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jeffery quad armoured car

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  • jeffery quad armoured car

    Little is mention in Irish circles about the Jeffery’s and yet up until 1922 they had spent more time in Ireland than the Peerless armoured car, Austin armoured car, armoured Lancia, armoured Crossley and 1920 pattern Rolls Royce’s.
    Approximately twenty Jeffery’s were noted to be in Ireland in August of 1917 along with seven 1914 admiral pattern Rolls Royce’s. Unlike the above mention armoured cars the Jeffery’s would appear to have not got its nose blooded and therefor little is recorded regarding their tour of duty in Ireland, keeping in mind the period from 1917-1919 would have been a quiet time in Ireland.

    I came across an excellent photo of a Jeffery in Dublin Castle 1920 (photo 1) two other photos that had a pair of Jeffery’s in the backround, and an old newspaper clipping shows one on the streets of Dublin City centre January of 1921. And that’s about it with regard to photos.
    David Fletcher in his book “War Cars” page, 73,74,81,94 give a definite account of twenty Jeffery Quad Armoured cars in Ireland August of 1917 and apparently they remained in Ireland till the British withdrawal in 1922 and at this time are said to have been scrapped.
    Peter Leslie (Armoured cars in Ireland) Military Modelling magazine May 1980 indicates twenty two Jeffery’s were in Ireland on the arrival of the 17th armoured car tank battalion in January of 1919.
    I came across a mention of two Jeffery’s in Mullingar early 1920 called George & Mary which were manned by crews of the East Yorkshire regiment, the East Yorkshire is an infantry regiment, the Jeffery Quad in Dublin castle also appears to be manned by infantry, possibly 1st battalion King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.

    Although thousands of Jeffery Quads four wheel drive trucks were produced and supplied by the American company of Thomas B Jeffery to the allied army’s during WW1 including Russia, only small numbers of the Jeffery’s were produced as armoured cars and they have an interesting history and several prototypes were built.

    Photo 1
    40 of this type were produced and later served in Ireland & India

    Photo 2,
    Only one of this type would appear to have been built

    Photo 3,
    Two of this twin turret model were built and were later used by the U.S army in 1916 along the Mexican border fighting an Mexican bandit known as Pancho Villa

    Photo 4
    Two of this single turret type is thought to have been built for use with the U.S armed forces.

    The Irish Jeffery’s started life in Canada in 1915 when a wealthy Canadian business man Sir Timothy Eaton financed the production of forty armoured cars for use with the Canadian army (Eaton Motor Machine Gun Battery.) and the chassis of the American built Jeffery Quad was chosen.

    Forty Jeffery Quad chassis were shipped to Canada along with two prototypes which had already been built for the U.S army (assumedly those in photo 4). The Canadian built Jeffery’s differed very little from the two U.S prototypes, construction been carried out by the Canada Cycle & Motor Co. Ltd. of Toronto (makers of Russell trucks).

    The Jeffery’s arrived in England with the Canadians in 1916 but never advanced onto the western front with the Canadians, although several books have noted their arrival in England in 1916, no exact dates are known of when they were sent to Ireland and India.

    Sources indicate that twenty or possibly twenty two Jeffery’s were sent to Ireland and twenty sent to India with only sixteen arriving in India after four had been lost along with most of the spare parts when the cargo ship SS Shirala was torpedo by a German U boat U-57 on the 2nd of July 1918. Although only forty are known to have been built the extra two mentioned are probably the two American built prototypes that assumedly arrived with the E.M.M.G.B into England and then onto Ireland.

    Fifteen of the Indian Jeffery’s can be accounted for, serving with the A.M.B (armoured motor batteries) 4th 5th 7th 8th & 10th three Jeffery’s in each A.M.B in what was known as the 3rd afghan war February to August of 1919. Several reference and photographs can be found regarding the Jeffery’s in Canada and India 1915-1924 but very little has turned up about their stay in Ireland.

    Information on the Jeffery differs depending on what book you read, or what sources of information used.
    My interpretation may differ from others.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    There was an article on these cars in Classic Vehicle Monthly earlier this year.

    The Jeffrey Quads were shortlived in Ireland and not particularly liked as the Peerless car of similiar design was found to have found greater favour with the crews.

    From the article I believe most went to India after here and were a rarelly deployed outside the Dublin area.

    Had they not been moved on they probably would have ended up being passed on after independence.

    Thanks for you interesting commentary.
    Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe


    • #3
      Some notes on the Jeffery’s

      Thomas B Jeffery died in 1910 his son Charles took over the business, while Charles was travelling to Europe in 1915 to negotiate the sale of his 4 wheel drive trucks to the French army the ship in which he had a first class ticket on “the Lusitania” was torpedo and sunk by the German U boat “U 20” off the southern coast of Ireland on the 7th of May 1915.

      Charles was the only one from his group to survive the sinking, but he didn't survive unscathed. Charles spent four hours in the frigid water before an Irish fishing trawler picked him up. After his ordeal on the Lusitania Charles Jeffery is said to have lost interest in the motor industry and in 1916 sold his company to Charles Nash. A mock up Nash quad truck was used in the Michael Collins film.

      Over twenty dives have been done on the wreck of the SS Shirala and there have been no mention (to date) of armoured cars or the Knight’s touring car also believed to be on the Shirala, lorry spears have been noted.

      The wreck site of the SS Shirala
      Attached Files
      Last edited by vintary; 18 September 2011, 16:23.