to Western Front, on until March 2015, or attend our Symposium 1914–1918 from Home Front to Western Front on Saturday 15 November which explores the themes of the exhibition in more depth.

Battle Bus: Driving in the Somme

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Our Battle Bus tour to Ypres and the Somme has been blessed with mostly good weather but the occasional downpour has given us just a hint of the difficulties drivers would have faced one hundred years ago. The Commercial Motor Magazine published a series of ‘Despatches from the Front’ during the war and no.68 of 23 December 1915 – ‘Worst Possible conditions for Driving’ – illustrates the difficulties our predecessors encountered:

“Although I have been here over 12 months and been on the road almost every day – and a good many nights – of that time I have never seen the roads so bad as they were one day last week. The mud had accumulated…and formed a thick covering over the pave (cobbled surface). During the night we had a terrible hard frost which continued the whole of the day and the pave roads that day were so treacherous to motor traffic as to make the drivers who had to use them tremble with anxiety. One never knew what antic the car would be up to the next moment.”

Battle Bus in the Somme, September 2014
Battle Bus in the Somme, September 2014
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Battle Bus in Bouzincourt, then and now

“If these pave roads were flat, driving would be easy enough, or not be any more difficult than  would be in London on a bad day, but the roads rise so high in the centre that when one has to go off the crown of the road, the car develops a wicked desire to get itself well into the ditch…To touch one’s brakes was disastrous, and to attempt a high speed madness.”

“I like most of the general public was always of the opinion that most of the accidents were the fault of the bus driver, due to want of driving experience. Actual experience of B26 driving a London bus out here has proved the error of my views…I maintain that on certain days in London a bus driver, has absolutely no control over his vehicle on some parts of the road.”

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B-type bus carrying Indian troops. Date and location unknown

Ian Read, Richard Hussey and Tim Shields done a great job driving the bus in modern traffic conditions but admittedly they were not faced with shellfire, horse traffic or even frost.  We have had to plan round low bridges, avoid busy roads and even occasionally lop overhanging tree branches. The magneto has been replaced following misfiring but otherwise B2737 and it’s drivers have taken it all in their stride. We continue to have only admiration for the B-type drivers who worked under such difficulties on the pave of Flanders and the Somme a century ago.

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The story of London’s busmen at the front is also told in our new book by Dr William Ward, Ole Bill – Londons Buses and the First World War.

Reflections on the Front

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Battle Bus in the Somme, September 2014

Our Battle Bus is proving to be a powerful flux for the emotions surrounding the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. As we drove out of the Menin Gate after the moving Last Post ceremony, the crowds gave the bus a round of applause and wherever we have been we get cheers and waves and people keen to climb up to the top deck.

VIDEO via BBC
Battle Bus retraces battle routes through Ypres

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A group of children ride on the top deck on the Battle Bus in Place des Héros, Arras

The First World War exerts a uniquely strong emotional tug for us Britains. The carnage had a doleful impact on almost every family and every town and village in the country. Everyone can cite a personal connection with it but only in the cemeteries and scattered monuments can we make a physical connection with the terrible events of a century ago.

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Entrance to Tyne Cot Cemetery, September 2014

Then this familiar object hoves into view, the distinctive shape of the B-type bus, a moving, clattering noisy survivor from the war, it’s usual red livery and shiny glass dulled and made a little forbidding by being boarded up and painted khaki green all over. Battle Bus makes that connection with a past that there is no one left to remember .

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Battle Bus in the Somme, September 2014

During the War, the convoys of buses also struck a familiar chord with the hard pressed soldier approaching the front line. In her book, Somme (1983), Lynn Macdonald quotes an interview with a soldier who had fought in the great battle of the Somme in 1916:

“It was the first time the Riflemen had not had to march. The buses arrived at ten o’clock in the evening of 5 July. There were twenty of them to transport the Battalion, and they had seen better days since they trundled around the peacetime streets of London, shiny and red and cheerfully noisy. They were still noisy, and here and there, where the drab khaki of their wartime paint was chipped, a glint of red still hinted at the days when they had plied along Oxford Street, travelled north of Kilburn or honked through Piccadilly and South to Kensington. The windows were boarded up but miraculously on some the conductors bell was still functioning…as the boys clambered aboard, one wag inevitably positioned himself on the platform and rang the bell. ‘Do you stop at the Savoy?’ It was the old joke Joe Hoyles couldn’t resist asking. ‘No Sir’ the ‘conductor’ was familiar with the old chestnut, ‘can’t afford it. Did you say a twopenny one sir? Comes cheaper if you take a return’. But for one in three of the boys it would be a one-way ticket.” [1]

[1] Macdonald, Lynn (1983) Somme, pp.90-93, quoting Captain J Hoyles, MM, no.3237, 13th (S) Battalion, The Rifle Brigade, 5 July 1916.

web-events-olebill

The story of London’s busmen at the front is also told in our new book by Dr William Ward, Ole Bill – Londons Buses and the First World War.

