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WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi all,

I know it's unlikely, but could anyone offer any info or pointers to the history of my WM21 build?

What I've found:
-Frame no.: WM20 2966. (Engine no: WM20 102151, which is 1940, but not the original M21 fitted.)
-Contract: C7370. Originally destined for the Dutch army, but redirected to War Department, London.
-Left the factory in May 1940. Factory log indicates it was bound for either Catterick or Colchester.
-Census no: C4191619.
-Left the army in 1962.

(No response from a RLC archive search.)

It'd be good to know more. Any info, advice or cryptic clues appreciated.

Craig

email (option): cmmacd @hotmail.co.uk

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi Craig

How did you come by your census number 4191619, is it marked on your machine somewhere or has it been calculated from a surviving source?

I can't see WM20 2966 in the post war key cards so that's no help.

The BSA factory ledgers both WM20 frame and WM21 engine have your machine WM20 2966 WM21 2966(engine) as having been supplied to the War Office on 30/5/40, but neither mentions a previous Dutch contract so it seems more likely this was always a British machine?

There are two machines in the post war key cards which may indicate the allocation of C serial numbers for this complex contract C7370 was random but this is rather inconclusive proof.

Key card WM20 2817 C4192091 Ledgers M20 War Office 28/5/40
Key card WM20 2877 C4192071 Ledgers M20 War Office 28/5/40 or M21 War Office 30/5/40 with engine WM21 2977 (probably a typo)

Rob

email (option): robmiller11(a)yahoo.co.uk

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi Rob,

Thanks for your reply and for confirming that this frame number isn't in the post-war key cards.

Orchard & Madden list WM20 2966 as one of the solo M21s within the C7370 contract. I took the Dutch army connection from there. However, looking again, I see that O&M only speculate that the batch of M21s -and some B29s- in C7370 were originally bound for the Netherlands, but diverted to the War Office after Dunkirk. As you say, this may mean that the bike was always intended for the UK. (I suppose it also allows for a degree of licence over the spec in which it left the factory on 30/05/1940.)

Henk Joore kindly sent me with a copy of the relevant factory ledger page. It indicates that the bike's original engine number didn't match the frame number. Henk also gave me C4191619, which fits with the serial number allocation list for 7370 M21s in O&M. This may be calculated although, in the absence of anything more certain, I'm keeping it!

My regards,

Craig

email (option): cmmacd @hotmail.co.uk

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi Craig,

I have some additional information about your WM21.

- Your BSA WM21 with frame number WM20 2966 was fitted with engine number WM21 2966 (according to the BSA administration). I don't know how you came up with 102151, but that is definitely not the right number.
- Your BSA was indeed part of contract C7370, which consists of: WB30's, 500CC standard BSA (most likely M20's) and 212x 600cc Dutch pattern BSA's. All this information is on the back of the original factory ledger (I think you already have a copy of this).
- The BSA with frame number WM20 2966 indeed left the BSA factory on 30-05-1940.

O&M is right in suggesting that the 212x 600cc Dutch pattern BSA's were originally destined for the Dutch Army. The Dutch Army had ordered at least 392x BSA WM21's which were never delivered because of the German invasion and occupation of the Netherlands. These WM21's were ordered from the 1st of April 1940 till the 5th of Mai 1940. I have found documents in the Dutch National Archive about this.

The BSA factory had several Dutch Army WM21's ready for delivery at the end of Mai but they were unable to deliver them to the Dutch Army. The British Army, in need of motorcycles due to the shortages caused by Dunkirk, were eager to buy the Dutch pattern WM21's. In short: your WM21 was never used by the Dutch army but was redirected to the British War Office. Some photo's (and even a piece of film) show these WM21's in use by the British Army.

I am currently assembling my WM21, which was delivered to the Dutch Army in March 1940. My WM21 would have looked almost identical to your WM21, except for the Dutch Army number, stoplight, pillion seat, bulb horn, rear view mirror, front mudguard reflector and rear mudguard reflector (all these items were fitted to the WM21's in the Netherlands).

Below a few photos of the assembly of my WM21.

