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Coaches becoming Ambulances during WWII

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Green Line coaches were the vehicles that operated the 'country' arm of London Passenger Transport Board's (LPTB) service, running from London to towns such as Ascot, Dorking, and Reigate.

A nurse stands in the open rear emergency exit doorway of a T-type Green Line coach which has been converted into an ambulance. 1939. Image courtesy of London Transport Museum 1998/37696

In accordance with a prior agreement with Government, when war came, practically all Green Line coaches and some other single deck vehicles were converted into ambulances capable of taking 8-10 stretcher cases.

Patients being moved onto Green Line coach, converted into an ambulance. Oct 1939. LT000030/018 Pennyfare_Oct_1939_00005

They were to be kept constantly manned by the LPTB and ready for instant service. Plans for the conversion were completed and equipment manufactured by the LPTB's engineers' before war was declared.

Article about the part played by Green Line ambulance drivers in conveying the injured to hospital after a bomb hit a dance hall and milk bar. Jan 1944. LT000030/078 Pennyfare_052_00002

On 1 September 1939, all Green Line coach services were withdrawn, the equipment was installed as coaches came off service, and within 5 hours over 400 coaches were ready for duty as ambulances.

Green Line Coaches assisting the civilian population following air raids. Apr 1944. LT000030/078 Pennyfare_055_00003

The ambulance coaches were transferred to garages in the London area. Initially used to assist with the evacuation of hospital patients they were later deployed following air raids to attend to civilians.

News article about the use of Green Line coaches to convey wounded soldiers on their return from the invasion of Normandy. Aug 1944. LT000030/078 Pennyfare_059_00002

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