Battle Bus: Retracing the steps of William Mahony

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It’s a quiet day today as Battle Bus moves south to Arras and the Somme. Our experiences of driving the bus around Ypres have already given us a greater respect for our First World War predecessors. A remarkable account is that of William Mahony, who volunteered in April 1915 aged 18 and was enlisted in the Army Service Corps. He was trained at Grove Park by LGOC instructors and by mid September was in France serving around Ypres.

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Wreck of a B-type Daimler bus at St Eloi, France. The bus was damaged by shell fire during service as a troop carrier in France, only two weeks after leaving Willesden Bus Garage.

His diary, published in 2011 as The experiences of William Mahony 1897-1963 during the Great War* are a vivid account of the life of the bus driver on the western Front. In April 1916 he was teamed up with Bill Rance, a London bus man who had been out since September 1914. In May 1916 he was bringing troops into the line for the Battle of St. Eloi, the site of Bus House Cemetery;

“Suddenly there was a terrific roar…the guns had fired simultaneously, the battle started. We climbed on top of the bus to watch the attack some two miles away but there were too many pieces of metal flying about so we came into the bus and peeped out of the window…by 9.30 the battle quieted down a bit and wounded began to arrive. These we took to Poperinghe repeatedly, returned for more.

With the German guns having a range of 5-8 miles, even well behind the line the transport convoys were not safe. On one occasion, the convoy arrived in Vlamertinge – “most of us had shell marks on our buses then “bang crash, nearly on us, nine men killed and 40 wounded only 50 yards away. My engine would not start so we had to stay and repair it with shells pouring around us…but we drove fast to miss shell holes, home what a relief, thirty infantrymen killed on top of our buses.”

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British troops board modified B-type buses at Arras, May 1917. The windows of the lower decks of the buses have been completely obscured by wooden planking, which was also added to the upper deck.

Much of the work close to the Front was of necessity only possible at night to avoid the convoy being spotted and shelled. Narrow, slippery roads, the cobblestones or paving difficult to negotiate and with inadequate headlights, just staying on the road was a challenge, let alone finding your way.  In September Mahony was working at Croix du Bac;

“we were actually on the road 18 hours a day and I must admit that towards the end of the week we almost prayed that our stock of petrol would run out. We has hardly time to wash and had most of our meals while the bus was on the run, relieving each other to drive…we were not allowed to have our lights on within 5 miles of the line or sound our horns within 2 miles of the line.”

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Extract from TOT (Train Omnibus Tram) Magazine showing some of the stories of Busmen on the Battlefield, January 1915

At Christmas 1916, he draws the short straw and is detailed to drive a Royal Engineers band around to entertain towns and villages behind the line. Frost had caused his radiator to leak and boil over and then the fan belt broke; “I tied my braces around the fan belt and after one more stop we reached Cassle”. His engine catches fire and the 16 bandsmen on top of the bus who were in such a hurry to get out they throw their instruments over the side and fall over each other down the back stair. “The RE captain is now cold and in a terrible rages and threatens us with being shot at dawn…at St.Vanant W’s tyre comes off and at Bethune another man broke a spring and had to wait for the last bus to borrow the jack. The buses were bad ones and this wasn’t our usual display.” In February, Mahony left the buses to join the Royal Flying Corps.

You can see a copy of the Mahony’s published diary in the the Museum library *[compiled by Peter Mahony] Publisher: Hughes & Company, 2011 (the original diary is held in the University of Leeds Liddle Collection).

web-events-olebill

The story of London’s busmen at the front is also told in our new book by Dr William Ward, Ole Bill – Londons Buses and the First World War.

 

Battle Bus in Passchendaele

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Battle Bus outside Passchendaele Museum

The tour moved on today to embrace the ridge which surrounds Ypres, and in particular the site of the third battle of Ypres, popularly known as Passchendaele (its contemporary spelling now ‘Passendale’). We brought the bus and our road show to the Passchendaele 1917 exhibition at Zonnebeke. It is hard to reconcile this peaceful park today with its total destruction by the end of the battle which lasted from July until October 1917. It’s exhibition and replica trench system give a flavour of why that name Passchendaele still holds such a powerful and dark meaning 97 years on.

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Battle Bus outside Tyne Cot Cemetery

With the BBC’s wonderful Robert Hall aboard, we filmed and made interviews about the symbolic return of this one bus to a location in which so many once served. A visit to Tyne Cot, the largest cemetery in the Ypres Salient, reminded us sharply of the terrible cost of the slogging offensive uphill into the strong German positions on the ridge above Ypres.

