A military G.W.K.


Reference to the G.W.K. cars reminds me that as a D.R. I carried a dispatch from Eight Brigade to Cavalry Corps headquarters near Ypres in 1914 and saw a G.W.K. in the ditch. Upon enquiry at H.Q. I was informed that it was the property of an officer on the Signals staff and that it had a habit of going off the road due to flats on the friction disc and the steeply cambered slippery Belgian pavé. Apart from these antics the car was very reliable. Perhaps Mr. Wheeler knows a bit more about his G.W.K.?

Quite a few cavalry officers had their cars shipped over to Flanders. On the Eighth Brigade we had two Sunbeams, one Alphonso Hispano, and a Delauney Bellevue which Lord Northampton had sent up from Paris. They were all tourers. I drove them all at every opportunity; I was often personal D.R. to General Byng on the 3rd Cav. Div. who owned a 90-h.p.h Benz tourer. This was a marvellous car to drive.

I remember that on one occasion in October 1914 in the 1st Battle of Ypres we captured a high-ranking Prussian Guards officer. We took him in the Benz to headquarters. This officer was about 6 ft. 4 in. tall and together with his picklehaub helmet was a magnificent sight. I shall always remember him sitting in the rear seat, as stiff as a ramrod. The tops of the rear seats of the Benz were very shallow and were well below his waist. It would be interesting to know if any of your readers have any information relating to famous cars in wars.

Penzance. W. R. Hobbs.