Author Topic: San Fairy Ann - Motorcycles and British Victory 1914 1918  (Read 2798 times)

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Offline tommiesguides

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Hi all,

I am producing a book on motorcycles and the role of the despatch rider in WW1 for my author Michael Carragher.

I am looking for a lovely image which we can use on the front cover, anyone with suggestions is most welcome!

Here is the foreword to tantalise!

THE WORLDWIDE SUCCESS of the recent stage and film adaptations of Michael Morpurgo’sWar Horse (1982) has brought renewed interest in the role of the horse in the First World War. The war was undoubtedly horse-drawn. There were 25,000 horses in the British Army in August 1914; by August 1918 there were 828,360. 226,204 horses died from various causes in the British Army in France and England during the war. Maintaining horse numbers in the face of these casualties and the increasing demands for horse transport became a major enterprise: 417,685 horses (and 209,618 mules) were landed in the United Kingdom, principally from Canada and the United States. The war could not have been conducted without this enormous amount of animal power.
Although the First World War did not bring to an end the military importance of horses, which remained a major factor on many fronts in the Second World War, the replacement of animal by mechanical power became apparent. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) went to France in August 1914 with 334 lorries, 133 cars, 166 motor cycles and 63 aircraft; by November 1918 it had 31,770 lorries, 3,532 ambulances, 7,694 cars, 14,464 motor cycles and 1,782 aircraft.

The role of the horse in war was essentially four-fold: to deliver ‘shock’ on the battlefield; to reconnoitre the enemy; to pull supplies and guns; and to facilitate communications. Mechanical means began their displacement of the horse from these activities almost from the start of the war. Aircraft played a vital part in reconnoitring German movements during the battles of 1914 and later became central to the development of effective artillery fire. From September 1916 the nascent tank offered a new, if unreliable, means of producing battle ‘shock’. And the increasingly sophisticated logistics network became more and more reliant on motor transport.

Nowhere were these changes more instantly apparent, however, than in the realm of communications. Even before the BEF deployed, the War Office was urgently trying to recruit motor-cycle despatch riders, principally for the Intelligence Corps. One of these daring young men was Roger West, a Cambridge engineering graduate, who spoke French and German, and was a keen motor cyclist. West rode over a thousand miles trying to volunteer before he was given a commission ‘for six months or the duration of the war’. By 12 August, a week after British mobilization began, West and his army-issue motor bike were on the quay at Southampton ready to go to war.

West and his machine were a portent. In Michael Carragher, a writer with a fluent pen, the know-how of a mechanic and the soul of a poet, motor cycles and their riders have at last found a historian worthy to tell their story.

Dr J.M. Bourne
Director Emeritus
Centre for First World War Studies
The University of Birmingham


Thanks

Ryan

Offline Frank Lyn

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Re: San Fairy Ann - Motorcycles and British Victory 1914 1918
« Reply #1 on: 20 Jun 2013 at 14:36 »
Try this.

http://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=4780.msg17110#msg17110

We can worry about resolution if this is the one you decide to go with.
 
best...
« Last Edit: 20 Jun 2013 at 14:51 by Frank Lyn »

Offline tommiesguides

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Re: San Fairy Ann - Motorcycles and British Victory 1914 1918
« Reply #2 on: 20 Jun 2013 at 16:16 »
Its interesting (not very dynamic being press) and I am not sure it will reproduce ok because it's newsprint. Photograph or postcards tend to be better, sorry!