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WD Bike records

Firstly apologies as I am sure this has been discussed many time before, but a search has not helped me. I was looking on the internet for any clues as to the service history of my Matchless G3WO. This is an early bike and part of contract C5427 and thought to be C66167 . Somewhere in my search it was suggested that various records are held by members on this site so I thought i `would ask. It would be superb to find any history. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would be very grateful . One other thing I read was of a G3W0 with the Army registration number stamped on the underside of the Speedo. I have yet to check that but would one interested to discover whether that was a one off or a common thing.

email (option): andrew.honychurch@gmail.com

Re: WD Bike records

I think you mean C5247 Andrew! Same contract as mine. I think you will be extremely lucky to find out where or what your bike did. Here are a couple of shots of some of those C5247 panel tank G3's. The first one on route to Southampton (I think was taken at Otterbourne) The second one at the docks. I doubt that many of these came home? Maybe Rik can confirm what the 1932 on the tanks is? Ron
On-the-way-to-Southampton0001
Onwaytoport3

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: WD Bike records

These bikes may well have come home, Ron as they were with 2nd BEF, mostly 52nd (Lowland) Division who in many cases did return with their vehicles and equipment. Some like 88 Heavy AA sailed on 13th June and returned on 16th without ever disembarking.

They are part of a series all dated 15/6/1940 showing the route to Southampton and the docks, plus Canadians departing from Plymouth. The titles of some of the images mention several units who all sailed on 13th June...

The centre chap with the FS cap looks to be RA but I'm a little surprised that an RA unit would be using RASC motorcycles.

***Edit....I've just found a reference in my files to '1932' being No.3 Bridge Company RASC...But I can't find them in the embarkation lists. Maybe they didn't actually sail as so much was being cancelled at that point. I don't know why there is a gunner in the middle either...

Re: WD Bike records

Thanks for the replies Ron and Rik and the great photos Ron. Interesting that many of these bike may have come back Rik, as i had always wondered how mine was back in the UK when it is likely part of the contract that mainly were dispatched to France. Well its the holy Grail to find records of our machines, and one lives in hope. I am surprised in a way that no record of allocation exists but then I live in hope! John `Tinley suggested my likely Army registration based upon the sequential numbering of the frame numbers I assume. If anyone does have any further information of course we would all love to hear. I suppose a further question may be the size and style of the lettering on the tank. I am about to cut some stencils to spray the number on so would be good to have an idea on that as well. Many thanks friends.

email (option): andrew.honychurch@gmail.com

Re: WD Bike records

I'm pretty sure, based on Jan's work with Enfields, that these early-war RASC serials were not issued in consecutive order with frame numbers. They were sent first to Feltham or Slough where they were not handled in the same regimented way as the RAOC machines sent to Chilwell.

THere were not that many G3/WOs with the BEF...They were coming onto stream but most units in France had been there six months or more and were already fully equipped. They are mostly seen with 1st Armoured Div RASC and 2nd BEF who departed in May / June 1940. It's therefore logical that many were issued to units who remained in the UK and unless they were rebuilt, they were obsolete by 1944.

It's worth reading up on the differences between RAOC and RASC-supplied vehicles to see which sorts of units could have used the G3/WO....In general Corps-controlled units and above as well as the RASC themselves.

This photo looks to be UK and is a C66***serial.

Matchless-G3-WO-C66069

Re: WD Bike records

Do you have a photo showing embarkation/departure from Plymouth?...Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: WD Bike records

Rik,

Was that intentional missing the last numbers off? I can see that the C number is C66069.

email (option): jeepfinger@blueyonder.co.uk

Re: WD Bike records

There are a number on the IWM site now, Ian...Low resolution scans though.

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205471497

Dave, Yse I could read it thanks , it was simply my intention to bracket the number close to Andrew's.

Re: WD Bike records

I have the rear frame section with a 8CPB gear box from a G3, also from contract C5247, that I bought in Normandy, it had been attached to the front half of a G3L and I have presumed that it had been put together post war and used in a civilian roll. I can only think that the G3 was a captured bike and the G3L a damaged one, and somebody got the two halves from a vehicle dump stitched the two together ?

Re: WD Bike records

Rik,

I guess that I should pay more attention.

email (option): jeepfinger@blueyonder.co.uk

Re: WD Bike records

Andrew,

Did you give me your frame number yet? all the Matchless Key Cards are digitalized now, and I may be able to find your bike in them.



Cheers,

Lex

email (option): welbike@welb**e.net

Re: WD Bike records

Hi Lex. Only just seen your post. It’s 3419. Hope you have something Fingers crossed

email (option): andrew.honychurch@gmail.com

Re: WD Bike records

"they were obsolete by 1944"......Rik

They most likely were Rik, and I suspect that a fair few were rebuilt by workshops, etc, as basically G3L's.............

It's worth noting however that some quantities of G3's were retained in WD service post-war in largely their original configuration. I know of at least three examples that were disposed of during the 1960's that had previously been issued during the 1950's to Territorial Army units (two of them RA formations)......

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