The Army Cyclist Corps

IMG_1230 The Army Cyclist Corps was a corps of the British army active during the First World War, and controlling the army's bicycle infantry. The military use of cycles began in the mid 1880s when some of the Volunteer Battalions set up cycling sections as a sort of Home Guard in case of invasion. In the Boer War the bicycle was found to be invaluable for reconnaissance and communication work. By the start of the Twentieth Century there were some 8000 cyclists in various Companies and Volunteer sections.

ArmyCyclistAd1914 At the eve of the First World War the Territorial Force contained fourteen cyclist batallions and in 1915 they were incorporated into the Army Cyclist Corps.The bike was designed to enable the rider to travel as a completely self contained one man fighting unit. Everything from his rifle to his cape and groundsheet could be stowed away on his bike. A small kitbag carried behind the seat held rations and personal items while an emergency tool kit hung from the crossbar. On tarmac roads the heavy iron bike was fast and effective but often had to be abandoned in rough terrain and muddy conditions. 'Cycle Artificers' were used to maintain the bikes and members of each battalion were specially trained as mechanics.

Armycycle1915 Of course the army had to draw up regulations for the use of bikes in the field of battle and in drilling and ceremonial occasions. The first book of regulations was drawn up in 1907 and revised in 1911. It contains such gems as
'A cyclist standing with his cycle, with rifle attached to it, will salute with the right hand, as laid down in Section 19, returning the hand to the point of the saddle on the completion of the salute. When at ease, a cyclist, whether mounted or leading his bicycle, will salute by coming to attention, and turning his head to the officer he salutes. A party of cyclists on the march will salute on the command Eyes Right, which will be followed by Eyes Front, from the officer or NCO in charge.'
'The position of the cyclist at attention is the same as that of the dismounted soldier, except that he will grasp the left steering handle with his left hand, and place the right hand at the point of the saddle, elbow to the rear.'
There was some common sense.
'Bicycle tyres should be wiped with a damp cloth after a march, so that all grit, which if left might cause a puncture, may be removed.'
'The rate of marching, excluding halts, will generally vary from 8 to 10 miles per hour, according to the weather, the nature of the country, and the state of the roads. A column of battalion size should not be expected to cover more than 50 miles in a day under favourable conditions.'

In the first months of the war the cyclists were used for coastal defence work in the United Kingdom. The work of the Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion was described in a poem written by their chaplain, Rev. K D Knowles.

The Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalions


We come from a little county,
But we muster a thousand men,
Recruited in town and village,
And away from the flat bleak fen;
We patrol the Eastern coast, sir,
We are the boys who do not shirk
Though the wind blows stiff
Yet we guard your cliff,
For that is the Hunts. boy’s work.
G. N. R. to Grimsby,
Bicycle up to Hull,
Pedal on to Hornsea,
A forty-five mile pull,
Ride up north to Filey,
Or ride down south to Spurn,
We'll do our job for a daily "bob,"
But we've more than our pay to earn.
We're bred from the old Fen stock, sirs,
Which oft times fought with Montagu;
We're hewn from the self-same rock, sirs,
Stern old Oliver Cromwell knew;
And throughout the two Battalions
You'll not find a father's son
Who will bring shame
The old fighting name
Of the lads of Huntingdon.
G. N. R. to Grimsby,
Bicycle up to Hull,
Pedal on to Hornsea,
A forty-five mile pull,
Ride up north to Filey,
Or ride down south to Spurn,
We'll do our job for a daily "bob,"
And the fame that we mean to earn.

13th Platoon D Company Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion
13th Platoon D Company Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion

Jack Hales, pictured below, was also part of the Huntingdonshire Cyclist Batallion. He was involved in the Gallipoli landings and also served in Turkey and France. He left England shortly after the end of the war, moving to Canada then Australia before finally settling in New Zealand.

Jack Hales

On the occasions that the cyclists were used in combat they were generally found to be ineffective. The terrain on the Western Front was unsuitable for bikes and they were discarded early on with the unit proceeding as normal infantry. Following the war the cyclists were perceived to have little value and the Army Cyclist Corps was disbanded in 1919. By 1922 all remaining Territorial cyclist battalions had been converted back to conventional units. The 1st Kent Cyclist Battalion was the sole battalion to be awarded battle honours – The North West Frontier in 1917, Baluchistan in 1918 and later Afghanistan. A plaque in Canterbury Cathedral records their losses.


