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|Rolls-Royce Armoured Car|
|Rolls-Royce Armoured Car
|Following a study by the Royal Naval Air Service, of Belgian armoured car tactics against the Germans, in 1914, a decision was made to convert some of the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost cars they had in use. The conversion was a success and the Admiralty gave permission for full scale production, with first deliveries in 1915. Further batches with refinements were built in 1920 and 1924.
The British Army adopted the design and deployed them to all the colonies, Ireland being no exception. At the foundation of the Free State, the British handed over Rolls-Royce Armoured Cars to the National Army and these saw service until after WWII. They appear to be 1920 pattern models which had better armour protection, louvres on the armoured door covering the front of the radiator, disk wheels and a more powerful engine than the earlier 1915 model.
The Rolls-Royce saw extensive service during the Civil War and were showing their age by the time the emergency came around, however, as there was a distinct lack of armoured assets they remained in service until the 1950s.
In the early 1940s, it appears that at least some, if not all, of the cars were upgraded to a similar standard as the 1924 pattern, with the installation of an Irish designed and made commander's cupola and a ball mounting for the machine gun. The first vehicle was converted by the Cavalry Workshops and the remainder by Thomas Thompson of Carlow.