Seeing active service on and behind the frontline the redoubtable B-type ‘Battle Buses’ became a familiar site in Belgium and France where they were also used as ambulances and even mobile pigeon lofts.
Now London Transport Museum, which has repainted its recently restored B-type Bus khaki for a commemorative trip to France later this summer, is commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of the war with an exhibition looking at how the motor buses and their drivers contributed to the First World War.
As well as the story of the Battle Bus, the exhibition explores how Londoners came under deadly attack from the air as total war came to the Capital. As well as the impact of aerial bombardment on life at home, the First World War saw the start of people sheltering on the Tube during air raids and the advent of rationing.
The Museum offers a unique perspective on the First World War, and the exhibition explores how the conflict accelerated social change.
As thousands left for the front, women advanced into the transport workforce for the first time and were employed on a large scale to do the jobs previously occupied by men, including working as bus conductors, as mechanics on London buses and as porters and guards on the Underground.
Goodbye Piccadilly: From Home Front to Western Front is at London Transport Museum until March 8 2015. Free with general admission ticket.
Click below to launch a slideshow of images from the exhibition.
a photo of wounded soldiers - many with missing limbs - sitting and standing on and around a bus
a photo of a parade with men carrying flags
a photo of an old bus with pigeon loft on it upper deck with soldiers standing around
a photo of a busy Piccadilly Square with buses moving around the statue of Eros
A photo of a group of women in First World War period work wear decorating using ladders and planks
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