65 comments on “The Army Cyclist Corps”

  1. Hilary wrote:

    This post was intended for Remembrance Day. I've just realised I'm a week early!

  2. Patrick wrote:

    You can adjust the date in admin. Set it to Remembrance Sunday? Then the post will disappear and reappear on the right day without you doing anything! (and we can delete our comments)

  3. Kern wrote:

    I say leave it in. It is a great post, and better remembered too early than not at all, "Lest we forget".

  4. Patrick wrote:

    I agree. The parade at the Cenotaph is always moving. We watch it on TV every year. The number of supporting institutions involved is amazing, as is the number of nations whose people fought in the so-called Great Wars. But I think it's also important to remember that civilians, in the 20th century at least, suffered even more: Twentieth Century Atlas of Death Tolls

    It's strange how they refer to 'marching' on a bicycle, and hard to imagine them moving in columns.

  5. Mary wrote:

    I agree as well. I had no idea they even had a Cycling Battalion. Loved the photograph taken in the studio. (I assume the trees are a back drop, looking at the chaps hugging the bushes incase they fell over! )

    My daughter is a member of Air Cadets and watching the young people take their place with the parade is a very moving experience.

    My husband has an electric bicycle called a WaveForce:

    Designed for use by the military. He still has it, but I understand they are no longer in manufacture. He used it while he lost his driving licence due to ill health. It is a very powerful bike, and can go a whole lot faster than 15mph.

  6. Garry wrote:

    The Viet Minh and later the Viet Cong, used bicycles to carry heavy equipment, walking with the bicycle of course. In the battle of Dien Bien Phu, the French were amazed to find themselves surrounded by heavy artillery, which the Viet Minh had transported over mountains, in their component parts, and re-assembled when in position.

  7. Garry wrote:

    p.s. A fine post. Good research!

  8. Hilary wrote:

    The Japanese also used bikes to great effect in taking over Singapore. They rode through the jungle letting off firecrackers to create as much noise as possible, making them seem far more numerous than they were. The British thought the jungle was teeming with Japanese and consequently withdrew.

  9. Sue wrote:

    My Grandfather served in B Company, 7th Corps Cycle Battallion (he was from York) as a Despatch Rider between Verdun And Passchendael in 1916. Apparently he had to push his bike rather than ride because of the uneven terrain.

  10. Stephen M. Gage wrote:

    What a wonderful history site, about such a historic corps.

    Is it possible for me to have a copy of the corps badge for an article that i am writing.

    I am also looking for a copy of the Kent, motto 'Incarta horse'.

    Well done


  11. Hilary wrote:

    Thanks Stephen.
    I've emailed a scan of the badge to you.

  12. Jim McLoughlin wrote:

    My grandfather was part of a unit named "The Pelton Flyers", (after a village in NE England) presumably he was attached to a NE infantry regiment but I have no knowledge of the flyers or regiment. Anyone help?

  13. maggie mcchesney wrote:

    great site.doing my tree found my grandfather was in Army Cyclist corp died in battle of loos ..we know nothing really of the unsung heroes of that period.

  14. john osgthorpe wrote:

    Hi i have just aquired a group photo which i think is hunts cyclist home guard in the photo is a sign saying { B COMPANY 7 platoon winners , effiency cup , shooting cup 1943-1944 } showing the 2 cups

  15. Martin Baker wrote:

    My wife's great Uncle Stanley Rogerson was a Lieutenant in the Army Cyclist Corps, certainly from 1916 to 1922 and served in France. He was originally with the the Gloucestershire Regiment, but I am unsure which ACC unit he was in. I wonder if any records exist, or a photograph. All I have is his medal roll. He came from the Isle of Wight, and went back to live on the Isle of Wight working as a Nurseryman.

  16. vickerstaff wrote:

    my great grandfather was in the cyclist corps. Unfortunately i don't know which one. Does anyone kow of/have pic of Ernest William Ansell? Sometimes just called william. married to Kate if that helps?

  17. June Hutchinson wrote:

    My maternal grandfather, Joe Gleaden – born near Barnsley – was in the 5th Battalion of the Army Cyclists Corp (East Yorkshire Regiment WWI). Only just unearthed this information. He was invalided out of France in December 1918. If anyone has any more information on this battalion I would very much welcome this. Thank you.

  18. alan moss wrote:

    My grandfather was with the Kent Cyclist Batt, 1/1, and served in France, attached to the R.W.Kents. In 1916,he served in India. He survived the War, and in March 1919,went on the Reserves. Henry J.Moss. No.322.
    Where would the Army service records be kept ?. I hold his war medals, for 1914-1918.