Regards,
Bastiaan

thumbnail-IMG-20210613-WA0008

thumbnail-IMG-20210620-WA0001

email (option): wdmotorcycles@gmail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

WB30s in the summer of 1940 ? Not 1940 model-year civilian B29s if OHV ?

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi Rik,

I have just checked the factory ledger but it is stated like this:

'167 m/c 350cc', I was assuming these were WB30's but could also be something else. I can not check this as I can only look in to the M20, M21 and G14 BSA factory administration.

Regards,
Bastiaan

email (option): wdmotorcycles@gmail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi Bastiaan,

Thank you for this info. Engine number WM20 102151 is the engine I am fitting to the bike. It is not the original, but still 1940.

The factory ledger that Henk sent me shows the original engine number as WM20 86392, not 2966. Not sure which is correct?

If my bike was a part of the Dutch order, I need to get that valanced rear mudguard after all! More searching, but thank you for making the history a bit more clear.

email (option): cmmacd @hotmail.co.uk

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Engine and frame WM20 102151 were supplied under contract S2603 which was delivered from December 1943 so it would be a 1944 engine...WM20 86392 was a 1943 engine. Are you sure you're looking at a factory record and not the post-war Key Card showing what it had been rebuilt with at some point prior to 1948 ?

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi Craig,

If your framenumber is original and if it's WM20 2966, then your bike was fitted with engine WM21 2966. I have checked this in a copy of the frame and the engine BSA factory books. It's very clear, no question about it.

Besides that valanced rear mudguard your BSA was fitted with the very rare valanced front mudguard as well. It took me a very long time to find an original 1.

I have just installed all the instruments in the panel for my WM21.

If you have any questions, let me know. Maybe I can help you.

Good luck with your restoration!

Regards,
Bastiaan

thumbnail-IMG-20210621-WA0007

email (option): wdmotorcycles@gmail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi Rik and Bastiaan,

So, the engine is later than I thought and there are two rare mudguards to find!

Thank you both, though, for providing some certainty. I know what I'm aiming for now, but the bike may need to wear it's 1940 mudguards for a while.

My regards,

Craig



email (option): cmmacd @hotmail.co.uk

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

There are a substantial number of differences between the 1939 / '40 machines, even the WD versions let alone the Dutch, and those which came later. It goes well beyond mudguards and fuel tanks. Most of the Dutch machines were taken over by Germany and ended up all over Europe, damaged, abused and modified.

In the UK, I've seen no evidence in my delves into the archives of spares purchases for M21 engines. The logical explanation is that if mechanical repair was needed, replacement 500cc engines were fitted. With the Brtish Army's insistence on off-road capability and standardisation too, it is unlikely that the valanced front guard and a hand change fuel tank survived in use much beyond the summer of 1941, as standardised production came on stream...Recruits were not being trained to use hand gear changes.

Unless you have a real fascination with the Dutch contracts, it may not only be easier, but more accurate in terms of the bike's service life to build it as a 'rebuild machine' with a new census number featuring later parts, as was carried out in the REME rebuilds from 1943 or so onwards.

C4192169-former-Dutch-Army

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Rik,
does this bike also have a special throtle grip on the handle bars..?
Is it an inside cable or something ?

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Judging by the handle bar end - it’s an integrated / internal twist grip mechanism
Br
Jo’b

email (option): jonnyob1@googlemail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

I did a step by step photo shoot of fitting one of those if anyone wants it? ( I have four of the fiddly things) Ron
DSCF2618
DSCF2621
DSCF2638-Copy
DSCF2685

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

I have been having another look at the BSA factory ledgers, they are pretty confusing as there are lots of frame numbers with two or occasionally 3 entries squeezed in.

A few examples

Frame WM20 701 Engine WM21 701 22/11/1939 Staatsbedriejf HOLLAND

Frame WM20 421 Engine WM20 421 14/09/1939 War Office London
Frame WM20 421 Engine WM21 421 24/11/1939 Staatsbedriejf HOLLAND

Frame WM20 1331 Engine WM21 1331 01/03/1940 Staatsbedriejf HOLLAND
Frame WM20 1331 Engine WM21 1331 04/03/1940 Staatsbedriejf HOLLAND

Frame WM20 1457 Engine WM21 1457 29/04/1940 Staatsbedriejf HOLLAND
Frame WM20 1457 Engine WM21 1457 29/05/1940 War Office London

