Armoured Cars WW1 or should it be Sledges?


An officer of the Russian Armoured Car Division with his sledge and reindeer at Alexandrovsk 1915-16 Image copyright Imperial War Museum © IWM (Q 114807)

I was doing some research for my talk about the Royal Naval Air Service for the Leamington History Group in March when I found this picture in the Imperial War Museum’s collections.  You may not have even considered armoured cars to be the responsibility of the Royal Navy but they were – at least for part of the war.

They served initially in France in 1914, at Gallipoli in 1915 and then at the end of 1915 the Admiralty seconded a squadron of armoured cars to Russia. As a single squadron was not a viable unit it was decided to send a complete division of three squadrons.

This was a new unit and was not a wing of the RNAS.  Its formal designation was British Armoured Car Division RNVR.

The unit saw hard fighting in Russia before being withdrawn as a result of the Revolution and its personnel were subsequently transferred to the Army Motor Machine Gun Corps.

I subsequently found three letters online from a member of this force which you may find interesting – Tom Garner’s letters.