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.The obelisk honors the cyclist troops who were killed during World War I.www.atlasobscura.com
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
First British soldier to be killed in WW1 was riding a bike as an advanced recce unit for his battalion (he was only 17)
It was a very good filmThere 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.
The Swiss Army disbanded their Cycle regiments only fairly recently.
ETA: There‘s a website in English dedicated to the story of the Swiss Cycle Troop
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.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.
Buried opposite the last to be killed, sobering, I have visited a few times
TF Cyclist Battalions before mobilisationMore seriously, there were several cyclist battalions (maybe eight-ten?) spread across the country in the 1914 TF.
Old Comrades Assn - extended to include sons and probably grandchildren. No idea if it's still goingOCA?
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.TF Cyclist Battalions before mobilisation
10/Royal Scots (Linlithgow)
5/East Yorkshire (Hull)
6/Royal Sussex (Brighton)
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.