Frame WM20 2965 Engine WM21 2965 30/04/1940 Staatsbedriejf HOLLAND
Frame WM20 2965 Engine WM21 2965 29/05/1940 War Office London
Frame WM20 2966 Engine WM21 2966 30/05/1940 War Office London
Frame WM20 2967 Engine WM21 2967 03/05/1940 Staatsbedriejf HOLLAND
Frame WM20 2967 Engine WM21 2967 29/05/1940 War Office London
Frame WM20 2968 not mentioned in the ledger

The first one is early enough to have made it to Holland

The second pair are probably two machines with the same frame number, as M20s and M21s had the same frame they all had a WM20 frame number, BSA used the engine number as their main means of identity so it wouldn't matter to them that there was more than one frame with WM20 421 stamped on it, especially if one was going over seas.

The third pair, possible this one machine had to return to the factory to rectify a fault or accident damage and went through the system twice?

The forth pair was either despatched from the factory in good faith to wherever shipment to the Netherlands should have occurred or perhaps just the despatch department of the factory but it was too late, it appears it went through the factory again for alterations in spec and was then delivered to the War Office a month later.

The fifth set are a representative of a longer series most of which have the double entries, but there are a few which only mention the War Office, its possible that they had originally been destined for the Netherlands but hadn't made it through the factory yet and were changed to War Office spec earlier, its possible that they didn't have the valanced front mudguard and other Dutch spec parts? WM20 2968 according to the ledgers was never made.

There are some mistakes in the ledgers which also have to be factored in.

Rob







email (option): robmiller11(a)yahoo.co.uk

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi Ron
If you can share that would be good
I have quite a few integrated throttle & mag parts here I had made - I must study them
This would help me
Br
Jo’b

email (option): jonnyob1@googlemail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

I'll send you the series of pix I took John. Ron

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

@Rob: I see you did a deep dive in to the BSA factory ledgers. I did the same last year, just to find out how many BSA's were actually delivered to the Dutch Army. I fully agree with your experiences, the ledgers are a bit chaotic from Jan 1940. I could not exactly determine how many BSA M21's were delivered to the Dutch Army, unfortunately. But just a tip: compare the factory ledgers from the 'engine' books with the 'frame' books. For example: the range of number with frame WM20 2966 in the frame book is a bit confusing, with many double entries. In the engine book it is very clear but with a lot double entries missing. I have the advantage that I have a lot of files from the 'Staatsbedrijf Artillerie Inrichtingen' from the Dutch National Archive. In these files it is stated for about 80% of the M21's, how many were ordered and when they were delivered (and in most cases to which Dutch Army units they were dispatched).

@Rob: very helpfull those photo's for the fitment of the internal twistgrip! I have a question about that. I see you are fitting the rubber directly on the metal tube, but according to the partslist a 'throttle twist grip patch, partnumber 27-9453' should also be fitted. Did you use that 1 as well or not? I would like to know, as I still have to fit mine on my WM21. See below for the part in the 1939 partslist.

Knipsel

@Rick: You are right , there are a lot of differences between the Dutch Army WM21's and British WD machines. I have found a very nice, badly worn example in(not fully original anymore) Czech Republic last year. I have imported it to the Netherlands,. It is a matching frame/engine KM21 from the first contract which went to the Dutch Army.


IMG-0501
IMG-0507
IMG-0509
IMG-0511
IMG-0513
IMG-0516
IMG-0519
IMG-0520

email (option): wdmotorcycles@gmail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi Bastiaan. I only put four of my series of six pictures in my last post. Indeed there is a brass cover (shim stock), before the rubber. On this one I held it together with insulating tape as I found previous grips tended to slip. Ron

DSCF2642-Copy

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Aah ok, I see! Thank you Ron. Could you send me all the photo's to my emailaddress?

Thanks in advance!

Br,
Bastiaan

email (option): wdmotorcycles@gmail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Many thanks Ron
Br
Jo’b

email (option): jonnyob1@googlemail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Sooo, just to clarify:

• Frame WM20 2966 was fitted with engine WM21 2966
• The bike was part of a batch of M21s ordered by the Dutch army
• From the records, it just missed being shipped to the Netherlands and was earmarked for the British army, either Catterick or Colchester.
• It's not possible to say if it left the factory in Dutch or British spec (but unlikely as a handchange).
• It had a change of engine later in the war (still M21) and doubtless had other 'upgrades'.
• It left the British army in the early 60s.