  19. Rita Heatley wrote:

    Hi, all I know is that my grandfather was a cyclist in the war ( boer or world war 1) and he lived in Shepherds Bush, London. I don't know where to start looking. Can anyone advise? Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  20. Catherine Degney wrote:

    My Great Uncle, FW (Frederick William Preddy) served in the Army Cyclist Corps and died in June 1918 whilst serving. He was a postman in Rotherham and his name appears on the Cenotaph in Clifton Park Rotherham and also in the postal sorting office.

    When he died however, he appeared not to be in the Army Cyclist Corps but this is what appears on the cenatoph and presumably was probably a good cyclist through working as a postman?

    Can anyone advise why he would change (or be made to change regiments)?

    Any information is much appreciated.

  21. John watson wrote:

    ANyone know if the acc ever had an official regimental march?

  22. Ian Hollingsworth wrote:

    Hi ,I live in Tasmania,several years ago a friend (who had immigrated from the UK) gave me a 1914/1915 medal inscribed 13236 L.Mooney.A Cycle Corps.
    Is there any way that this persons Army record be traced .I know that a lot of records were lost during the WW11 bombing raids on London.
    My friend found the medal buried in the dirt of a park in London a number of years after WW 11


  23. Martin Baker wrote:

    Attn Ian Hollingsworth – looking at England/Wales Census 1911 there are only a handful of L. Mooney names of the right sort of age, so chances are he is one of this lot :
    Surname / first names / age in 1911 / birth place
    MOONEY, Lanes Justin 15 St Pancras London
    MOONEY, Lawrence 14 West Derby, Liverpool Lancashire
    MOONEY, Leo K 9 Salford Lancashire – probably too young
    MOONEY, Lewis 21 Grimsby Lincolnshire
    MOONEY, Louis 23 Lanchester Durham

    My money would be on Lanes Mooney. Next step is to look for his Medal Roll at The National Archive in Kew. I will give it a go. Of course he might have been Scottish, or a non-Brit. Martin.

  24. Martin Baker wrote:

    L. Mooney search – alas no joy so far on Medal Roll nor Army Pensions records, nor records of those Killed in Action. Wonder if 'L' was his middle initial ? Or he may well have been with someone like the Australian Cyclist Corps. If anything comes up I will let you know.

  25. Ian Hollingsworth wrote:

    Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. I emailed details to Australia War Memorial some time back, they did not reply, I will give them another go. The odds of him being Aus would be remote considering how it was found. Interesting enough was another find approx the same time by my friend is an ARP whistle made by Hudson and Co, Barr St, Hockley, Birmingham.
    Ian, and thanks for your interest.

  26. Ian Hollingsworth wrote:

    Hi Martin,
    Forgot to add in reply to your post .L was the only initial for Christian names

  27. Barbara May wrote:

    My Grandfather was in the Army Cyclist Battalion joined in Durham. I found him after a lot of searching on Ancestry.

  28. The actor Charles Laughton was a member of the Huntingdonshire Cyclists Battalion.

  29. Kern wrote:

    The number of responses this post has elicited has been impressive. When Hilary first wrote it I did some cursory searches for a Canadian connection, found nothing and forgot about it. Prodded by the continual stream of comments, I re-searched and came across this link. (Numerous search hits appear to quote liberally and directly from this article with no attribution. I am assuming this article is the original source for much of the posted information.)

    Written in 1941, the jingoistic style of the times is jarring to the modern reader, with references to “Heine”, “our lads”, etc. Despite that, there are some facts that readers may find interesting.

    The 1st Divisional Cyclist Company “was named the ‘Suicide Battalion’ because they had visions of fighting rear guard actions with 'Heine' and their chances of survival would be small”. In fact their duties were mostly mundane until the last 100 days of the war.

    At Chiseldon Camp (situated halfway between Swindon and Marlborough) were stationed “about 1,500 Imperial Cyclists, 400 Australian Cyclists, 200 New Zealand Cyclists and 400 Canadian Cyclists”.

    The casualty rate of the cyclists in France was 23%. Those weren’t very good odds, but a bit better than the infantry (68%).

    It seems the cyclists were also quite intelligent (no surprise there). “In one platoon alone there were six B.A.’s, two M.A.’s, and one LL.B.”

    Various Canadian sites point out that “A Canadian Cyclist was the first of the allied armies to cross the Bonn Bridge into Germany”. Well, who’s to blame them? I just did it too 🙂 .

