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Homepage. This page: Two rare photographs of motorcycles & sidecars adapted into ambulances during the First World War.

Motorcycle ambulances in WW1.

There are many examples of early motorcycle and sidecar combinations, in use with civilian owners, on the site already (click here to see a varied selection from the 1920s onwards). This page though is the first to feature vintage motorcycles that have been adapted to transport injured servicemen during WW1. No details are known of the individuals shown, or the precise locations represented, so in putting up this page I'm hoping that readers more knowledgeable than I can chime in with specific information on the scenes reproduced below.
The first shows a chap - perhaps a member of the British Red Cross - stood alongside his machine, attending to the cover fitted to the sidecar. Can anyone confirm the bike's manufacturer? From reading around I believe many were based on the Royal Enfield, and also on the NUT (produced in Newcastle Upon Tyne). Double-decker versions were also built, in order that two wounded soldiers could be accommodated at once. In addition to the British Army, combinations of this type were also used by the French and American military.
Although slightly blurred, this first photo deserves an airing if only to shed light on the services that supported troops during the 1914-1918 war, 100 or so years ago.
Click to view:
A motorcycle adapted to carry injured servicemen in WW1
A group of weary-looking gents are in this next photograph, accompanied by a pair of ambulance motorcycles. Again, I hope to update this page as and when more information is forthcoming.
Motorcycles used by the Red Cross in WW1
Return to Page 18 in the photographic archive, or visit the main index here.

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