All good! Thank you all.

Craig

email (option): cmmacd @hotmail.co.uk

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi Ron.
I'm finding your 'straight pull' twistgrip photos very helpful as I have the same to install on mine. I'm hopeing to convert a set of standard handlebars to suit, ie, cut the slot.(unless anyone has a spare handlebar that they would consider selling, hint hint) I'm under the impression that there is also a cross drilling required for a locating pin, would you be able to provide a photo showing the location of this? and also the exit point for the cable which I can only assume is on the outside of the first bend. Thanks in anticipation. Pete

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hi Pete. The pictures I've shown are of one of my WD C10's. This picture on file shows the cable exit and the drilling for the pivot pin for the slider channel. Maybe Bastiaan or someone can give you measurements for an M20 bar (if that's what you are working on?) Otherwise you can probably work it out from the length of the channel and the amount that the end stud protrudes.

I have two C10's and two Royal Enfield's with these pesky internal pull twistgrips and I've also fitted two more to RE's that I restored for friends. One of which had the outer sheath constructed as part of the twistgrip tube, which made it even more fiddly than usual, as I was working blind to get the brass sliders located in their spiral grooves:persevere: Ron

PS the early M20's also had a twistgrip on the clutch side for the mag. This one works with just one operating brass slider.

C10-349-2

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

AMAL called this system with the cable going through the handlebars their "clean bars" setup.

Jan

email (option): wd.register@gmail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Craig MacDonald
Sooo, just to clarify:

• Frame WM20 2966 was fitted with engine WM21 2966
• The bike was part of a batch of M21s ordered by the Dutch army
• From the records, it just missed being shipped to the Netherlands and was earmarked for the British army, either Catterick or Colchester.
• It's not possible to say if it left the factory in Dutch or British spec (but unlikely as a handchange).
• It had a change of engine later in the war (still M21) and doubtless had other 'upgrades'.
• It left the British army in the early 60s.

All good! Thank you all.

Craig
Hi Craig,

Just a reaction on the points of your post:

1. Yes, frame WM20 2966 was fitted with engine WM21 2966.
2. The bike was indeed initially produced for the Dutch Army.
3. Yes, it didn't go to the Netherlands but instead was purchased by the British Army.
4. No, it is definitely sure your bike left the BSA factory in full Dutch spec, that is why it was described as '600 cc Dutch pattern' on the back of the keycard. It had handchange. We know this for sure as there are a few original photos of these BSA M21's from contract C7370. All had handchange, crash bars, paneltank, valanced front and rear mudguard, modified rear numberplate, early AMAL twistgrip, etc.
5. No, we can not determine for sure that the engine changed later in war or that your BSA 'other' upgrades. It sounds logic as Rick already described, but we have zero documents or photos to really confirm that on the BSA's from contract C7370 (I have never seen such documents, but I am keen to receive a copy of them if they exist).

Regards,
Bastiaan

email (option): wdmotorcycles@gmail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Peter Cranwell
Hi Ron.
I'm finding your 'straight pull' twistgrip photos very helpful as I have the same to install on mine. I'm hopeing to convert a set of standard handlebars to suit, ie, cut the slot.(unless anyone has a spare handlebar that they would consider selling, hint hint) I'm under the impression that there is also a cross drilling required for a locating pin, would you be able to provide a photo showing the location of this? and also the exit point for the cable which I can only assume is on the outside of the first bend. Thanks in anticipation. Pete
Hi Peter,

I have two original M20 handlebars with a setup for internal twistgrip, both are not for sale. I can measure/send photos of the cross drilling, the slot and the exit point of the cable if you need them.

Regards,
Bastiaan

email (option): wdmotorcycles@gmail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Hereby a nice link to some stills of a movie with '600cc Dutch pattern' BSA's in action:

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/stills/mechanised-infantry

All credits for finding this are for Jan.:clap:

Regards,
Bastiaan

email (option): wdmotorcycles@gmail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

The 15cwt trucks display the 'Bow Bells' of 47th (London) Infantry Division. They were a 1st line territorial division on Home Defence and then training duties.

