British Army Buses in Malta

What we know so far ...

The following are known to have operated for the British Army in Malta. The relevant MT records in the UK are currently “not accessible” but are believed to still exist with a museum, so little detail is currently known outside of what is listed below. The Malta Police records (now in the hands of Transport Malta) did not cover British military buses in Malta, unless the vehicle was subsequently purchased for conversion into a route bus. There have been a few buses privately owned by military regiments etc – these are listed at the end of this list where appropriate as they were registered within the normal civilian registration system, though often with the barest of details in the files. There may well have been more, but these are the only ones known of...

Army Registration: 44BS45
Chassis make & type: Bd SBG
Body Builder: Mulliner 
Seating: 39
Chassis number: 51186
Army Fleetnumber: ????
Notes: Struck-off by 5/71. Chassis used to build new route bus (2483) in 11/71. Later became FBY 019 on Gozo. 

Army Registration: 44BS62

Chassis make & type: Bd SBG
Body Builder: Mulliner 
Seating: 39
Chassis number: 51569
Army Fleetnumber: ????
New*: 5/57
Notes: Struck-off by 1/71. Chassis used to build new route bus (3343) in 11/71. Later became EBY 515

Army Registration: 44BS63
Chassis make & type: Bd SBG
Body Builder: Mulliner 
Seating: 39
Chassis number: 50972
Army Fleetnumber: ????
New*: 3/57
Notes: Struck-off by 7/70. Chassis used to build new route bus (2425) in 5/72. Later became EBY 517

Army Registration: 51DM67
Chassis make & type: Bedford VAS2
Body Builder: Strachans
Seating: ??
Chassis number: ??
Army Fleetnumber: ????
New*: ??
Notes: Information not known other than mangled remains found in a scrapyard near Zejtun in 2010. 

NOTE - The "New" dates shown above are when the bus entered use with the Army - it may have been physically newer at an earlier date. 

The following notes refer to buses known to have been privately owned by Army regiments serving in Malta. As the buses were privately owned, they were registered in the civilian registration series administered by the Malta Police Force. It may be there were further examples but these are the ones currently known about. Additionally local buses were impressed during World War 2, and details of these will be added when more is known about the subject. 

former 1121
This 1933 21-seat Bedford was sold in late (?) June 1938 to a Major Allen (President of the Regimental Institutes) of the Royal Irish Fusiliers based at Mtarfa Barracks. He applied for a “free” licence, but was told licences had to be paid for like other military owned buses. Nothing further is known, indeed it is possible the sale fell through over the issue??

A letter dated 8th March 1940 from the Commanding Officer of the 2nd A.A. Regiment asked “Could permission be given please for the 2nd A.A. Regiment to buy and run a Regimental Bus for the use of troops and their families. The bus in view was formerly on the Birkirkara route – licence 708 – at present owned by B.M.C. It is further intended to have the body of the bus painted blue, with the top white and a red band around the middle. A distinguishing mark in the form of “2 A.A. – R.M.A.” will also be added.” In April 1940 new registration 7224 was allocated. The bus was confirmed as being a Ford seating 20 passengers, new in 1931. However due to the War, it saw little use, and was soon sold on for conversion into a truck. It retained the registration 7224.

*** HELP REQUIRED *** We are looking for photographs of any of the above buses, further details of the above buses, and any additional buses known to have been used by the Army, and confirmation of the livery the buses operated in (was the default livery was overall dark green ??, did some (all) also have a white roof to reflect the strong daytime sunlight ?)  

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