Wartime six cylinder Bedford lorries had awkwardly placed bolts on their cylinder heads and the only way to reach them to adjust these bolts was to use a special angled ring spanner, which can be seen here as No 34 in the user manual’s diagram of the lorry’s standard toolkit:
The spanner is about a foot long and has a conventional ring spanner at one end. The opposite end is bent at a ninety-degree angle to allow it to reach into the confined space to reach these bolts:
The spanner itself has a number of markings along its length, some clearer to read than others. Firstly, we have a ‘war finish’ mark indicating that the external finish is not as high as the manufacturer would expect to offer in peacetime:
Next, we have a stamp indicating that the spanner is made from chrome alloy:
Finally, it is stamped up to indicate it is for use with Vauxhall and Bedford vehicles:
Bedford was a subsidiary of Vauxhall Motors and was to produce many thousands of military vehicles during World War II including the MW, OY, OXA, OXD, QL and RL series of lorries, each of which would have rolled off the factory floor with a dedicated tool kit to help keep it in service.
I have the other ring spanner in this tool kit (item 16) which is also rather distinctive. Both ends are 9/16 AF bi-hex rings one flat and the other cranked. It is marked ‘BRITISH BRITOOL MADE FOR VAUXHALL BEDFORD VEHICLES’ along one face, 4109 9/16 AF on the other and ‘CHROME ALLOY WAR FINISH’ along one edge.