  30. Hilary wrote:

    Thanks for posting that link Kern, some interesting stuff.
    I've been amazed how many responses there have been to the original post although most of them have been from people researching their family history.

  31. Mike Brookes wrote:

    Just seen June Hutchinson post 14/3/13 re Joe Gleadon in 5th Battalion Army Cyclists Corps E Yorks Regiment. There is information about this in R Wilson & G A Collinson's book 'East Yorkshire Volunteer Infantry 1859-1908' (1982, Fineprint (Hull). Book now seems to be out of print, was lent to me recently but I have since photocopied parts and returned it. It says that the 5th Battalion was an entirely new battalion, brought into being as one of the 10 original units which in 1908 became the cyclist battalions of the Territorial Force. It was formed on a nucleus of some 90 NCOs and men from 'H' Company (Cyclists) of the old 1st V.B. East Yorks Regiment. Captain R W Aske later became Commanding Officer and several other Officers' names, plus details of its Hull H/Q and local detachments, are provided. The 5th Battalion was attached to the Northumbrian Division and like other battalions of the Territorial Force, their planned role was coastal reconnaissance and defence. The book includes uniform details and photographs. Second line units were later created with the outbreak of WW1. One of these was the 2/1st Battalion which was based in Burton Constable near Hull in 1918, which I am currently researching.

  32. susan wrote:

    I have 4 photographs taken of the men in the 5th Cyclists east Yorkshire, when they were posted to Frieston in Lincolnshire. My grandfather was one of the cyclists. unfortunately no names are on the photos.

  33. Terry Adams wrote:

    My Grandfather Albert Adams was also in the 5th Cyclists East Yorkshire (enlisted Nov 17 1915 having been previously 2yrs as a volunteer in the RGA. I would be most interested to hear from anyone with any further information.

  34. Clinton Jones wrote:

    My Great uncle Wilfred Norburn Richmond fell in 1916 aged 19 – he was originally enlisted in Hornsea, Yorks. into the 790, East Yorkshire Regiment but became a part of the 5th Cyclists East Yorkshire Batallion.

    I've no photos of him in uniform but daresay he could be recognised in any photos of the 5th taken in uniform after enlistment and prior to the absorption of the unit into the WEST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT (PRINCE OF WALES'S OWN)

  35. Paul Barton wrote:


    Don't forget that Mooney's war record will be under his regiment, not his corps so you need to read the actual documents to see if he was attached to the ACC from his regiment. I think it's this guy.

    British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920

    Name: Lewis Mooney

    Regiment or Corps: Army Cyclist Corps, Labour Corps

    Regimental Number: 13236, 574454

  36. Paul Barton wrote:

    I don't subscribe to the Ancestry website but I see it has plenty about Peter Aloysius (Lewis) Mooney (1889-1958) including a photo of his victory medal ribbon – presumably minus the medal!!! If you have access to the Ancestry site you will definitely be able to make contact with his family. There's even a photograph of him. I will go down to the library this afternoon where I can get free access to Ancestry and see if I can get any further. Wouldn't it be lovely to reunite it with his family?

  37. pauline shaw wrote:

    Peter ludovicus Mooney bn1889__1958. Was married to a rrelative of mine. Dora may Howard. I have no other record of him.only his wives family she was bn 1892__1987. Any good.

  38. Paul Barton wrote:

    Well, I've checked and this is definitely your man Ian. I now have a photo of him in his WW1 uniform and a scan of his medal card which bears the same number you quoted. Contact me on and I can send them to you.

  39. Martin Baker wrote:

    Attn Paul Barton and Ian Hollingsworth.
    Ref 'Lewis' Mooney ACC 13236 and his lost medal.
    Well done Paul. There is a service record showing he is known as 'Lewis' Money, enlisted 6/8/14 and discharged 30/9/19 with a note of ACC 13236, then the rest of the record shows him as Labour Corps. It notes he got the Victory Medal and the '15 Star' (the medal lost in the park I assume).
    He is actually Peter Aloysius Mooney 1889-1958 who hailed from Lincolnshire, and who married Dora May Howard and appears to have had seven children. Maybe some descendants are still around and can be contacted. I put out some feelers. Regards, Martin.

