Despatch Riders, type of motorcycle used

Discussion in 'Vehicles' started by Wiffer, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. Wiffer

    Wiffer Member


    would anyone be able to identify the make of the motorcycle in the attached photograph? The group are despatch riders, the one in the middle being my uncle.


    Wiffer F. Coutts - Despatch Rider .jpg
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Ask Rich Payne , he's the motorbike guru

    (I've emailed my father-in-law the photo who is also into old bikes.See who replies first.)
  3. Blutto

    Blutto Banned

    BSA M21 ?
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    FinL reckons BSA M20.

    Interesting video
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  5. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Yes. M20 from Royal Artillery Section, General Headquarters.

  6. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    It is indeed a BSA WM20. Delivered under contract C6126 during June 1940. I calculate that it would have had the frame number WM20 19157.

    According to the 1941 GHQ listings, Arm of Service serial '282' was issued to 5 Defence Regiment R.A. As such, the troops would have been 'Motorcyclists' rather than 'Despatch Riders' which was a Royal Signals 'trade', although their duties would have included the carriage of despatches.

    The motorcycle has yet to be modified by the addition of pannier equipment which probably indicates that the photo dates from1941 / 1942.
    Owen and Tricky Dicky like this.
  7. Wiffer

    Wiffer Member

    Thanks Owen, Mike and Rich. The video is indeed interesting, and the information on the bike in the photo is very helpful. My uncle was indeed a Gunner in the RA. The distinction between motorcyclist and despatch rider is new to me, so thanks for clarifying this also.

  8. Kellard

    Kellard Active Member

    If you're interested and in the area the Royal Signals Museum has the complete collection of DR motorcycles from WW1 to the 1980's

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