Gregory 'Paddy' Tiernan

Andy's dad


An old photograph of Gregory 'Paddy' Tiernan on his WD Norton 16H. Getting his feet wet, lets hope the magneto does not get wet as well, or he'll be pushing!

See below for some of the feed back that we received concerning this photograph.



Subject: Wartime picture of your father

Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2014 21:54:06 +0100

Hello Andy,

I am the owner of the website, all about the military 16H and B4 Nortons. Looking at your website I came across the pictue of your father.

Its difficult to say much about the unit but I can say something about the Norton. It looks like a late 1940 machine as it has the early rear end and an 8" headlight but already the side mounted speedo. On the other hand it has the combination levers, which would make it more likely 1938/39.  Speedo may have been replaced.

He is wearing a pulp helmet in combination with the gas mask. As it also sports the later type black-out mask it gives me a 1941/1942 ish impression as time when the picture was made, but dating is difficult.

I am not really an expert on the army side itself but this is what I make out. The white bar undeneath the number signifies GHQ troops. The number and the colour(s) of the "flag" itself signifies a unit, but I do not have that info. I would guess this is not at basic training but after that. I cannot see any markings on his sleeves. It looks to be a battle dress jacket which usually would show some shoulder patches or sleeve markings of the unit/regiment and arms of service. I have also no idea about the fact that he seems to be wearing 2 rank stripes but upside down and on the lower arm. That is for somebody elas to explain.

He looks very concentrated so it was not a usual thing to do I guess. Despite that it could still even be for fun.

Would you allow me to add the picture to my website in future, and if so could you send me a version with more pixels/kB's??


Rob van den Brink


Sent: Saturday, January 18, 2014 1:54 PM

Subject: RE: Wartime picture of your father.

Hi Rob
Thank you for your email, & the information.
Later in the war my father was in the 79th Armoured division, & spent some time in Holland.
Please find attached, a larger copy of the photograph for your website, you are most welcome to use the picture.


Sent: 18 January 2014 13:15:18

Subject: Wartime picture of your father.

Hello Andy,

Thank you for the prompt reply and the bigger picture.

I hope it did give you something to go by but retracing history is very difficult.

What I now see on the larger picture is that it has the "clamp on" pillion footrest in front of the sidestand. That means that is basically a pre war machine so that combines correctly with the combination levers on the handlebar. Its more certain a 1938/39 bike. The front mudguard has been replaced as it does not have the holes for the front number plate. So its most likely a prewar MC having been rebuilt and brought up to the later standard but prior to the application of the panniers. This makes bike possibly a 1941 rebuilt. Panniers were added after March 1942 but the bike had been rebuilt before that.