Author Topic: Identify old Douglas  (Read 2799 times)

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Offline grandson

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Identify old Douglas
« on: 22 May 2010 at 01:53 »
I'm a Brit living in Australia.
I don't own a Douglas, but I'm trying to fill in some gaps in my family history.

The attached photo is of my grandfather astride his Douglas in Eastbourne, where he lived in the south of England.
I know he owned an Indian before WWI, so I think the Douglas may have been bought after he returned from active service in the war.
He was a tank driver, and he died from collapsed lungs a few years after the war ended. Too much exposure to mustard gas in action.

He probably wouldn't have had much money after being de-mobilised, so the motorcycle could even be army surplus.
I know the picture is not very clear, but can anyone identify the year and model?
It also probably would have been sold when he died in the early 1920's.
It could even be alive and well as one of the restored models.


« Last Edit: 29 May 2010 at 10:54 by Dave »

Offline Chris

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Re: Identify old Douglas
« Reply #1 on: 22 May 2010 at 06:11 »
Hi Grandson
     The model is  the very popular 2.3/4hp Douglas. The Kingswood manufacturer supplied some 25,000 of this model to two basic designs to the War Office for despatch rider duties. Your grandfather's machine has the later frame, forks and petrol tank introduced in 1916 although the earlier design continued in parallel for about another three years. The model continued with very few changes into the 1920s. It could very well be army surplus and is most likely to be from 1917or 18. Any later and it would have had to have been bought new and as an impoverished ex WW1 soldier that is unlikely.  Chris.

Offline grandson

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Re: Identify old Douglas
« Reply #2 on: 23 May 2010 at 02:15 »
Chris - Thanks for your observations. It definitely helps me to piece together more of a picture of a man I never knew.
I have also found in my research of the subject, that there is at least one restored model in my local area.
I might contact the owner and see if I can have a look at the real thing.