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Homepage. This page: Post-war photographs of WW2 Bedford OY and MW army lorries.

1. Bedford OY Army lorry.

I'd like to feature more historic lorries on the site, civilian and military. The Bedford shown here is an example of the latter, a militarised version of the late-1930s O Series, most likely a 3-ton version. Two types of militarised Bedford were produced at this time, the OY and the OX, the former being more numerous by all accounts. Whereas the civilian lorries had a smart look to them, with curved wings, bonnet, and rounded radiator grille, the Army OX/OY versions made do with very simple front end tinwork. The revised panelwork was easy to produce, and just as easy to straighten out again should the need arise, plus used fewer raw materials no doubt in the manufacturing process.
Who the two gents and the dame are I don't know. The lorry has a wooden GS (General Service) rear body, with a canvas tilt frame (minus the canvas in this instance). A circular hatch can be seen above the passenger seating area. Note the heavy duty bar grip tyres fitted to the Bedford. I'm hoping that someone will be able to decipher the markings applied to the lorry's tinwork - the offside wing has the figures "2005" on it, while the front panel has different markings on it. The nearside front mudguard also features some detail that should help identify the unit with which this vehicle served (closer-in views of these areas can be seen by clicking here and here).
The street is cobbled, while the lamp post (?) to the left in the distance doesn't look British to me, and could perhaps be French. The buildings have shutters to their windows. Look behind the tilt frame and in the distance there is what appears to be a tall radio mast. Visible to the viewer's right, over the Bedford's nearside mudguard, is a small triangular sign sporting a black skull and crossbones, which I'd take to be a sign for contamination of some type, probably in the building to which it is affixed. Hopefully someone clued-up on military matters will be willing to shed some light on the details captured in this wartime, or immediate post-war, picture.
(Please click the thumbnails to view full-size Bedford images.)
Bedford OY lorry photo
Photographs of this model's 1950's replacement, again in Army service, can be found on the Bedford RL page.

2. Bedford MW 4x2 Army lorry.

Sharing the OY's utilitarian front-end panelwork is this next Bedford lorry, in the form of an ex-Army 1939-1945 Bedford MW 4x2 3/4 ton vehicle. Whereas the vehicle in the previous photograph utilises Bedford's production cab, the MW is a simpler affair, incorporating two flat panes of glass for its windscreen, and a folding roof. Interestingly, during the war the smaller vehicles like this, of 15cwt or 3/4 ton rating, were referred to by the War Office as "trucks", while heavier-rated vehicles under their command - such as the OY - were referred to as "lorries". The MW was put to various uses, including as tankers (petrol and water), general service vehicles, troop carriers, gun tractors and wireless (radio) trucks. I think the MW shown here is probably an example of the radio version, known officially as the MWR.
Bedford MW
Return to Page 16 in the photograph gallery.

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