Bailey Bridge the forth picture shows the missing link
Donald Bailey was an unknown civil servant assigned to the
British War Office. In his spare time he was a avid model builder and
experimented with different bridge designs.
He presented his idea to his superiors, a design for a kit bridge. This bridge
could be made on site to replace those lost due to enemy action or in many cases
bridges bombed by the Allies.
The bridge consisted of a hodge podge of bits and pieces, but was designed to be
assembled with little equipment and mainly man power.
Sections were assembled and pushed out on greased rollers until the bridge was
long enough to span the gap.
The American Engineers were given the kit and also a scale model to help learn
assembly techniques. Much like a Meccano set or as the American's call it a
As the Germans retreated across Europe many hundreds of these temporary bridges
were built, some remain in place today, sixty years afterwards.
As you can see from the photo's the end section was inclined to help it reach
the other bank, this was achieved by putting an extra pin between the sections,
sadly the British omitted to include this in the first sets supplied to the
American Engineers, causing them a few headaches.
The bridges designer Sir Donald Bailey died on 5th May 1985.
The Pegasus Bridge Museum has preserved several sections of a Bailey Bridge in
the garden of the museum.