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stripeyman

Presentation tank

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Sidearm

So what does Gwyn make of it?

Just goes to show there's an awful lot more to know and we can expect some surprises along the way. This does present me with a bit of a problem, as "the Chiswick tank" was cannibalised to make the Ealing one a runner - but which Chiswick tank? Looks like a job for KevinW4 to me.

Gwyn

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centurion

I am puzzled about "making the Ealing one a runner" as from various accounts it would seem that it was SOP when handing over a presentation tank for the crew to ensure that it was no longer a runner by removing the transmission chains. Why would the Ealing one need to be a runner anyway?

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Sidearm

The Ealing one was made into a runner so the enterprising Council could sell it to a haulage contractor in Slough. The Tank Museum have a photo of it with a civilian registration.

As regards the Wisbech tank, I have this as a Mark IV Female but no distinguishing numbers that I know of. The fence that's mentioned was, according to my notes, a "chain link fence". The name "Kaloma" is interesting as this suggests 11th Battalion. Looking forward to seeing Thursday's photos!

Gwyn

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centurion

Which could mean that the engine was removed from the Chiswick tank. I've seen accounts of a number of engines being sold off and the tank hulls remaining in place. Wonder where they got the transmission chains from though.

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thejavelinman

I am lucky enough to live pretty close to a survivor, in Ashford, Kent, there is still a presentation tank remaining, most other councils did indeed get rid of theirs during the early days of WWII for the scrap metal initiative. The Ashford example gets a new coat of paint every few years but apart from that unfortunately doesnt get looked after very well, the tracks are disintegrating, the inside has been gutted and turned into a power supply station, it also seems to be something for hoodies and yobs to climb all over and spray graffiti on. I always find it so sad that so many of our youths do not seem to have any respect for anything or anyone anymore.

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KevinBattle

Hello, again, back from 2 weeks in our place in Spain, from very high 20's even at night to snow!!! Where is this global warming???

Thanks for the additional Chiswick tank link. At first glance, I do not think it is a DIFFERENT tank, just from a different position, as the angle of the tank looks similar, the wall has similarities to the previous photo and perhaps it was shortly after being installed as the flower beds don't look as developed.

I can survive being wrong, but don't see why it is thought to be a different tank or location on what has been posted.... Ducking for cover!!!.............

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centurion
Hello, again, back from 2 weeks in our place in Spain, from very high 20's even at night to snow!!! Where is this global warming???

Thanks for the additional Chiswick tank link. At first glance, I do not think it is a DIFFERENT tank, just from a different position, as the angle of the tank looks similar, the wall has similarities to the previous photo and perhaps it was shortly after being installed as the flower beds don't look as developed.

I can survive being wrong, but don't see why it is thought to be a different tank or location on what has been posted.... Ducking for cover!!!.............

Well for a start one tank is male and the other is female!

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Ghost

..and the only similarities of the walls is that they both stone.

...and, "That is a lot of mights"

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KevinBattle

Ahem :blush:

Alright, but apart from that, what have the Romans done for us??

Well, what I CAN be sure of is that the location of the MALE tank was on the northwestern corner of Turnham Green, close to the junction of Chiswick High Road, Sutton Lane North and opposite Acton Lane. (Apologies for initially referring to Sutton COURT Road).

OK, certainly appears female and the stonework roughly piled rather than properly laid as in the first Chiswick tank photo in post 14.

Thus the location appears to be the same as the Richmond & Twickenham Times article, even though the tank isn't!! Did we get a hermaphrodite????!!!!

Certainly the female appears to have camouflage pattern behind the sponson and the paintwork looks more weatherbeaten, but hey, I've got a few things wrong, so what do I know?? :excl:

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centurion

If it was a composite or hermaphrodite it would have been a rare beast indeed as AFAIK there were no Mk IV composites (but there is no technical reason why one might not have been produced). The stonework is a red herring as this could well have been a ramp behind the wall. Indeed that would have been the best way to get a tank into the position in which the male tank is shown. The possibilities seem to be:

a] The Richmond & Twickenham Times have the wrong photo and this is a tank in a different place (more information from the paper would be useful)

b] Chiswick did get a Mk IV composite!

c] Chiswick got two tanks (not impossible, Derby certainly got two, one a male, effectively being donated to a person - in Derby's case the man who invented the 6 inch Mortar and also had a tank connection through some of his patents) If so it is possible that the locations have ended up being confused.

d] Its the photo of the male tank that is mis attributed (which seems unlikely if that roof in shot is correctly identified as a still existing building)

e] Chiswick had one tank replaced by another in the same location (which seems very unlikely)

BTW I think that that's shadow behind the sponson on the female not cammo.

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tanks3

Hi All,

Just managed to acquire this photo of the Hythe Tank, on ebay item 390003129127. I am not able to reconcile this photo with the earlier one posted showing the tank at the war memorial with the gun beside. Did Hythe's tank get moved at one time or is this a later shot? It is the building to the right of the tank that confuses me. All comments gratefully received.

