How will your donation help?
£10 – Buses commandeered for war were painted khaki for camouflage. £10 will purchase a pot of khaki coloured paint and transform the bus to its wartime appearance.
£25 – Each B-type bus contains hundreds of bolts and rivets. £25 will commission and produce a set of specialist bolts.
£150 – Design and aesthetics were important elements of London’s first mass-produced motorbus. £150 will pay for a craftsman to reproduce a decorative fretwork panel for the interior.
£300 - 9 benches capable of carrying 18 passengers form the upper deck of the bus. £300 will pay for the manufacture of a bench identical to the ones that carried troops.
£1,500 - Mudguards were essential to the buses’ work in appalling conditions on the Western Front. £1,500 will pay for the manufacture of four mudguards.
Find out More
About the B-type
Introduced in 1910, the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) B-type was London’s first successful mass-produced motorbus, able to cope in the chaotic and overcrowded city.
Most B-types were sent overseas but several hundred were allocated to home services such as London defence, hospital and convalescent home duties.
The first B-type buses to reach France still bore the red and white livery of LGOC, complete with destination boards and advertisements. They were later painted for camouflage.
After four years of heavy use in appalling conditions, a few B-types were overhauled and returned to London’s streets. They were finally retired from service in London in 1928.
Please help us get #BattleBus back on the road
To mark the centenary of the First World War in 2014, London Transport Museum is restoring one of the last surviving B-type buses, no. 2737, into working condition and its ‘khaki liveried’ wartime appearance. We need to raise £100,000 to complete the restoration. Please donate now to get Battle Bus back on the road and help us tell the story of the unique contribution made by the London bus, their drivers and mechanics in the war.
Ways to Donate
Donate by phone:
Please speak to our Operations Team on 020 7565 7298
Donate by post:
Please print and return the Donation Form 70.67 KB
After the outbreak of the war in 1914, London buses, along with their drivers and mechanics, were commandeered for the war effort. The buses were fitted with protective wooden boarding and painted khaki for camouflage. They transported troops to and from the Front Line and were put to use as ambulances and even mobile pigeon lofts. Over 1,000 LGOC vehicles went on war service, most to France and Belgium, with some travelling as far afield as Egypt.
In 2014 the restored B2737 will take part in London Transport Museum’s Goodbye Piccadilly exhibition and programme of heritage events and activities, including a recreation of its journey to the Western Front. The restoration and 5-year community programme are part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Friends of London Transport Museum.