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

UK Events in 2016

Saturday 9 July - Wickford at the Somme, Memorial Park, Wickford @WickfordWarMem
Monday 26 September to Sunday 2 October - WW1 History Week, British Motor Museum, Gaydon

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

Please visit this page for further updates.

Vote for Battle Bus

Vote open until 20 July 2016

Our Battle Bus has reached the final of the National Lottery Awards 2016. We were shortlisted from over 600 entries for the Best Heritage Project category, in the annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects, and you can help us win by voting for Battle Bus by 20 July.

If we win we’ll receive a £3000 cash prize, which would go straight back into the Battle Bus project and help us share the story of this historic vehicle with new audiences through events and workshops. 

ENGLISH vote for us

Battle Bus Appeal

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

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