I think this may be a link to it but not sure if it works:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...em=390003129127

Tanks3

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centurion

I think it is the same. The tree behind the seat is the same one as that behind and to the left of the war memorial in the other photo albeit older and with some branches pruned (you can see the scars on the trunk). The building on the left of the e bay photo is the wing of the large building in the photo with the war memorial (its largely obscured by some of the branches later pruned). The building on the right in the e bay photo would be just out of shot in the other photo given the different camera angle (and foreshortening).

One thing that does puzzle me (about both photos) is that at least one account says that the tank was positioned "by the Canal" and I can see no signs of a canal.

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centurion

I've just found a description (unfortunately no photo) of the Faversham tank - she was no 258 and had unditching rails.

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Sidearm

Just a quick observation on the Chiswick tank(s). I favour Centurion's option [a]. I do not believe that is the first discovered Mark IV Composite, as the Male has unditching beam rails and the Female seems not to.

Gwyn

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centurion

Whilst I am not favouring a composite solution at all (a very remote far outside possibility) I can see no unditching rails on the photo of the male!

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NigelS

Re Hythe: The canal must be behind the photographer in both cases. The location of the war memorial can be seen just to the north west of the middle one of the three bridges over the canal - the one to the right of the string of moored boats - on Google at http://tinyurl.com/6qe9pd (panning further North will find the church shown in the ebay shot)

The ebay photo looks as if it must have been taken with the memorial off to the photographer's right. The building to the right of the tank is a bit of a mystery: if it were any of the buildings in the original picture they should still be on the left...? maybe built after the first picture was taken or simply not in frame because of the difference in perspective? To give some idea in the relationship between the two pictures, I believe - maybe quite wrongly - that the small and large blue circles on the first version below show the gate post and the triangular shaped building in the single blue circle on the second. Note also the white rectangle circled in red on both shots which indicates that the building on the extreme left of image 2 is probably the same as that to the left of the tank on shot 1

post-5512-1225578231.jpg

post-5512-1225578252.jpg

There is a clever "then and now" comparison between a B&W version of the original picture and a recent picture at http://www.bbc.co.uk/kent/discover_kent/hi...the_grove.shtml - the area has certainly changed!

NigelS

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Ghost

The bridge mentioned by Nigel is Ladies walk bridge. Both photos taken with the back to the canal rails. The house across the street with the red circle is still standing. The other white building has gone, and the war memorial wall has been elongated.

Alan

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Bombadier

The tree also appears to be the same in both pictures.

(Another) Nigel

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Sidearm
Whilst I am not favouring a composite solution at all (a very remote far outside possibility) I can see no unditching rails on the photo of the male!

Oh Bother - no, there aren't , are there!.

Gwyn

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KevinBattle

Chiswick tank:

Can we at least agree that the location of the tank was at Chiswick High Road junction with Sutton Lane North?

I am confident that the photo in post 14 is at that site, with the toilet block in the background.

That tank is definitely male.

The Richmond & Twickenham Times article is referring to a John Thurlow who thinks it relates to members of his family and is the tank at Chiswick.

The attitude of the tank seems to be similar, but from the front, the left sponson is definitely a 6 pounder. In the R&T Times picture the right side sponson is female.. Either a) we have a hermaphrodite or B) 2 different tanks, or c) one tank that was significantly altered during its time at Chiswick............

Of the three options, I feel B) is more likely. Centurion has posted a comment to R&T Times. I have emailed the reporter to question if there is any definite reason to attribute the photo to Chiswick, rather than another tank, say Ealing....

I find it difficult that, as yet, I have no other photo of 148. Can any of you post photos that you may have of 148 or a tank that might be attributed to Chiswick, or is similarly posed, so we can try to establish any common or differing features?

Come on, who has a photo of a tank numbered 148, anyone out there???

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Sidearm
Chiswick tank:

Come on, who has a photo of a tank numbered 148, anyone out there???

I have a rear starboard view of 148, but the file size is too large to be uploaded to the Forum.

Can anyone talk me thru what I need to do to downsize it? Alternatively KevinW4, if you PM me your e-mail I'll send it to you.

Gwyn

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centurion
I have a rear starboard view of 148, but the file size is too large to be uploaded to the Forum.

Can anyone talk me thru what I need to do to downsize it? Alternatively KevinW4, if you PM me your e-mail I'll send it to you.

Gwyn

Go here Resize Use the browse feature to find the shot you want to resize, select the size you want and press the ok button. It goes away and thinks hard and gives you a resized picture. Right click on the picture and select 'save this picture' from the menu and away you go.

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KevinBattle

Ahem, thanks to Sidearm who has sent me a rear photo of 148 which I am now certain is shown in Turnham Green at the junction of Sutton Lane North and Chiswick High Road. In the right background I am certain is The Old Packhorse, which is still there on the junction of Acton Lane and Chiswick High Road.

With any luck, photo will appear here->

or not???? :blush: (I did resize as per Centurions detailed instructions and think I have included the file. I'll check once posted to see if photo has attached itself!!) :rolleyes:

Furthermore, David Fletcher has produced the following information for the Chiswickw4.com website which I reproduce here for anyone's interest.

