London Fire Brigade

Dennis No.2 trailer pump and London taxi towing vehicle

Trailer pumps were issued by the government during World War II for use by the Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) and subsequently the National Fire Service.

In total, 2,000 trailer pumps were issued to the London AFS and were mainly based at the auxiliary sub-stations in the London area.

Due to a shortage of suitable towing vehicles, the Brigade commandeered into service approximately 2,000 London taxis, which were converted in the Brigade workshops to include tow bars and ladder racks.

Technical information

  • Crew: taxi crew of four to six firefighters (resource dependent)
  • Equipment: four lengths of canvas delivery hose, four lengths of 4 inch suction hose, six more lengths of delivery hose in the taxi plus 28ft (8m) and 14ft (4m) extension ladders, extra lines, small gear
  • Pumping capacity: 250 gallons per minute
  • Speed: 20mph (speed of towing vehicle)
  • Engine: Austin (towing vehicle) 
  • Fuel: petrol
  • Manufacturers: Dennis Brothers (with an Austin taxi)


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