The First World War

Shortly after the outbreak of war in 1914 the Star Engineering Company Limited became a controlled establishment, with output devoted to the war effort. Some commercial vehicles were supplied to the British, French and Russian armies; and a large order was obtained for ambulances for the British Army in Mesopotamia. Star’s main effort consisted of the production of aircraft wings and parts for mines. This did not fully occupy the works and so horse-drawn carts and wheels were also made. In 1918 the company accepted an order for four hundred V8, 80hp. Renault engines. The V8 engines were air-cooled and had a 90 degree angle between the 'V'. They were fitted to DH6 trainers, but only 12 had been built by the end of the war, when all military orders were cancelled.

During the war Star produced a number of vehicles for use as Marconi portable wireless stations. They were designed for field use, and contained wireless equipment made by the Marconi company.

A 50 cwt Star lorry at the front. From an old postcard, courtesy of the late David Evans.

A Star-Marconi portable wireless station. Courtesy of the late Jim Boulton.

A Star-Marconi portable wireless station chassis showing the Marconi generator. Courtesy of the late Jim Boulton.

A postcard produced to promote the Star-Marconi portable wireless station. From an old postcard, courtesy of the late David Evans.

An advert from 1913.

The advert above, from the Sydney Morning Herald, dated 5th July, 1913 is of interest because it states that the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company Limited, exclusively used Star cars. The company started purchasing the cars in 1911, after using horse-drawn wagons.

Edward Lisle at the wheel of his Star. Courtesy of Peter Lisle.


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