Hi Guys, this trailer was found on a farm in Scotland in 1993. I bought it.
This is my trailers known history.
The trailer that you see before you was especially designed for use by the Airborne forces. It’s military designation was “Trailer, Lightweight, 10 Cwt, Airborne/Amphibious “. The trailer was designed in 1942 to be used in conjunction with the Jeep. It was made to a simple flat sided design, with no projecting parts, such as mudguards. This helped when loading into the confined space of a Mk. I Airspeed AS51 Horsa glider. The simple box body was also designed to float. No lighting was fitted, except a convoy blackout lamp that shines onto a white plate fitted to the axle.
My trailer was built by Orme - Evans Ltd in October 1944. It was one out of a batch of 2,700 built under contract S7130. Work on this contract began on 13th July 1944. It was given the WD census number X 5899459. It was makers serial number 14029. Over 24,810 No.1 MkII Airborne trailers were built during WW2 by Orme - Evans and SS Cars (later to become Jaguar).These trailers saw use by the Army until the early 1960’s. Those that were demobbed, again saw long use by their new owners, to the extent that few survive today.
I have not been able to discover much of it’s military history, as the Army destroyed all their records when the trailer was demobbed. The trailer appears to have been used post war, judging by traces of the peace time gloss bronze green paint found during restoration. But I was very happy just to discover it's wartime number.
However, I have been able to trace a little of it’s civilian history. It was used by a plant hire company, called “Whittaker & Ellis, of Birmingham and London”, who fitted a generator into the body. This involved cutting several large gaps into the bodywork to allow access to the controls, and drilling over 200 holes to allow free flow of air to the carburettor, plus a hole in the floor for the exhaust pipe. After the generator was removed, the trailer was sold to the farmer in Scotland. He preceded to cut the rear panel out to form a removable tailgate and cut off the rear tow hook together with 8 inches of the chassis!
After many years of disuse, the floor began to disintegrate with rust. I bought the trailer in very poor condition, as you can see from the photo, in 1994 for £300. A large dent was in one side, very rusty overall, and not having much floor left intact. After sandblasting, a new floor was fabricated plus all the holes and gaps welded shut. My friend did the welding while I did all the grinding work and painting. The restoration took twelve months. The trailer has been painted in Mickey Mouse camouflage. The markings consist of it’s original wartime WD census number, X 5899459, together with the ‘42’ marking of 1st Airlanding Light Regiment, Royal Artillery. The Pegasus is the Divisional marking of British 1st (and also the 6th) Airborne Division. The Allied white star is painted on the sides. The ‘T’ reflector plate on the rear is a pre - war civilian item, that was also fitted to military trailers, in order to comply with road traffic regulations.