Interior of MET Daimler motor bus in use as an ambulance during the early days of the First World War. Five wounded British soldiers can be seen, four sitting up, one lying down, on lower deck of bus.
Photographed by Alfieri, circa 1914
Location: Ostend, Belgium
Image no: Ukn
Inventory no: 1998/88850
20th Century London caption: Wounded soldiers have been packed into a bus. Vehicles such as this M.E.T. Daimler motorbus were taken to the Front at the start of the war to be used for carrying troops and provisions, and as ambulances. This photograph was taken in 1914 or later. It is more likely to have been taken towards the beginning of the war since the windows have not yet been boarded up to guard against broken glass. When the war started, the army had very few military vehicles. About 1000 buses were requisitioned from the London General Omnibus Company (L.G.O.C.) and sent to the Western Front, while another 300 stayed in Britain and were used for war duties. This was one of the first times that motorised transport had been used in war. These buses held up well over rough terrain and other conditions they had not been designed to cope with.