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Bastiaan
Craig MacDonald
Sooo, just to clarify:

• Frame WM20 2966 was fitted with engine WM21 2966
• The bike was part of a batch of M21s ordered by the Dutch army
• From the records, it just missed being shipped to the Netherlands and was earmarked for the British army, either Catterick or Colchester.
• It\\\\\\\'s not possible to say if it left the factory in Dutch or British spec (but unlikely as a handchange).
• It had a change of engine later in the war (still M21) and doubtless had other \\\\\\\'upgrades\\\\\\\'.
• It left the British army in the early 60s.

All good! Thank you all.

Craig
Hi Craig,

Just a reaction on the points of your post:

1. Yes, frame WM20 2966 was fitted with engine WM21 2966.
2. The bike was indeed initially produced for the Dutch Army.
3. Yes, it didn\\\'t go to the Netherlands but instead was purchased by the British Army.
4. No, it is definitely sure your bike left the BSA factory in full Dutch spec, that is why it was described as \\\'600 cc Dutch pattern\\\' on the back of the keycard. It had handchange. We know this for sure as there are a few original photos of these BSA M21\\\'s from contract C7370. All had handchange, crash bars, paneltank, valanced front and rear mudguard, modified rear numberplate, early AMAL twistgrip, etc.
5. No, we can not determine for sure that the engine changed later in war or that your BSA \\\'other\\\' upgrades. It sounds logic as Rick already described, but we have zero documents or photos to really confirm that on the BSA\\\'s from contract C7370 (I have never seen such documents, but I am keen to receive a copy of them if they exist).

Regards,
Bastiaan
I'm still not so sure

The back of the demand card actually says

167 350cc
147 standard 500cc and 600cc SV
212 600cc Dutch pattern
526 total

And both the WM20 frame ledger and WM21 engine ledgers agree, there is no mention of a Dutch connection with WM20 2966 so it could be from the 147 block?

However I can only find 163 with the double entry?

Bastiaan from your Dutch records what are the highest frame numbers to have actually arrived in the Netherlands?

Rob

email (option): robmiller11(a)yahoo.co.uk

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Well spotted Rob!

Yes, you are right it could have been 1 from the 147 block.

The Dutch Army lost interest in specific framenumbers from the beginning of January 1940, I guess it was not important anymore. The Dutch documents simply state since Jan 1940 simply state the amount of BSA M21's which were ordered and if they were delivered or not (unfortunately not with delivery dates). Till December 1939 I can link framenumbers to specific Dutch Army orders for sure.

I know for sure that my own BSA WM21 was fitted with crash bars, a special adapter was fitted in the sidecarlug of the front frame for easy fitment of the crash bars. The crash bars are part of the 'Dutch pattern' spec. My frame has number WM20 1342 and had traces of German late-war yellow paint. I have some difficulty to upload photos at the moment. I will ad a photo of the adapter as soon as it's possible.


Regards,
Bastiaan

email (option): wdmotorcycles@gmail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Looking at the WM21 listed as Dutch in the ledgers by date they left the factory in small batches is interesting.

22/11/39 25
23/11/39 35
24/11/39 30
25/11/39 35
1/3/40 25
4/3/40 30
6/3/40 25
8/3/40 14
15/3/40 20 or 21
19/3/40 30
20/3/40 48
21/3/40 44
22/3/40 41
15/3/40 2
18/3/40 25
20/4/40 30
22/4/40 21
23/4/40 21
25/4/40 9
26/4/40 1
27/4/40 14
28/4/40 1
29/4/40 20
30/4/40 8
1/5/40 25
2/5/40 13
3/5/40 13
4/5/40 18
5/5/40 1
9/5/40 18

The last date of despatch I can find without a second entry for the War Office is 22/4/40 the first date with 23/4/40, which is interesting because Germany didn't invade the Netherlands until 10/5/40, the frame numbers are more random and don't necessarily follow in line.

I wonder how long it took for a machine to leave the factory and arrive at a port in the Netherlands, presumably they would be carried in lorries or trains to a port where Customs would check the paperwork, its possible that several days worth could build up there before loading onto a ferry or freighter?

