Saturday, 29 August 2015

20C - British Omnibus

The British GHQ were very impressed by the French Army's taxi fleet. The taxis allowed the troops to race towards battle and for the generals to quickly move forces around behind the lines. Many a British breakthrough had been halted by the untimely arrival of fresh French troops by taxi.

When a Captain suggested that they copy the idea the General in command of transport's immediate response was "We cannot let our young Tommys' get ideas above their station! It is impossible to imagine that one day I will be sharing a taxi with some common man, no matter how heroic he is."

"Exactly General. I am sure that our soldiers would be extremely uncomfortable in a taxi. They much prefer a bus you know" said a Brigadier.

"An excellent idea Brigadier. I am glad I thought of it. Please contact the  nearest Omnibus company and make arrangements to borrow a fleet of their buses for the war effort!"

So it wasn't long before the British soldier was commuting to war in his favorite transport, a double decker London bus.

Below a platoon are lined up and ready to get on their bus to the front.

The buses came with their civilian crew of driver and conductor. The conductor kept his black bag for tickets and change.

A fleet of three buses could carry a company of soldiers. This was much more efficient than the French taxis as it took up less roadway.

Another view from the front of the bus.

During the spring and summer, all the soldiers loved the top deck. But come winter and autumn the lower deck was always the popular one.

Having searched high and low for some early 20 Century buses I had pretty much given up hope of ever finding any at a reasonable price. Then Corgi produced these ones. Just the right size, already painted and in their colours and only $10. All I had to do was add drivers and conductors. Very lucky.

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