Montgomery went to war in style....
Troops offloading tanks, guns and trucks onto Juno beach may have been startled to see a magnificent and highly polished Rolls Royce Silver Wraith trundling across the sands.
When Monty went to war he did it in style.
The Silver Wraith, together with the elegant Phantom 3 used by General Montgomery before D-Day, will be at this year’s War and Peace Show. It’s the first time the vehicles have appeared together since the Second World War.
“Montgomery used the Silver Wraith as his personal staff car from D+3 right through to when he took the German surrender on Luneberg Heath,” said Andrew Robertshaw, curator of the Royal Logistics Corps Museum at Deepcut, Surrey, where the vehicle occupies pride of place.
“He was determined to be seen in a better car than any German general. Despite its being highly conspicuous it survived the War unscathed, although Rommel’s camouflaged staff car was shot up by a Spitfire.”
The Phantom 3 is owned by Michael Hanson, of Preston Lancashire, an old War and Peace Show hand. He previously won “Best in Show” with his Pacific tank transporter and has carried off a variety of other trophies.
“It was built in 1936 and owned by the boss of English Talbot Motor Company, a Mr Frederick Wilcock,” said Michael. “It’s known as the ‘green car’ because it’s black and British racing green. Monty’s other Rolls Royces were just black.
“Mr Wilcock loaned it to the Ministry of War Transport on condition that it did not cross the Channel, because he did not want it blown up or shot at.
“However this backfired on him. After D-Day the Phantom was reassigned
to the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force General Carl Spaatz
and an American fuel tanker backed into it causing severe damage.”
It would have been used by General Montgomery to commute between his home in Virginia Waters and London.
Both cars will appear together at the War and Peace Show. The Silver Wraith will be driven there. The Phantom will have been recently used to run dignitaries around at the D-Day 65th anniversary commemorations at Arromanches.
“I am hoping that there will be people at the Show who remember
the car while it was being used by Monty,” said Andy Robershaw.
“It would be fantastic to get their stories.”
More information on the War and Peace Show website
|The Silver Wraith as she is today||
Monty's Rolls Royce Phantom III as she is today