Kent Cyclists


not sure if I have mentioned this before, but in 1919 the French organised a cycle race in the Zone Rouge, the weather was so bad, the roads so bad, and the men so damaged from 5 years of fighting that it was never again raced
Meriden is just up the road from where I deferred entering the real world. Its notable for being the Geographic centre of England (by one measure) and in the background of that third pic in the slide show you can see the marker denoting its status.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
There is a half decent Danish movie called April 9th.

It’s about a Danish bicycle infantry unit during the German invasion of Denmark.

Blokes on Raleigh Grifters (alright maybe not Raleigh Grifters) going up against tanks and Stukas.

Decent film.
It was a very good film
 
The Kent Cyclists
Also the Northern, Highland and Huntingdon Cyclist Battalions. Most of the home service cyclist battalions of the Great War ended up in Ireland.
 

oldnotbold

War Hero
So, most of them volunteered for overseas service, probably thinking they'd be in France - just over the channel from their Kent homes - and so of course they ended up in India.

Never volunteer...
Yes, always struck me as an eccentric decision that, 'cos cycles must have been a really useful form of transport on the North West Frontier.

More seriously, there were several cyclist battalions (maybe eight-ten?) spread across the country in the 1914 TF. They were more mobile than marching infantry, easy to move long distance by train and a lot cheaper than yeomanry. Also, pre-1914 cycling was a big hobby and relatively cheap. One of their roles was coast watch. Until the 1980s there was a KCB OCA, which produced an extensive unit history: some Kent libraries have copies in their local history sections.
 
Until the 1980s there was a KCB OCA, which produced an extensive unit history: some Kent libraries have copies in their local history sections.
OCA?
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
H G Wells was a great protagonist of cycling, and did much to persuade the military to adopt it.
I mentioned a few pages back the cycle race held only once in the red zone, found a book about today, its on its way, having Visited Verdun a few times it will make interesting reading
 
More seriously, there were several cyclist battalions (maybe eight-ten?) spread across the country in the 1914 TF.
TF Cyclist Battalions before mobilisation

10/Royal Scots (Linlithgow)
6/Norfolk (Norwich)
7/Devonshire (Exeter)
6/Suffolk (Ipswich)
5/East Yorkshire (Hull)
6/Royal Sussex (Brighton)
9/Hampshire (Southampton)
7/Welsh (Cardiff)
8/Essex (Colchester)
25/London (Putney)
Northern (Newcastle)
Highland (Kirkcaldy)
Kent (Tonbridge)
Huntingdon (Huntingdon)

All remained at home except for 2/6/R Sussex, 1/9/Hampshire, 1/25/London and 1/1/Kent which were to go to E Africa but ended up in India in early 1916. From there the Hampshire battalion went to Siberia just after the Armistice (I bet that was popular!) and was the last TF battalion to return home, on 5 December 1919.
 

Ex-Ten

War Hero
yes, cycled on the carriage way rather than the cycle lane.... he's a prick
Because cycle lanes in the UK are so wonderful the Dutch come here to learn how (not) to build them.

TotalCrap.jpg
 

clanky

War Hero
So if we still had cycling battalions would the bikes be given an official nomclemature? The High mobility low logistic load human kinetic stealth transport system. Or the HMLLLHKSTS for short.
 

oldnotbold

War Hero
Old Comrades Assn - extended to include sons and probably grandchildren. No idea if it's still going
TF Cyclist Battalions before mobilisation

10/Royal Scots (Linlithgow)
6/Norfolk (Norwich)
7/Devonshire (Exeter)
6/Suffolk (Ipswich)
5/East Yorkshire (Hull)
6/Royal Sussex (Brighton)
9/Hampshire (Southampton)
7/Welsh (Cardiff)
8/Essex (Colchester)
25/London (Putney)
Northern (Newcastle)
Highland (Kirkcaldy)
Kent (Tonbridge)
Huntingdon (Huntingdon)

All remained at home except for 2/6/R Sussex, 1/9/Hampshire, 1/25/London and 1/1/Kent which were to go to E Africa but ended up in India in early 1916. From there the Hampshire battalion went to Siberia just after the Armistice (I bet that was popular!) and was the last TF battalion to return home, on 5 December 1919.
A bit more. The battalions were created when the TF was formed by combining the existing cyclist companies from the various volunteer infantry battalions. It looks like roughly one battalion per TF district. Units were reckoned to be able to move at around 8 miles an hour, so more than double infantry marching.
 

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