March 27, 2023

Introduction by Chris Elliott….

Through the years we have received many requests for help and advice and the latest is from Glenn Brown who would love to trace the motorbike his dad rode in Cyprus as British National Serviceman..

Dear Cypruscene
From: Glenn Brown

This is a massive long shot, but I am trying to find help in finding my father’s Matchless Motorbike from the 50’s. My father was stationed in Cyprus during his national service and so far I have managed to find the frame and engine serial numbers and I know it was sold off by the Army in Cyprus 1958.

I have a great picture which shows the number plate and I have been in contact with the vintage motor cycle museum in Nicosia, but as yet I have had no luck. I am hoping that I could get some fresh ideas from Cyprusscene.

Many thanks to them for getting back to me. I have tried over the years to find this motor bike, so I am glad you are willing to help. I have a great picture of  father on this bike back in the early fifties while his was on national service in Cyprus. Sadly my father died at the age of 50 from a heart attack and from the little information we have, I know he served in Cyprus in the Royal Artillery and I also know that he spent time in hospital after an accident he had while stationed there.



Group picture with my Dad, Lawrence Vernon Brown, 5th from the left…Location not known but most likely in the UK

I first thought perhaps he had an accident on that bike but we have no way of knowing exactly what happened. Anyway over the years, I had always thought, how great it would be to track down this bike and in my wildest dream, perhaps own and ride it in honour of my dad.

His motorbike was a 350cc Matchless and I have the frame number and the engine number which were on this bike, the frame number was 48165 and the engine number was 41/G3L 63165 .

I also have the date it was sold off by the Military, I researched MELF and discovered it was the Middle East Land Force. In 1959 Middle East Command was divided into two commands split by the Suez Canal. The two parts were British Forces Arabian Peninsular, which was based at Aden, and the rump of the former Command which was based in Cyprus and which in 1961 was renamed Near East Command. which was last stationed in Cyprus, so I am pretty sure the only place the bike can be is there.

As you can see from the picture, the number plate is clear and the number on the tank refers to a regiment from Barnstable. I live in the hope that someone in Cyprus will be able to either do some research for me or know someone who can.

I am very grateful for your response and any further action you can help me with.

Kind Regards Glenn Brown.

Editors note:

Well this is an interesting project and any reader who thinks he can assist please email with information or leave a comment on this article.

We will reach out to the Northern Cyprus motorbike fraternity to find out if there are museums or private collections that may contain ex-military motorbikes from the 1950s. We may even get feedback from the many UK National Servicemen who served in Cyprus during the 1950s.

Record of British Army Matchless motorbikes that were sold

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