Rob

email (option): robmiller11(a)yahoo.co.uk

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

I've been nosing in the ledgers too...

The only reference to non-Dutch pattern 600cc is on the reverse of the Chilwell 'Receipt Card'. There is nothing in the Ministry of Supply ledger entries. It seems pretty clear to me that the whole contract comprised whatever could be scraped together from BSA's Despatch Department in terms of 350cc OHV and 500 & 600cc SV machines. Bearing in mind that 2966 is sandwiched between what were clearly Dutch bikes, it seems quite likley that it was, although it may have been incomplete and finished to a more British contract style.

In the frame book, it seems that 'Staatsbedrijf Holland' is generally shown along the ruled line suggesting that the frame despatch books had been completed for the Dutch sales first, but the engine book shows 'War Office' on the line with 'Staatsbedrijf' above in the same hand - as if the notification that the bikes had gone to the War Office arrived on the desk prior to the advices of the Dutch sale and that the clerk then made a duplicate entry and didn't cross one out. 2965 for instance is there with two tally numbers and both are M21s. It would be easier to imagine the confusion if one had been an M20 and the other a 21 and both fitted to a matching number frame.

If this proves anything, then it is that it is pretty well impossible to be certain of the specification of Craig's bike when it left the factory....Dutch Army M21, War Office M20 style M21 or maybe even a standard civilian 1940 model M21 that had remained unsold.

My understanding of international trade at the time is that manufacturers did not engage in it directly but relied on export agents. They were responsible for payment and seem to have had their own warehousing facilities and arranged shipping etc. It's quite possible that BSA were despatching to the agent in the UK with shipping to be arranged once a certain number were ready...and the fact that the UK and France were already at war with Germany meant that freighters sailing from British ports were at risk of attack so services were certainly not normal. No question of going on the train ferry to Hook of Holland.

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

I don't know why I think of them as demand cards, receipt is more interesting if it gives a clue of a gap between BSA ledger despatch dates and arrival at a Military depot.

I have also been looking at the WB29 ledgers but I just can't make it add up to 167.

Rob

email (option): robmiller11(a)yahoo.co.uk

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

I asked David Fletcher at the Tank Museum (which holds all the non-motorcycle cards) and he agreed that 'Chillwell Receipt Cards' was a fair description in most instances. In the case of RASC contracts, they reflect only what was transferred to RAOC when responsibilities altered with the formation of REME but with most BSA and Norton cards we're on safe ground as they were RAOC contracts. I made a spreadsheet for 'my' Norton contract (C5109) and for the three weeks or so of 1939 for which there is a surviving factory despatch book, it was possible to see a correlation, with despatched quantities being ticked-off at Chilwell two to three days later.

C7370 is a little different as the Ministry of Supply contract details from August 1940 show that the machines had already been delivered to Catterick and Colchester so the Chilwell card was presumably compiled when WD Serial numbers were allocated. Presumably that was done by the War Office.

In terms of the 350s, might that have included C12s as well ? The records only list engine capacity, not model.

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Rik, no C12's were officially ordered by the WO. Of the 593 produced, 35 were ordered by the Admiralty in Bath, 1 to the Forestry commission in Bristol and 1 to the Acting Secretary?? in Bristol. The rest were all dealers and private individuals. Ron

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Rob Miller
Looking at the WM21 listed as Dutch in the ledgers by date they left the factory in small batches is interesting.

22/11/39 25
23/11/39 35
24/11/39 30
25/11/39 35
1/3/40 25
4/3/40 30
6/3/40 25
8/3/40 14
15/3/40 20 or 21
19/3/40 30
20/3/40 48
21/3/40 44
22/3/40 41
15/3/40 2
18/3/40 25
20/4/40 30
22/4/40 21
23/4/40 21
25/4/40 9
26/4/40 1
27/4/40 14
28/4/40 1
29/4/40 20
30/4/40 8
1/5/40 25
2/5/40 13
3/5/40 13
4/5/40 18
5/5/40 1
9/5/40 18

The last date of despatch I can find without a second entry for the War Office is 22/4/40 the first date with 23/4/40, which is interesting because Germany didn't invade the Netherlands until 10/5/40, the frame numbers are more random and don't necessarily follow in line.