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Photograph of Passchendaele in 1916 before aerial bombardment. Image courtesy of BBC
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Photograph of Passchendaele following the aerial bombardment. which took place between July and November 1917. Image courtesy of BBC

Aerial photographs in the visitor centre demonstrated graphically how the verdant Flanders countryside in 1917 was mashed up by four months of bombardment and counter bombardment into a landscape which from above looked like the moon, where whole villages had become piles of rubble and water-filled shell holes are the only recognisable feature in a blasted landscape. Long lines of gravestones in the Tyne Cot cemetery, so many individual names, all some grieving family’s son, so many regiments, representing so many personal tragedies in one small tract of Flanders.

zonnebeke cafes

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The bus was cheered from roadside cafés and attracted great interest when parked, so many people clambering up the narrow stairs and taking photographs. The Mayor of Zonnebeke visited and was presented with the destination board to his town by me.

He and his family piled on the bus and were given a tour of the park. A  French TV crew came to record the bus and hear the stories it attaches us to from a century ago, filming precariously from the back of an estate car as our bus rattled through the quiet Belgian Sunday afternoon.

web-events-olebill

The story of London’s busmen at the front is also told in our new book by Dr William Ward, Ole Bill – Londons Buses and the First World War.

The Last Post at the Menin Gate

The ceremony of the Last Post has been played at the Menin Gate in Ypres every evening since it’s dedication in 1927, interrupted only during the Second World War. Architect Reginald Blomfield’s memorial to the 54,897 men who fell in the Ypres Salient but who have no known burial is the focal point for the commemoration of the First World War in Flanders. Every evening at 8pm the Last Post is played and wreaths laid as a salutary appreciation of the cost of war in this south-west corner of Belgium.

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Batle Bus outside the Menin Gate

We were honoured to be invited to attend the ceremony with our 1914 B-type bus, perhaps the first time a vehicle has been included in this carefully choreographed act of memorial. As twilight drew in on Saturday 20th September, our Battle Bus in its khaki livery flanked by soldiers in camouflage dress formed a sombre backdrop to the five buglers in their bright dress uniforms.

As the light faded, some 1,500 spectators were stilled to silence as the poignant Last Post echoed out under the illuminated lists of names of the fallen which fill every inside surface of the Gate. As the stirring notes of the Ypres Surrey Pipe Band fell away, Leon Daniels (Managing Director, Surface Transport, Transport for London) and I stepped forward to lay a wreath on behalf of Transport for London and the Museum to recognise the many transport staff who lost their lives in the conflict.

B2737 Menin Gate 20 Sept 14 1080 Copyright London Transport Museum
Battle Bus inside the Menin Gate

After the national anthems of Belgium and Great Britain, the pipes and drums echoed round the Gate as the bands marched off towards the Market Place. B2737 coughed into life and with our little party aboard we followed them out of the brilliantly lit Gate into the town, raising a great cheer from the crowds of spectators. From the top deck of the bus, we looked back towards the Menin Gate, bright against the night sky. Battle Bus had returned to the Front, symbolic of the 1200 buses pressed into service, an emotionally charged touchstone for just one small story in the grim panorama of the Great War, a London bus like its drivers pressed into service in the maelstrom of war.

This event had been in our minds ever since we conceived the restoration of a B-type bus. The transformation from red livery to khaki, the boarded up windows, the crude War Department stencilled markings and finally attendance at this emotionally ceremony of memorial, amongst the seemingly endless lists of names of the fallen, have symbolised the terrible outbreak of the War and shed a new light on its darkness.

We are deeply thankful to the Last Post Association, the Heritage Lottery Fund and our many supporters for enabling such a profound link to be made between 2014 and the events of a century earlier.

web-events-olebill

The story of London’s busmen at the front is also told in our new book by Dr William Ward, Ole Bill – Londons Buses and the First World War.

Toc H: A Refuge from the War

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While at Poperinge, we visited a key site in the story of the British Army in the Ypres Salient, the establishment of a refuge from the war at Talbot House. Rev. Phillip ‘Tubby’ Clayton became an army chaplain in France and Flanders where, in December 1915, he and another chaplain Rev. Neville Talbot opened “Talbot House”, a club house for soldiers, regardless of rank or status. It became known as Toc H, this being signal terminology for “T H” or “Talbot House”.

pessimists

With its simple accommodation, garden and chapel in the eaves, Toc H fostered a spirit of friendship across social and denominational boundaries and enabled soldiers to enjoy rare moments of peace and entertainment, a home away from home. After the war, branches were set up across the UK and in several Commonwealth countries.

The Battle bus group were delighted to be given a guided tour around Talbot House in April and a visit there with the bus in September will be essential. The House still has many features surviving from the First World War – the peaceful garden, Clayton’s study, framed aphorisms on the walls and artworks such as the sketches of soldiers by Christopher Nevinson, working as an ambulance driver, who later designed posters for the Underground group.

A full size reproduction of a photograph of soldiers relaxing in the canteen room around the piano occupies the same room today and brings the past of the House vividly to life. It is still possible to stay overnight B&B in Talbot House and exhibitions tell the story of the house and the Ypres Salient.

For further information: www.talbothouse.be