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First World War London Battle Bus on tour for Somme Centenary in France

Posted  10 June 2016 in News  
By Liz Robertson
Converted Battle Bus No. B2737 at London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum’s 102 year old khaki green Battle Bus No. B2737 will be crossing the channel to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme in France with a team of historical experts and curators from London Transport Museum on Monday 27 June 2016.

One of the only two operational 1914 B-types buses in the world, this tour aims to raise awareness of the role London’s buses and staff played during the First World War.

First World War Army Service Corps drivers pose for the camera in front of a B-type bus seen in rear view. Copyright TfL.

First World War Army Service Corps drivers pose for the camera in front of a B-type bus seen in rear view. Copyright TfL.

As part of the Somme anniversary programme of events, this historic vehicle will embark on three-day tour along the entire former front line of the Somme, in Northern France, from Monday 27 June to Wednesday 29 June. The tour will end at Thiepval for the Evening Vigil on 30 June 2016 and the bus will be on display at Albert-Picardie Airport and Albert railway station on 1 July 2016.

B2737 was restored as part of London Transport Museum’s First World War centenary commemorations in 2014. This historic vehicle tells the story of how one third of the London bus fleet was commandeered for the war effort at home and abroad, in many cases with their civilian drivers and mechanics.

This ‘History on the Move’ Battle Bus tour will give the public the chance to see and climb on board the 102 year old B2737 in key locations associated with the Battle Bus story, and learn how London buses were used to transport troops to and from the front line in the French countryside. Expert guides and curators will be on site to explain the crucial role these vehicles played during the First World War.

To find out more, visit the London Transport Museum website and follow the Battle Bus on Twitter.

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