I wonder how long it took for a machine to leave the factory and arrive at a port in the Netherlands, presumably they would be carried in lorries or trains to a port where Customs would check the paperwork, its possible that several days worth could build up there before loading onto a ferry or freighter?

Rob
Hi,

There is a very logical explanation for the small batches of BSA M21's which left the BSA factory.

Initially (in 1939), the "Artillerie Inrichtingen" didn't have enough personnel and space to receive all the motorcycles which were ordered at the BSA and BMW factories. The Artillerie Inrichtingen made a contract with the Dutch factory "Werkspoor" near Utrecht. This factory had enough space and personnel to unpack the BSA motorcycles from their wooden crates (M21's and G14's) and prepare them for a run in period. The Artillerie Inrichtingen composed a detachment of drivers which would do the running in of the motorcycles. This detachment was stationed at Werkspoor. I have spoken to a guy who's father was part of this detachment. He told me that his father really enjoyed this job, he was paid to drive brand new motorcycles around the Ijsselmeer! Every BSA needed to make at least 500 KM, this was requested by the Artillerie Inrichtingen. The oil was exchanged after the 500 KM at Werkspoor, the bikes had a final inspection and were picked up directly by DR's from the unit which would be equipped with the motorcycles. Werkspoor factory emphasized to Artillerie Inrichtingen not to have large batches of motorcycles delivered to the factory as this would frustrate the whole process of making the motorcycles ready for Army service. See the photo below, to get an idea of how it looked like at Werkspoor. Photo is taken in 1 of the main hall's of the factory at Werkspoor. You can see BMW's in front and in the back BSA G14's with attached sidecars (2 out of 3 types of the sidecars were made and fitted at Werkspoor). I have a large amount of copies of correspondence between Werkspoor and Artillerie Inrichtingen. This information gives a really detailed image on what was going on at Werkspoor, f.e. when batteries were installed, how much Werkspoor personnel was paid for preparing the motorcycles, the amount of missing parts, etc.

Hollandia-in-Werkspoorboekje-nr-9

email (option): wdmotorcycles@gmail.com

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

"My understanding of international trade at the time is that manufacturers did not engage in it directly but relied on export agents. They were responsible for payment and seem to have had their own warehousing facilities and arranged shipping etc. It's quite possible that BSA were despatching to the agent in the UK with shipping to be arranged once a certain number were ready...and the fact that the UK and France were already at war with Germany meant that freighters sailing from British ports were at risk of attack so services were certainly not normal. No question of going on the train ferry to Hook of Holland."

Just a reaction to the post of Rick above.

The Artillerie Inrichtingen did use an 'agent' for trading with the BSA factory. This agent was surprisinly not an official export agent. The name of the 'agent' was Hermanus Hendrik Willem Schrameier-Verbrugge. His profession was insurer and he had an office at 139 Wijnhaven in Rotterdam. I noticed that most documents and corresondence for the BSA factory was send to him in Dutch (including the contract for the first large amount of BSA's), I assume he translated the documents or organised the translation to English. The strange thing is that Schrameier-Verbrugge had nothing to do with motorcycles in the Netherlands. Unfortunately it is very difficult to find additional information about this person as his office was very near to the center of the bombardment on Rotterdam on 14 Mai 1940.

Regards,
Bastiaan



email (option): wdmotorcycles@gmail.com

Handlebars for straight pull twistgrips

Hi Bastiaan.
I've sent you an email regarding your kind offer. Thanks

Re: WM21 - Any chance of uncovering more?

Oh Lordy! This thread has run and run (with the odd diversion). Thanks again to those of you -especially Bastiaan and Rob- who've taken the time to dig into the records and compare notes. I hope others have from this gained too.

The picture I've got is that WM20 2966 left the factory amidst chaos. I have a record indicating a later engine change and know it was eventually decommissioned in the UK, which leads me to think it never got to Holland. For now, I'm going for early UK spec. However, the uncertainty gives me licence for that panel tank, internal throttle, hand change...

Now, if anyone has a set of early WM21 crankcases?






email (option): cmmacd @hotmail.co.uk

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