  40. Martin Baker wrote:

    Lewis Mooney again : He pops up in Lincolnshire in Census 1911 with his widowed mother and some siblings :

    Name: Lewis Mooney
    Age in 1911: 21
    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1890
    Relation to Head: Son
    Gender: Male
    Birth Place: Louth, Lincolnshire, England
    County/Island: Lincolnshire
    Street address: 24 Rendal Street West Marsh St Grimsby
    Marital Status: Single
    Occupation: Labourer
    Registration district: Grimsby
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    Ellen Taylor 40 Widow – mother of 'Lewis' Mooney
    Annie Taylor 4
    Lewis Mooney 21
    Bernard Mooney 19
    Elizabeth Mooney 15
    Thomas Carey 34 – lodger

    Probable details – I have not verified all these :

    Peter Aloysius Mooney
    Birth15 Nov 1889 Louth, Lincolnshire, England
    Death March Q 1958 North Kesteven, Lincolnshire, England

    Family Info :
    Father : Peter Alexander Mooney (1869-1898)
    Mother : Helen M (Ellen) possibly nee Carey ? (1869-1945)
    Spouse : Dora May Howard (1892-1987)
    Married : 1920

  41. Ian Hollingsworth wrote:

    Hi Patrick ,Cycleseven and Martin.
    Received email today that the soldier has been identified. What a great job has been done to follow my query up.
    I hadn't looked at the website since putting info on, so am pleased to get email
    If family can be found I would only be to happy to forward it on.
    Ian Hollingsworth
    St Helens

  42. Martin Baker wrote:

    Attn Ian Hollingsworth, ref 'Lewis' Mooney.

    Any chance of direct contact by e-Mail. I am on Between Paul Barton and myself we have pinned down at least one Grandson and a great Granddaughter of Lewis Mooney. Maybe more to come. If you are happy to have the medal reunited with an immediate descendant of Lewis then there is going to have to be a slightly tricky decision about who to send it to. Regards, Martin.

  43. Katharine Hope wrote:

    My Grandfather Francis William Cappleman was also in the 5th Battallion East Yorkshire Regiment. He was born in Scarborough.
    I believe he enlisted in 1915 and was with them until de-mobbed in 1920.
    I always was always lead to believe he served in Italy ? would this be likely ?
    I would be interested in seeing any photographs anyone may have.

  44. Paul Barton wrote:


    England & Wales births 1837-2006

    Last Name CAPPLEMAN
    Country England
    County Yorkshire
    Event Quarter 1
    District BRIDLINGTON
    District Number
    Volume 9D
    Page 370
    Entry Number
    Line Number 14
    Category Births, Marriages & Deaths
    Record set England & Wales births 1837-2006
    Collections from Great Britain

    1901 England, Wales & Scotland Census

    First Name FRANCES W
    Last Name CAPPLEMAN
    Birth Year 1895
    Age 6
    Birth Town BRIDLINGTON
    Birth County YORKSHIRE
    Birth Place
    Relationship To Head of Household SON
    Gender Male
    Occupation SCHOLAR
    County Yorkshire, Yorkshire (East riding)
    Country ENGLAND
    Ecclesiastical District CHRIST CHURCH
    Enumeration District 13
    Municipal Ward HILDERTHORPE
    Parliamentary Borough BUCKROSE
    Registration District BRIDLINGTON
    Category Census, Land & Surveys
    Record set 1901 England, Wales & Scotland Census
    Collections from Great Britain
    Archive Reference RG13
    Folio 106
    Page 5
    Piece Number 4525

    British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 about Francis W Cappleman
    Name: Private Francis W Cappleman
    Regiment or Corps: Army Cyclist Corps
    Regimental Number: 10380

    The East Yorkshire Regiment 5th (Cyclist) Battalion
    August 1914 : in Park Street, Hull. Remained in UK throughout the war. Soon moved to Louth and thence in May 1915 to Withernsea. Moved on from there to Newbiggin and became part of Tyne Garrison.

    East Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War 1914-1918 Paperback – 1 Mar 2002 by Everard Wyrall
    Paperback: 506 pages
    Publisher: Naval & Military Press Ltd; New ed of 1928 ed edition (Mar 2002)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1843422115
    ISBN-13: 978-1843422112

    The Story of the 5th Battalion the East Yorkshire Regiment Paperback – 19 Dec 2002 by Leonard Morris Garwood
    Paperback: 212 pages
    Publisher: Highgate Publications (Beverley) Ltd (19 Dec 2002)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1902645316
    ISBN-13: 978-1902645315

