Triumph Motorcycle still in existence

There is no conclusive that this page is about Lt Rutherford's bike, but we do know that it was a Triumph (from the military inquiry) . There was also a Capt Joseph Thompson , the intelligence officer of Manchester Regt who went out on a motor bike "supplied to him for his official duties" was captured and shot on Nov 21 1920 in Cork (the bike was never found)

Then in Jan 2019 I got an email

"I'm in the process of restoring a Model H "Trusty" Triumph Motorcycle which I believe has an interesting history. This bike has been in my family since the 60's when my Dad bought it and ever since then we have been lead to believe it had been used by Tommy Hunter ( and that he acquired it during the war of independence. Worth stating I only have verbal record of this but I'm trying to get more details from the person my Dad purchased from etc. I had kind of expected to never be able to confirm or deny this, however just recently as part of our restoration we discovered a number on the bike (29114).

The frame number puts it date of manufacture at 1919

Triumph's 3½hp model had first appeared in 1907. Originally of 453cc, its sidevalve engine was enlarged to 476cc in 1908 and finally to 499cc in 1910 before being superseded by the 550cc 4hp model in 1914. Equipped with three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox, it was this revised 4hp - the Model H - that did such sterling service in WWI.

The beginning of the First World War was a boost for the company as production was switched to provide for the Allied war effort. More than 30,000 motorcycles had been produced by the end of 1918 —among them the Model H Roadster also known as the "Trusty Triumph", often cited as the first modern motorcycle—were supplied to the Allies.

The Triumph Engineering Co Ltd had been using the advertising slogan Trusty Triumph since 1910 and the Model H became known as 'The Trusty' as it proved reliable in wartime conditions, despite a weakness in the front fork spring. This was prone to break on rough ground, so despatch riders would strap a leather belt around it as a precaution. After the war, the motorcycle didn't have enough speed for racing, which was one of the principle markets for motorcycles at the time, so Triumph moved on to a motorcycle designed by Harry Ricardo, known as the Model R Roadster. When the Model H was discontinued in 1923 a total of 57,000 had been produced.

Thomas Cornelius Hunter

By March 1920, Hunter and his partner, Peadar Clancy, had established a drapery and tailoring business, "The Republican Outfitters", on Talbot Street in Dublin. Hunter was once again arrested, this time for his involvement in the theft of Lord Lieutenant French's documents. While imprisoned in Mountjoy Prison, Hunter and several others, including Clancy and Frank Gallagher, began a hunger-strike on 5 April, demanding to be treated as Prisoners of War. News of these hunger-strikes sparked general strikes called by the trade unions and large scale demonstrations in Dublin to show support for the hunger strikers. On 14 April 1920, all hunger striking prisoners were released, and Hunter was moved to Jervis Street Hospital. On 26 April, he was discharged as "improved".

In October 1920, during a "wholesale raid" of the homes of Sinn Féin members, British troops attacked Hunter & Clancy's business, severely damaging the building. It was mistakenly reported at the time that Hunter was among the dead. The dead IRA officer was actually Seán Treacy.

Hunter fought on the anti-Treaty side during the Irish Civil War and served as the Quartermaster for the Cork No. 2 Brigade areas

Hunter died at his farm in Glanworth, County Cork of heart disease on 11 March 1932 following a long and debilitating illness. He was survived by his widow Maire (nee Kelleher), the local Primary School Principal, and their only child Conchubhair (Con) Colbert Hunter. It is supposed that his heart condition was the result of his participation in the hunger strikes.


Missing Artillerymen