1914 Isle of Man TT. Race #8
The 1914 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy was the last held before the outbreak of the First World War and remembered as the event in which the big thumping singles fought back in their constant battle with the twins.
Following the two fatal accidents, crash helmets were made compulsory and the start line was moved to the top Bray Hill.
The Junior, which had been reduced to five laps, was held in bad conditions. Heavy rain and mist on the Mountain gave competitors a tough time, but produced a tremendous race.
Leading the singles' charge was the AJS team with their 350cc machines, which featured twin primary chains and a two-speed countershaft, allowing four-speed gear selection. Their riders Eric and Cyril Williams (no relation) finished first and second respectively, having constantly swapped the lead with the vee-twin Royal Enfield and flat-twin Douglas bikes.
The exciting race was marred by the tragic death of Frank Walker, who had been leading on his Royal Enfield until he had a puncture on the third lap. Such was the fury of his pursuit of the two leading AJS’s that he Ied twice during the event, but at the finish, whether because he was so exhausted he had lost a lot of the number of laps or because he simply could not stop, he crashed into the wooden ban placed across the track to signify the race was over and was killed.
Cyril Pullin, riding a Rudge, won the Senior, which boasted 35 makes of machine among its 97 starters. The previous year's winner Tim Wood made a great start and set a new lap record of 53.50 mph before retiring with a burnt-e magneto. 'Veteran' Harry Collier moved into the lead, but then crashed, while his brother Charlie slowed with hub gear problems with his Matchless. However, there was a super dice for second place that ended in a tie between former winner Oliver Godfrey, riding Indian, and newcomer Howard Davies, whose performance helped the new Sunbeam to win the manufacturers' team award.
Sadly, manufacturing then turned to machines of war and it was not until 1920 that the sound of racing engines once again echoed off Snaefell’ s grassy slopes.
🏆Junior race. 49 riders started and 27 finished. 187.5 miles.
#1st Eric Williams - AJS
#2nd Cyril Williams - AJS
#3rd Frederick James Walker - Royal Enfield
🏆Senior race. 96 started and 53 finished. 225 miles.
#1st Cyril Pullin - Rudge
#2nd Howard R. Davies - Sunbeam
#2nd Oliver Godfrey - Indian
Contestants in the Senior Tourist Trophy motorcycle race on the Isle of Man. In the group are McMeekin, and Rudge, (on the right).
Hugh Mason is off at the start of the junior Tourist Trophy race on the Isle of Man
J N Adamson, on a Rudge motorcycle, before the start of the senior Tourist Trophy race on the Isle of Man.
Competitors at the start of the Isle of Man Junior Tourist Trophy Race.
This photo was taken on Ramsey Promenade during the 1914 TT races on the Isle of Man. From left to right: Dan O'Donovan, the Braid Brothers, James Norton and his father sitting inside the sidecar combination. The motorcycles would be TT Model 9's or 3 1/2 HP models while Pa Norton brought his Big Four. This is another pic of Ossie Braid on this very machine.
Dan at the 1914 TT
Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
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