The British Bicycle Ambulances of World War I

Though horse-drawn carts, cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles played a major role in evacuating wounded soldiers in World War I, bicycles were often used for ambulance duty. Four bicycles with a stretcher in the middle was the ideal set-up, but hen there weren’t enough soldiers available, two bicycles side-by-side, joined by a solid bar, was another common rig. The Tandem Ambulance was actually very efficient because two qualified physicians were normally the ones riding the bikes. That allowed them to tend to the patients as they were heading back to the hospital. During World War I, physicians treated more than 100 patients in a few short months using the Tandem Ambulance. There was also the time when one ingenious soldier converted his sidecar motorcycle into an ambulance. The body was for carrying surgical appliances, while the runners held a an Army regulation-size stretcher.