As you can see from the above 1893 illustration of the ‘Humber No 11 Military,’ the company had been turning out military models for many years prior to the Great War, both at home and abroad.
Humber bicycles were supplied to members of the Royal Family of Great Britain as well as royal families around the world. So as well as being adopted by the War Office in Great Britain, Humber also found favour with colonial governments internationally.
For their 1915 ‘Military Humber’ the company simply added military fittings to their most robust frame. As the Humber rear brake linkage conflicts with the usual position for the front rifle clip – on the offside of the headstock – Humber’s front rifle clip was uniquely mounted on the nearside.
1915 The Military Humber
Double Top Tube
Humber offered frames in any size for their military model. This 29″ frame model was supplied as a double top tube roadster. It’s not a heavyweight model like the roadsters favoured by police forces, but a medium weight machine. This Military model was manufactured in Humber’s Coventry factory.
THE MILITARY HUMBER
The ‘Military Humber’ – illustrated above in the company’s 1915 catalogue – had a strengthened frame (using Humber’s tradesmen’s bike specifications) and 1 3/4″ wheels.
The military model was developed from the ‘Special Humber Roadster’ shown in the 1911 Humber catalogue, below: it was the same model with additional accessories.
Compare the contemporary Tradesman’s Humber, below, with strengthen frame and forks.
1916 HUMBER 6hp MOTORCYCLE OUTFIT
1911 HUMBER POPULAR DESPACTH RIDER’S BICYCLE
The photo above shows John Herbert (Jack) Radley, from Hough Green, Widnes, Cheshire, who served for three years during the build up to the War as a private with the Army Cyclist Corps. His civilian Humber bicycle is fitted with rifle clips and is a Coventry-made Popular the same as the bicycle featured below.
PHOTO LOCATION: Ballsdean, East Sussex