    England & Wales marriages 1837-2008

    First Name FRANCIS W
    Last Name CAPPLEMAN
    Gender Male
    Year 1925
    Spouse MYERS
    Image Quarter 3
    Country England
    County Yorkshire
    District SELBY
    District Number
    Registry Number
    Volume 9C
    Page 2012
    Line Number 37
    Entry Number
    Category Births, Marriages & Deaths
    Record set England & Wales marriages 1837-2008
    Collections from Great Britain

    England & Wales deaths 1837-2007

    First Name FRANCIS W
    Last Name CAPPLEMAN
    Gender Unknown
    Year 1951
    Birth Year 1895
    Birth Month
    Birth Day
    District HOWDEN
    County Yorkshire
    Country England
    Volume 2A
    Event Quarter 1
    District Number
    Page 182
    Line Number 131
    Entry Number
    Record set England & Wales deaths 1837-2007
    Category Births, Marriages & Deaths
    Collections from Great Britain

  45. Jacqui Jones wrote:

    I have been trying to find out something about my Grandmother's first husband (Arthur Joseph Harrison) who was, when they married, in the 22nd Division Army Cyclists Corps based at Bandajos Barracks, Aldershot until he was posted 'east' in 1915. He did not return until late 1919 and my grandmother had no news of him during that time. I have searched Military records (online) and can find no evidence of his enlistment which makes it difficult if not impossible to find his Service Records. Has anyone any ideas where I can proceed?

  46. Martin Baker wrote:

    Attn Jacqui Jones. Good starting point is The National Archives medal rolls.

    They appear to show :

    1 – 3 of 3 results

    Medal card of Harrison, A W. Corps: Army Cyclist Corps. Regiment No: 549. Rank: Private.

    War Office: Service Medal and Award Rolls Index, First World War. Mentions in Despatches, Meritorious Service Medals and Territorial Force Efficiency Medals. Medal card of Harrison, A W. Corps Regiment No Rank Army Cyclist Corps 549 Private.

    Held by: The National Archives – War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies
    Date: 1914 – 1920
    Reference: WO 372/24/27691

    Sad to say you then have to pay a small amount for the info, and it may not tell you a great detail, or you may be lucky. Or, using the reference number above you can go to TNA in Kew and view the record for free ...... and maybe find out more when you are there. Regrettably very few full service records for non-Officers still exist. Good luck.

    Medal card of Harrison, A W Corps: Army Cyclist Corps Regiment No: 549
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    1 file approximately 0.5 MB
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    Show images View at The National Archives for free
    Reference: WO 372/24/27691
    Medal card of Harrison, A W
    Corps Regiment No Rank
    Army Cyclist Corps549Private
    Date: 1914-1920
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record
    Context of this record Browse by Reference
    All departments
    WO – Records created or inherited by the War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies
    Armed Forces Service Records
    WO 372 – War Office: Service Medal and Award Rolls Index, First World War
    WO 372/24 – Mentions in Despatches, Meritorious Service Medals and Territorial Force Efficiency Medals
    WO 372/24/27691 – Medal card of Harrison, A W Corps: Army Cyclist Corps Regiment No: 549.

  47. julie pickford wrote:

    I am trying to find out which regiment my great-uncle, John Playford (pte) was attached to in the Army Cyclist Corps. He volunteered in April 1915 and saw service throughout the Balkans campaign. He survived the war and was demobbed in 1919. I remember him as a very old gentleman – and his prize possession was, of course, his bike.

  48. Winifred Wojtak (nee Mooney) wrote:

    To Ian Hollingsworth, Martin Baker, Paul Barton, and Pauline Shaw,

    Thank-you very much for your postings about Lewis Mooney whose medal was found in a London park.
    Lewis Mooney was my father. He was baptized Peter Aloysius, but went by the name of Lewis. He grew up in Louth, England and was the grandson of immigrants from County Mayo, Ireland. Dad’s medals were stolen many years ago, probably in the 1920s. According to my mother, Dora May (nee Howard), my eldest brother Jack had taken them outside to play with, but someone took them from him. We always wondered what happened to them, and my sister and I are very pleased to hear at least one has been found. My Dad spoke very little about his experiences during the war. He was a quiet man, anyway, and as with many men, he found it too difficult to recount.
    Of the seven children that Martin Baker mentioned, only my younger sister and I remain. Two of the seven died as children, one from polio, the other from whooping cough, and there was also a third (not included in the count) who was stillborn, all a reminder of the heartbreak many parents faced during those times. There are now many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, some in Canada, where I live with my children and grandchildren. Most descendants of my brothers and sisters are in England, though, many still in Grimsby where my parents lived and where I was born.
    Thanks again for everyone’s efforts. I will be in touch with those who included their email addresses. My email address is
    With warmest regards,

  49. sharon wrote:

    Our church in Tonbridge Kent has a plaque and some of those lost were in the 1st/1st kent cyclists. It includes Fred Sawyer (on the plaque in the original post.) Also Sidney Butcher and George C Evans, who moved to other regiments. 1st were envisaged as a Home guard/ terratorial army and did start by defending the Kent coastline, but they became infantry and were sent to India. We want to try and trace any family to join us for the 100th anniversary and have appealed through our local paper.

