The photo above illustrates civilian Sunbeams on war duty. The picture is dated 1914, with the caption: ‘Soldier cyclist on Silent Sunbeams’.
Compare those machines with ‘The Military Sunbeam’ below.
1915 All-Black Golden Sunbeam for Gentlemen
3 Speed Gear with BSA Hub
Sunbeam Back pedal Brake
Officer’s Case for the Rear Carrier (dated 1915, with military markings)
Frame no 130184
The All-Black Golden Sunbeam has recently arrived from Holland. It is believed to have been used during the Great War, and has an officer’s briefcase strapped to the rear carrier. The machine is in excellent condition, with all its parts original. All its transfers (decals) are intact. In my opinion, this machine was returned to the Sunbeam factory after World War One to be repainted; Sunbeams offered this facility under their guarantee and it was common practice. It has one missing part – the chaincase cover. The handlebar grips are Royal Sunbeam specification rather than Golden; all sorts of anomalies occurred during the war, and this is a typical example, particularly if the machine was exported. It is fitted with a BSA three-speed hub: there was known to have been a shortage of Sturmey-Archer three speeds at this time, and Sunbeam offered additional options of the BSA hub or their own hub (which was actually a BSA with its markings removed).
With its period accessories (bell, inflator pump, rear lamp, Sunbeam patent rear carrier) and correct original parts intact, this is an excellent example of a wartime machine most likely used as an officer’s personal transportation. As such, it would not have had rifle clips fitted nor have been overloaded with equipment. It is a wonderful survivor of that conflict, and is in excellent condition and ready to ride.
1915 SUNBEAM CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
1910 SUNBEAM CATALOGUE EXTRACTS