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1 August 2014
A tribute to all who died & suffered as a consequence of World War 1.

This is the eighth of a series of articles featuring Carlton China models relating to the war.

Part Eight - Armoured Vehicles

Before we show you the Carlton China models, below are two military posters featuring vehicles from the time of the War.

Left - American recruitment poster for mechanics, 1919.  Right - British recruitment poster for motor drivers, 1915.

Carlton China Model of British Anti Aircraft Motor.
British Anti Aircraft Motor
During the War anti-aircraft capability was vital; not least to shoot down much feared Zeppelins on their bombing missions.

Most anti-aircraft guns were in fixed positions but some of the weaponry was mobile. On the right is a Carlton China Model of a British Anti Aircraft Motor.

All examples I have come across also have the inscription RNAS, which stands for Royal Naval Air Service. Formed in 1914, it was the part of the air arm of the Royal Navy. In April 1918 the RNAS combined with the RFC, Royal Flying Corps, the air arm of the British Army, to form the RAF.

It has been difficult identifying the vehicle on which the Carlton China model might be based. Anti-aircraft guns were often mounted on a variety of standard or modified trucks. Below is an advertisement for a "Dennis".

Possibly, the china model was partly based on a Lancia 1Z anti-aircraft gun carrier, also shown below.

Left - Advertisement for Dennis van, the type of vehicle that could be used to mount an anti-aircraft gun.
Right - Lancia 1Z Anti-Aircraft Gun carrier 1918.

Armoured Car

Carlton China model of an armoured car.
I have been unable to find an armoured car that looks like the Carlton China model shown on the right. This suggests that it was the creation of the modeller; it could have been based on a number of military vehicles.

Models are usually found with the RNAS inscription as used on the anti-aircraft motor above. Those that are not could be have been made after the RNAS merged with the RFC to form theRAF in 1918.

Below are pictures of four WW1 armoured cars; the general form of the china model could be inspired by the Jeffery armoured car used in Ireland in 1915; the turret is like that on a 1916 Lancia IZ armoured car.

Four armoured cars from WW1 - a Jeffery, Best, Lancia and Lanchester.

Carlton China model of Rolls Royce armoured car.
Rolls Royce Armoured Car
Although it seems incongruous, the first British armoured car squadron was formed by the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) during WW1.

In September 1914 all available Rolls Royce Silver Ghost chassis were requisitioned to form the basis for armoured cars for the RNAS.

A Carlton China model of the vehicle is shown on the right. An outline of the car was also used on RNAS cap badges as below.

Curiously, none of the examples of the china model I have seen have the RNAS inscription, as found on the the anti-aircraft motor and other armoured car above.
All of the Rolls Royce models I have come across have the Royal Tank Corp crest used on the Carlton China model of the Vickers tank featured in the previous article.

As with the Vickers tank, the use of the Royal Tank Corp Crest indicates that models with this crest were not produced before 1924 because the Fear Naught motto incorporated into the crest was not adopted until late in 1923.

Both the Carlton China models of Vickers tank and the Rolls Royce armoured car are faithful representations. I could speculate that both models may have been made for members of the Royal Tank Corps, which was also issued with these armoured vehicles.

Armoured cars were useful in the early part of WW1, but as it developed into trench warfare they were less effective. The Rolls Royces were then sent to the Middle East and Egypt. One squadron was placed under the command of Lawrence of Arabia, so not only did he glide across the dessert on a camel but also as majestically in one of these. In the desert, he described the cars as "more valuable than rubies". One would also be useful for going to the shopping centre on a busy weekend...

Left - Rolls Royce armoured car with some of a squadron probably in the 1920s.
Right - Rolls Royce armoured car 1920 version.

In Part 9, the next article, we look at aeroplanes.
This concludes our article on Carlton China models of armoured vehicles.

© Harvey Pettit 2014.
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