The Raleigh Cycle Co take a foremost place, and their models for 1915 will, at least, show improvements in detail, if not in the broad lines of construction …A most interesting new model is a well-designed military bicycle enamelled all over in black or service colour. This machine is fitted with service gun clips, and with special carriers back and front which have been subjected to severe weight-carrying tests, each is capable of supporting an average man. It is a utility machine which seems assured of much favour during the next few years.
– Cycling Magazine, Page 448; 3rd December, 1914
1913 Raleigh Military Model
with 1st Pattern Rifle Clips
Frame No 391675
This Raleigh roadster has the frame number 391675, indicating that it was made around 1913. After the outbreak of War the following year, Raleigh produced their Military Model, which essentially required them to fit up frames they still had stock with military fittings so they could supply both the War Office and individual battalions with roadsters ready for military service, including the Royal Navy; Cheshire Rifles; Northern Cyclists’ Battalion; Worcester Regiment; Highland Light Infantry; King’s Liverpool Regiment; 7th Notts & Derbyshire Regiment; Calcutta Volunteer Cyclists’ Companies; Royal Irish Constabulary and the Ceylon Police.
A bicycle made in 1913 would undoubtedly have seen service in some capacity during the war. Unless a machine was a folding model made specifically for military use, it is impossible to prove that any British bicycle was actually used for war purposes. ‘Militarising’ a bicycle proven to be of the correct era with the same fittings as described in the relevant company’s catalogue is therefore the closest we can get to a military model. Raleigh’s ‘new military model’ shown on page 448 of 3rd December 1914 Cycling Magazine is fitted with 1st Pattern rifle clips, and I’ve had some of those remanufactured for the purpose.
The Raleigh is in good unrestored original condition. Its transfers (decals) and nickel parts have faded away over the years. It has been mechanically renovated and can be used for regular daily transportation or display purposes. Being a well-built Raleigh, it could also easily provide long-distance duties in France if you wished to use an appropriate machine to tour the battlefields of a century ago.
WW1 RALEIGH CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
1st PATTERN RIFLE CLIPS
If you’re lucky enough to already own a roadster of appropriate age, I have a limited supply of both this 1st Pattern rifle clip set and also the 2nd Pattern rifle clip set available for sale separately.