Battle Bus

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A bus for London

The B-type, developed by the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC), was the first successful mass-produced motor bus. Introduced in 1910, it was designed and built in London. LGOC’s horse-drawn bus fleet was replaced by motor buses in a relatively short time. By 1913 there were 2,500 B-type buses in service, each carrying 340,000 passengers per year along 600 miles of busy roads in and around London.

B2737 – the Battle Bus

With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and London Transport Museum Friends, B2737 was restored to operational condition. It was launched in June 2014 in its original red and cream livery, and attended 14 public events over the summer. In September 2014 the bus was converted into a military troop carrier to commemorate the role of London’s transport workers during the First World War. As a military vehicle it has attended a number of events, including a 10-day commemorative tour of key Western Front locations in Belgium and France. For more about the journey, see our tour leaflet below.

Battle Bus leaflet - Western Front tour [3.32 MB]

A mobile exhibition, Battle Bus – London to the Western Front, created by Battle Bus apprentices, tells the story of London’s buses and transport staff during the First World War. For more about the Battle Bus, see our leaflet below.

Battle Bus leaflet [4.36 MB] 

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Events: Somme 100

To commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, and raise awareness of the role played by London buses during the First World War, Battle Bus is embarking on a short commemorative tour in France.

Linking in with the Somme anniversary programme of events, over three days B2737 will journey in stages down the entire former front line of the Somme, from Gommecourt in the north to Maricourt in the south, where the British Expeditionary Force attacked alongside the French in July 1916. On July 1, the centenary of the start of the battle, the bus will be displayed in Albert.

You can follow the journey on this page and on Twitter: @ltmbattlebus


  • Monday 27 June: Hebuterne – Serre – Beaumont-Hamel (Mobile exhibition only)
  • Tuesday 28 June: Auchonvillers – Ulster Tower – Ovillers-la-Boisselle (Mobile exhibition only)
  • Wednesday 29 June: Fricourt – Mametz – Maricourt (tbc)
  • Thursday 30 June: Thiepval (pm) (static display)
  • Friday 1 July: Albert Airport (static display)

Photos from past events can be seen in our two Flickr albums:

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From Tottenham to the trenches

Date: 23 October 2016 until 26 March 2017
Location: Bruce Castle Museum, Haringey

During 2016 the Museum has worked with three teams of young volunteers; a research team, an exhibition team and an outreach team. The exhibition they have co-curated, From Tottenham to the trenches, marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and uncovers the story of London buses and the lives of local people from Tottenham who were affected by the First World War.

Exhibition launch at Bruce Castle Museum

Date: Sunday 23 October

Join us as we celebrate the launch of the exhibition From Tottenham to the trenches.

What’s on

  • Jump on board London Transport Museum’s restored First World War B-type bus
  • Pop up performances of original poetry created by young volunteers
  • Meet characters from the First World War
  • Handle objects and try on replica First World War uniforms
  • Take part in Battle Bus inspired family activities

Find out more about the exhibition on the Bruce Castle Museum website

London Transport Museum would like to thank all those who have made this exhibition possible. In particular, we are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the London Transport Museum Friends for funding the Battle Bus project. Above image created by students from Northumberland Park Community School.

Battle Bus Appeal

Help us bring the Battle Bus story to more people by supporting our public appeal.

Make a donation


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