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1942 Canadian army bike

  • 11 Apr 2009 7:30 PM
    Message # 145450
    Deleted user

    My late great uncle, Cpl. Franklin Murray McKishnie, was a dispatch rider with the Canadian army during World War II.  After a baseball game in 1942 he crashed on his bike and later died of his injuries.  He was stationed near New Westminster, BC at the time, and was with the Kent Regiment (from Chatham, Ontario).  Does anybody know the specific bike he would have been riding at that time?

  • 12 Apr 2009 9:37 AM
    Reply # 145817 on 145450
    Deleted user
    Bud Parker wrote:

    My late great uncle, Cpl. Franklin Murray McKishnie, was a dispatch rider with the Canadian army during World War II.  After a baseball game in 1942 he crashed on his bike and later died of his injuries.  He was stationed near New Westminster, BC at the time, and was with the Kent Regiment (from Chatham, Ontario).  Does anybody know the specific bike he would have been riding at that time?

    I can't tell you for sure what bike he would have been riding but I have a 1942 Harley Davidson 45 that was originally issued to the Canadian Armed Forces so I know that they did have HD 45's but they also used BSA's, Triumphs and various other British bikes.
  • 20 Apr 2009 8:33 PM
    Reply # 153018 on 145450

    Hi Bud. Not seeing very much response to your question verifies what I had been thinking - it would be very difficult to know what bike your Great Uncle would have been riding without a picture for reference. In 1942, the Canadian army was using BSA J12's and M20's, Matchless G3/L's, Indian Scout 741B's and Chief 340B's, Norton Big 4's and 16H's, Triumph 3Hw's, Ariel W-NG's, Royal Enfield CO's and Harley WLC's. These are the official machines. In Canada, many private machines were donated to the war effort and were given a quick coat of the appropriate service colour and put to use. Do you see the difficulty? You might try the Kent Regiment archivist to see if they have any records or pictures - perhaps even the Legion in Chatham has historical records and pictures. There might be something in old family albums as well - the soldiers were proud to send home pictures of themselves with their machines. Good luck!

     

  • 21 Apr 2009 7:04 PM
    Reply # 153719 on 145450
    Deleted user
    Bud Parker wrote:

    My late great uncle, Cpl. Franklin Murray McKishnie, was a dispatch rider with the Canadian army during World War II.  After a baseball game in 1942 he crashed on his bike and later died of his injuries.  He was stationed near New Westminster, BC at the time, and was with the Kent Regiment (from Chatham, Ontario).  Does anybody know the specific bike he would have been riding at that time?

    A gentleman by the name of Harry Watts has writen a book called "The Dispatch Rider" about Canadian dispatch riders in WW2. It can be ordered for $18 from Harry Watts, 120 Gilmour Cres., Kitchener, Ont. M2M 4N4. I have no phone number but if you could get in touch with him he may be able to help you out with pictures or info on what units had what bikes at their disposal.
  • 30 Apr 2009 12:35 PM
    Reply # 160025 on 153018
    Deleted user
    I think you will find the Canadian Army used many more Indian 640B models than the 741B's. 500cc 741s were ordered by the USA and most were declined by the US (after Harley built them 750cc models), and sent to Australia , New Zealand, Poland and elswhere. The Canadian Army ordered from Indian the 750cc 640B model based on the Sport Scout and usually fully equipped with sidecars and all other options. I have both a civilianized 640B and a 741 as well as extra frames and other parts. Douglas Black wrote:

    Hi Bud. Not seeing very much response to your question verifies what I had been thinking - it would be very difficult to know what bike your Great Uncle would have been riding without a picture for reference. In 1942, the Canadian army was using BSA J12's and M20's, Matchless G3/L's, Indian Scout 741B's and Chief 340B's, Norton Big 4's and 16H's, Triumph 3Hw's, Ariel W-NG's, Royal Enfield CO's and Harley WLC's. These are the official machines. In Canada, many private machines were donated to the war effort and were given a quick coat of the appropriate service colour and put to use. Do you see the difficulty? You might try the Kent Regiment archivist to see if they have any records or pictures - perhaps even the Legion in Chatham has historical records and pictures. There might be something in old family albums as well - the soldiers were proud to send home pictures of themselves with their machines. Good luck!

     



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