  50. Chris Penfold wrote:

    I am looking to form a project around the Kent Cyclist Battalion which was stationed in Canterbury. I would like to find out any information and particularly if the Battalion had any established cycle routes for training in the Canterbury district.

    Can you help?

  51. Ruth Morse wrote:

    I have a broach 1 inch across silver set in tortoise shell with silver around outside. The Invicta horse above the words Invicta. The Kent Cyclist. Imperial Service Battalion. Maker C.B.R. date letter u.
    Can any one help. any information

  52. Pippa wrote:

    This year the charity I work for is organising a Ride to the Somme event to commemorate the cycling battalions and soldiers that fought and fell during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 as well as fundraising to help current servicemen and women, veterans and their families.

    It has been very interesting how many people have felt engaged with the event either sharing stories of their relatives who were members of the battalions during the war or who had never heard of the Army Cycling Corps and wanted to find out more. This is a very interesting post which I'm sure will also be of interest to those who have signed up to the ride.

  53. Jock Graham wrote:

    My dad, Lieutenant James Paterson Graham, was a member of the Highland Cyclist Battalion in the First World War. He served with the actor Kynaston Reeves. Awarded the MC at/around the Battle of Arras 1917. "We are Fred Karno's Army, the famous HCB" was their song.

  54. David Roach wrote:

    Very interesting reading. My maternal Grandfather, Frederick Clegg served in the Lancashire Rgt (although born in Newcastle on Tyne) he was then commissioned as an temporary 2nd lieut and joined the Highland Cyclist Corps. I have a photo of him with that cap badge on his glengarry. he died aged 98 and I never got round to asking him about his time in WW1. I know that he served in France and was wounded but then served in Ireland. Does anyone know what the Corps was doing in Ireland?? My Mother and Uncle are very interested in what their father was doing all those years ago

  55. Dickon Purvis wrote:

    Hi all,
    I'm hoping you can help me with a simple question; my grandfather is listed on the medal roll as 'PURVIS, George ACC 10684 Pte.' and that is about as far as I get with his army career. My question is, what is the relevance of him being listed as ACC whilst most others are listed as CCB or DCC? How can I get more specific information about where he might have served based on the info in the rolls? My father once suggested George had served in the Mediterranean somewhere.
    Many thanks in advance for any suggestions or tips

  56. Peter Stevens wrote:

    I am researching the life of Charles Joseph Dohl. I have his army service papers. A lot of the information is unreadable but he joined the 5th East Yorkshire Regiment Cyclists in Hull as a part-time volunteer on 20 April 1909 for 4 years. His embodied service as a Cyclist began on 5 Aug 1914. He didn't leave the country between then and 14 Oct 1918 but on the 15 October 1918 he is listed as leaving for North Russia & was there until 2 Aug 1919. I would be very grateful if anyone can tell me if it is possible that he was still in the Cycle Corps during this latter period.

  57. Patrick McCarthy wrote:

    My grand-father was in the 2/1st Fife & Forfar Yeomanry, as a Regimental Sgt Mjr. WW1 formed Btns as 1st line and 2nd line troops. 1st line, overseas troops. 2nd line, home defence, not overseas. In 1916 the 2/1 F & F Y, previously horse mounted, was converted to a cyclist unit in the 6th Cyclist Brigade at Ashington in Northumberland. By July 1917, it was at Acklington. In early 1918, it was stationed at Curragh, Ireland. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Prior to ww1 he served with 18 Hussars, seconded to the Bihar Light Horse in India. He received the LS&GC Medal for 18 yrs service. As a civilian he worked at the India Office, London, receiving The Imperial Service Medal. I have been researching family military history for a few years, and have just found this info on the Cyclist Btns. As a younger person my info was from Uncles, long since passed . Web sites have made information more available. But, difficult looking for info on English members, from Aust. If anyone has any info that can add too my info, I would be most grateful and delighted to receive the same. I am 83 yoa, and spent 19 yrs in the Australian Defence Forces. Army National Service 1.5 yrs, RAAF 17.5 yrs. Completing this task, will allow me to keep a Grand father "alive", by passing this heritage to a younger generation. Info on my Service time is much easier to gather.

