Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Royal Enfield's World War II history, free download

Ministry of Home Security volunteer dispatch riders mounted on Royal Enfield motorcycles.
Proud of its role in Britain's victory in World War II, Royal Enfield published an expensive, presentation-style book lauding its workers. Entitled "A Proud War Record," the book describes the company's contributions during the war and expresses the company's confidence in itself as it faced the peacetime future.

Royal Enfield enthusiast Simon Taylor of the UK recently purchased a copy of this rarely seen publication for what he describes as a "shed load" of money.

He was so impressed with it that he has made it available as a pdf file you are free to download from the Internet.

Royal Enfield motorcycles were proud to serve.
"It really is a golden piece of Royal Enfield history, and not something to be hidden away, only to be seen by those that can afford it," Simon wrote me.

Simon is known as "Scaleyback" in online forums devoted to Royal Enfield. He posted the link on as many of those forums as he could.

The book "details their achievements in engineering, tells of going underground at Westwood quarry to escape the attentions of the Luftwaffe, shows production techniques, staff housing and welfare, along with the many specialised products that were manufactured to help Britain’s war effort," Simon wrote.

"Made Like A Gun" on the cover.
"The quality of the book only lends credence to the pride they had in creating this volume, complete with a pressed brass motif on the cover.

"Copies of this book were given away with the company's compliments, and although I have no idea how many were made or who the recipients were, they are very scarce on the ground today."

Noteworthy is the book's exhaustive list of Royal Enfield wartime products. You will be amazed.

But more touching are the human notes in the book: that "girls" formed a major part of the wartime work force, for instance.

The book boasts that the main factory at Redditch supplied its own company of the 9th Battalion (Worcester) Home Guard, and a Works Fire Brigade of 75 members.

Here's one (of many) amusing notes in the book: Royal Enfield was pleased that its lawn mower production, mothballed during the war, would soon resume. It expected that the mowers, although "of the same basic design" as the pre-war models, would nonetheless be improved "as a result of experience in the manufacture of two-stroke engines for the Airborne Forces..."

Well. They were entitled to dream of a comfortable business selling lawn care equipment for the green fields of a world at peace. They'd earned that much.


  1. WARNING: I DON"T RECOMMEND DOWNLOADING THIS. I DID> It downloads an unwanted browser and other junk programs. I removed it using "Malwarebytes" antimalware software. Also there are videos on youtube to show you how to get rid of it.

    1. I downloaded the file repeatedly to test it and experienced no problems whatsoever. Mediafire is a reputable company and this file is provided by a sincere person well known in the Royal Enfield community. HOWEVER, Mediafire does run ads on their page and some of these encourage you to download material. I avoid those and download only the material I want.

  2. No problem with downloading this iconic document from the link provided by Mr Simon Taylor. Really worth and informative for all RE enthusiast's.

  3. i have a genuine book ! belonging to my late father ...in excellent condition but im not willing to sell it.... i come from Redditch and you have an article on me regarding my grandad and sidebox etc

    1. Hi Lynne. For anyone interested, the story about her grandfather Harry Andrews, on the Royal Enfield factory firefighting team before World War II, can read it here.


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