February’s object of the month is a photograph from the Royal Enfield factory. This photo is from a collection of photographs of motorcycles used by the military during the WWI. The Royal Enfield factory at Redditch produced a range of armoured outfits. In this photo, Captain J.E. Alkyn and Sergeant Cocker trial the new military motorcycle outside the factory. This motorcycle came with a Vickers machine gun sidecar attachment that could be aimed at low flying aircraft.
Previously named the Enfield Cycle Company, the Royal Enfield obtained the licence by the Crown in 1890 and has since been called the Royal Enfield. Royal Enfield supplied motorcycles to the British War Department and also to the Imperial Russian Government. At the outbreak of the WWI, Royal Enfield supplied 6 hp outfit motorcycles with stretchers to the Crown.
In the 1920s, the Royal Enfield factory developed and increased its range of models, however, during the Great Depression of the 1930s the demand for motorcycles plummeted, yet the factory continued to manufacture bicycles.
During WWII, Royal Enfield was requested by the British authorities to develop and manufacture military motorcycles. After the war the factory continued manufacturing the models that were developed during the war and the J 2 model was created, and with further development would eventually become the Bullet.