  58. Patrick McCarthy wrote:

    If Charles Dohl was in a 1st line Btn, he could have gone to Russia, as 1st line troops were sent OS. 2nd line troops either were too old or may have elected to not go OS. Age was an important element especially towards the latter years of the war as the younger men were committed or had died or been wounded. My grandfather was 54 when he rejoined the Army, around late 1916.

  59. Myra Whiteside wrote:

    I am wondering if anyone can help me. My grandfather James Daniel McCormack from Liverpool was in the 57th West Lancashire Cycling Corp. I know that he was gassed twice in France and survived that's all I know of his WW 1 war service. I cannot find any record of his WW 1 military service records through Ancestry and I don't know anything about the 57th West Lancashire Cycling Corp. I would really love to know something about the corp and his military history but I just don't know where to start looking. I would absolutely appreciate any help at all on these matters so that I can pass the information down to my son who has been in the Australian Military for almost 20 years. Can anybody help me?

  60. Pat Benatmane wrote:

    I am researching what Hunslet Rugby League players did in WW1 (Hunslet is Leeds, uk) I have an F Gatecliffe already joined in 1916 the West Riding Cyclists Corps, but can find nothing on the Leeds Roll of Honour – though he may not be from Leeds, and nothing on C WR Graves. Has anyone come across him, please? I've only found 1 on 1911 census – living in Ripon. Thanks

  61. Mrs Andrea Carley wrote:

    My Grandfather John Shemeld born1892 in Sheffield may have been in the West Riding Cycle Corps-how could I find out please?

  62. Louise Deane (nee nash) wrote:

    My Grandfather Alfred Allan Nash was in the Kent cyclists (originally a Territorial Force) he signed up in January 1915. He became part of the machine gun corps. He was I believe stationed in Tonbridge and then shipped out to Bangalore – India. He was only just 17 when he joined up. I think his mother thought it a wise move to join him to the Territorials – as she believed they would stay in England for the duration. He was born in Higham Kent. He survived India but along with many others has either bad flu or some other chest infection which nearly killed him – he survived but was left with a heart complaint which was called rheumatic fever at the time. He lived until he was 73. I do not think the Kent Cyclists in India were home until late 1919 and were involved in the 1st Afghanistan War.

  63. Chris Spooner wrote:

    Does anyone know the name Pte William Hogg Licklie – Regimental No 22952 with 9th West Riding and 7124 with the 17th Army Cycling Corp.?

  64. FIONA BROWN wrote:

    I'm researching my grandparent Samuel Mcvey Dick. His medal record cards indicate he was in the Army Cyclist Corp or attached to several regiments as such. His card reads ; Highland Light Infantry- Reg.1383, Army Cycle Corps- Private Reg 19656, Lowland Divisional Army Cycle Corp- Acting Corparal, Reg 71, and R. E. – Acting Corporal Reg 272915. He received the Victory, Star and British medals for serving in Theatre of War – Egypt 17/6/1915. I can find no other records and would love to know why he has many differant reg numbers, what he would have been doing (fighting/message relaying etc) and what conflicts he may have fought in. Are you able to shed any light or indicate where I may find more info please?

  65. Karen Gray wrote:

    My Grandfather was in (& survived) the British Army Cyclist Corps; 1st Corps Cyclist Battalion, from 1916-1919. With a slightly unusual name (Harold Eldred Thacker) his medal cards were easy to find on showing him as a Private with a regimental number of 15706. But that was as far as I got until this year. 70% of WW1 Service records were destroyed in London in the Second World War so my only clue was his battalion history. There are several War Diaries in the National Archives, not all are as yet digitalised. However searching the records correctly is important and I have now read the War Diary for "1CCB" (1st Corps Cyclist Battalion) which shows the diversity of the work these units completed. Reference WO95/623/2. Well worth the money, the insight these contemporary records gives you is very valuable. Also from what I have researched there was a lot of confusion & duplication around Army numbers on different sections/regiments. So if you look his number on the general Army records it refers to another soldier. In October this year we discovered his actual war medals in a loft (Victory & British) so I can say with pride that he served his country in France in this the year of the 100 year centenary.

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