Brooklands honours First World War motorcyclists

Celebrating the venue’s involvement during the 1914-18 conflict, Martin Gegg heads to the Brooklands Museum for their Great War Day

The Brooklands Museum held a special centenary event on September 30, commemorating those with Brooklands connections that supported the war effort during the First World War.

Re-enactors with the 1916 Matchless motorcycle gun carrier. This bike was made for the Russian Army, but never saw action as it was held up at the docks as a result of the Russian revolution.

Visitors were treated to a selection of aircraft and motor vehicles from the period including the museum’s Vickers Vimy which entertained the crowds with two engine runs.

Re-enactors in period uniform set up camp outside the clubhouse, and posed for photos on the 1916 Matchless gun carrier on loan from the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust.

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A re-enactor guards the Museum’s Bleriot Model XI Replica. The Model XI first appeared in January 1909 and achieved lasting fame as the first aeroplane to fly the English Channel. After watching the plane land, Major Herbert Musgrave rushed straight to the War Office to report on the military significance of the event, and in 1913 was put in charge of the Army’s air wing, later to become the Royal Flying Corps and then the Royal Air Force in 1918.

Sixteen period bikes attended including the museum’s 1910 Kerry Abingdon, two Clynos, a Rover, a James, as well as several Triumphs and Douglas motorcycles representing the two most favoured marques of the British Army throughout the war.

Read more and view more images in the November 2018 issue of OBM – on sale now!

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