Chassis Number WN1 10445

Chassis: WN1 10445
Condition: 1
WO Reg: 04 BF 45
 Engine: 62170
 DiS: 4/10/55
 RV: BIC/C/0042/23,
 Struck Off: Rud 13/5/67
 Sold: For sale: Rud 4/4/67 Lot: 2115 A [9814] B [10124] C [10445]. Not Sold. Again Rud 8/5/68 Lot 606 A [10445] B [11138] C [11114].
 Civ Reg: Was UK Reg: CHJ 26 G [Sothend-on-Sea 1968].  In other words this registration was not original for this Austin Champ.
 Location: Gentofte (a Copenhagen suburb)  -  
 Owner: Niels Vegger  

Neils supplied the top two photos in 2011.

Neils contacted the Register in 2007:
"I have an update on my austin champ with chassi number 10445.  I have removed some paint from the bonnet on each corner, and have found a REME sign on left side, and on the right side an unknow, to me, sign.  It is a blue square, with an orange/red dragon or grifon on it, most likely a dragon.  Can you help with identifying it, could it some Welsh regiment? as I would like to bring it back to its original.  Tthe signs are painted on the first layer of bronze green, so the must be the first ones."

John M:  "The formation sign: I think you are describing the 43 [Wessex] Division [TA]. See attachmentIf you find the REME number, then I can tell you the actual unit."

"The REME badges is in red at the bottom then yellow and blue and has the number 47 on it.  I have also find the lot number 606 on it."

John M: When 43 [Wessex] Infantry Division [TA] was reformed on 1 April 1947, the Artillery Anti-Aircraft Regiment was: 396 [Devon] Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery [TA]. This regiment was formed from the old WWII 87 [Devon] Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery [TA]. The 396 LAA Regt RA [TA] merged in 1950 with 256 [Devon] LAA/Searchlight Regt RA [TA] to form the: 256 [Devon] LAA Regt RA [TA].  256 [Devon] LAA Regt RA [TA] was formed 1947 from old WWII 51 [Devon] LAA Regt RA [TA]. It was converted to LAA/Seachlight in 1949. Reformed as LAA regt in 1950.During 1954, the regiment absorbed 668 [Devon & Cornwall] Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regt RA [TA]. During 1955, it merged with 524 [7th Bn The Royal Hampshire Regt TA] LAA/Searchlight Regt RA [TA]. During 1955, the regt was renamed: 256 [Wessex] LAA Regt RA [TA].  During 1956, the regiment merged with 407 [Devonshire] Coast Regt RA [TA] and became known as 256 LAA Regt RA [TA].  During 1961, 256 LAA Regt RA [TA] ceased to exist when its P [Hampshire] Battery went to 383 [Duke of Connaught's-Royal Hampshire] Field Regt RA [TA]-43 [Wessex] Division [TA] and its Q and R [Devon] Batteries went to 296 [Royal Devon Yeomanry] Field Regt RA [TA]-43 [Wessex] Div [TA].  On 1 April 1967, the TA was disbanded and replaced by a new volunteer force. 296 Regt RA [TA] was reduced to RHQ, A & C Sqns The Devonshire Territorials [1st Rifle Volunteers] [V] and 383 Regt RA [TA] was reduced to B Coy The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Territorials [V].  The unit number used on vehicles by a LAA regt in a TA infantry division was: 47 on red/blue square. This number, 47, was used from 1951 until 1961. You have 47 on REME colours and this indicated the Light Aid Detachment [LAD] REME attached to 256 [Devon] LAA Regt RA [TA] 43 [Wessex] Infantry Division [TA]  until 1961.  During 1961, 43 [Wessex] Infantry Division [TA] became 43 [Wessex] Division/District [TA].  43 [Wessex] Div [TA] did not have a LAA regt after 1961 and your Austin Champ might have been allocated to either 296 or 383 Fld Regts RA [TA] of 43 Div. The formation sign remained the same, the unit numbers changed to 66 for 296 and 68 for 383 Regts on red/blue. The REME LADs would have used the same numbers on REME colours.  43 [Wessex] Div [TA] was disbanded on 1 April 1967.

I can add a bit more:

Your vehicle was allocated to the Commanding Officer of REME LAD. His vehicle would have been a Truck 1/4 Ton 4x4 FFW with a Royal Artillery Tactical Sign front and rear of vehicle. This was a metal plate 4.5" x 4.5" painted red over blue with Q3 in white on top. Other REME LAD troops used a Truck 3 Ton GS 4x4 with the same RA tactical plate.

Ex Ole Willumsen Frederiksberg Denmark






The picture was taken at the Copenhagen Classic Car Cup. 1996

I have had a couple of VW-181 kübels (1975 & 1976) and a M151A1 MUTT (1967) but as they are rather common here, I thought that it would be more exciting to have something really unique.I have always thought that the Champ was a fascinating piece of engineering and the more I dug into it the more I became convinced that this was the car I wanted. My main source was Pat Wares book In National Service, but since then I have aquired all the Champ-related literature I could lay my hands on.

As a member of both the MVT and The Invicta Military Vehicle Preservation Society I had an excellent opportunity to call several owners who had Champs for sale. This was December 1995. One of these was Maurice Reed who lives in Chelmsford, not far from Harwich which suited me well as you shall see. Another benefit of this contact was that Mr. Reed lives just down the road from Gus Gowers and knows him well ! Mr. Reed had had the car for 12 years but had not used it much in the last season and wanted to sell it as he felt he couldn't cope with the maintenance any more. Mr. Reed sent me some recent pictures of the car and we agreed to meet in Harwich (which is the port of the ferry to Denmark) in the beginning of february 1996. Then I could decide if I wanted to buy the car. There was really not much to think about, because the car was in virtually original condition although showing signs of age, but not a spot of rust in sight.

It ran OK and I decided to take it with me back to Denmark. I arrived in the middle of a snowstorm and had to drive 100 kms to reach some friends on the east-coast of Jutland, the western part of Denmark. Some journey I can tell you ! Several cars went in the ditch right in front of me and the batteries packed up near the end of the journey so I had to have it tow-started once. But otherwise it didn't miss a beat, although it consumed petrol at an alarming rate. Eventually I managed to have it transported to the Copenhagen area where I live and I used it on temporary plates for a couple of events in August 1996. The picture was taken at the Copenhagen Classic Car Cup, where the Danish Historic Military Vehicle Association was invited to do a display and a couple of "laps on the track , which used the streets in the middle of old Copenhagen ! There was also an event staged by the National Museum and the Champ attracted a lot of attention in both cases. I must admit that I have have hardly used it since then. The main problem is that there is a lot of small jobs needing to be done before you can call it fully roadworthy, so instead of doing a partial restoration I have decided to go for the full treatment.I brought a lot of spares with me from this and last years shows at Beltring and I have just bought new rubber boots for the axles. Much is dependent on access to proper facilities but things are looking bright in that department, so I hope to start in earnest next spring. ........Ole Willumsen October 1997

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