Historian David Fletcher on the day the mighty machine rolled into town

Chiswick Tank Has Historians Stumped

In November 1917 two mark IV tanks took part in the Lord Mayor’s Show, rolling in at a stately 3mph through the streets of London signalling the start of an auspicious month for the Tank Corps. On November 20th they launched the memorable Battle of Cambrai, the first one ever to be dominated by tanks. It was a temporary success but on an impressive scale and for the first time since the war began church bells rang out across Britain.

Public interest in the tanks was high and, in an effort to capitalise on this, a tank named Nelson was included in a display of weapons set up in Trafalgar Square. It was at this point the idea to use tanks to promote sales of War Bonds was conceived. The National War Savings Committee arranged with the War Office for six tanks to tour the country and in March 1918 all six of them concentrated their efforts on London.

A tank visited Chiswick on 14th March having come from Ealing on the previous day and due in Fulham on the 15th. That tank was No.130 otherwise known as Nelson. For a day it proved to be the focal point of events in Chiswick. The usual practice was to park the tank up at some central location and have a pretty girl from one of the local banks sitting in one of gun sponson on the side. She would hand out vouchers to be taken to the bank where the War Bonds could be purchased. According to an item in the Chiswick Times of 22nd March a total of £243,069 was raised, which worked out at £6. 8s per head of population – not bad for 1918. For comparison though West Hartlepool, which came top of the league, raised £31. 0s 1d. per head.

In April 1919 the National War Savings Committee published a list of 265 towns in England and Wales which were to receive memorial tanks in recognition of their contribution. The list appeared in their journal, The Silver Bullet, but Chiswick is not on that list.

So what happened? We know Chiswick had a tank and we know that it was supplied on behalf of the National War Savings Committee so we can only assume that Chiswick qualified when some town higher up the list refused as some did. According to the Chiswick Times of Friday 20th February 1920 this tank, carrying the training number 148, arrived in town on ‘the previous Sunday’ (which would have been the 15th). It arrived by train, was unloaded at Grove Park station and driven under its own power to the location selected for it on Turnham Green but there, as far as the reported story goes, the truth ends.

According to the report in the press the tank, and the officer commanding it had ‘come over from the front’, but where was the front in 1920? The number 148 is the giveaway. Numbers like this were only painted on training tanks, you won’t ever see them on the fighting tanks in France, so the odds are that number 148 had never been anywhere more dangerous than Bovington Camp in Dorset.

The usual drill was for an officer, along with two or three men based at Bovington to select a tank from the huge dump of obsolete machines around the camp and having got it running, load it onto a railway wagon which, in the fullness of time, would arrive at Grove Park station. Here it would be started up and driven, with as much care as possible, to the selected site.

Normally there was some sort of official handover with all the civic dignitaries on hand, at which the officer would tell some story of derring do involving the tank, almost always fiction. But in Chiswick it seems this formality was dispensed with. Finally the soldiers climbed into the tank, removed a few vital parts and set off back to Bovington.

There is one other slightly curious fact about the Chiswick tank in that it was a male machine. Back in those days you had male and female tanks, identified by their guns. A male tank like 148 has a six pounder (57mm) gun in each side sponson whereas a female has two machine-guns per side in much smaller sponsons.

When the scheme to hand out presentation tanks began in 1919 female tanks were preferred. For one thing there were more of them and for another it was felt that a fully operational tank, complete with guns, might be too much of a temptation to the socially disaffected and it was easy to remove the machine-guns from female tanks.

Normally, where male tanks were allocated, there was a special reason. A town where tanks had been built or maybe the home of some illustrious person connected with the tanks but by 1920 presumably that threat had diminished for we find quite a few towns and cities receiving male tanks.

The Chiswick tank was chopped up on site in May 1937. They were never really popular being viewed by many not as relics of a victorious war but as ugly reminders if a dreadful struggle. Virtually all of them had gone by the Second World War and the remainder were then cut up for scrap; all but one. If you happen to visit Ashford in Kent they still have theirs; a female machine that only survived because the rear end was once used as an electricity sub-station. If you wish to see a male Mark IV tank like 148 we have one on display here, at the Tank Museum.

David Fletcher, with thanks to Mrs Carolyn Hammond for tracking down a lot of information.

November 3, 2008

(My apologies if David was intending to post this, but I did check......)

Now, can anyone tell if the sponsons are male or female? The first posted photo (post 14) shows the tank with a definite male 6 pounder in the sponson on the left (from the front) and this shows the rear of the same sponson.

The photo in the Richmond & Twickenham Times shows the right side (from the front again) and that appears to be female!! Whilst the tank is also appearing to be posed as rearing over the obstacle, the stonework is not dressed as well as in post 14 shot. The tank number appears to be 4074 which stands out quite clearly in this photo, but I don't see it in either of the other photos.

There is reference to unditching beams and external fuel tank, this tank does not appear to have unditching beams.

I now quietly exit stage left and leave it to you experts to add your considered views.

post-38421-1225920043.jpg

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tanks3

KevinW4,

Lovely rear view photo of 148 which looks like a male to me. Certainly a different tank to that shown in the photo of the Richmond & Twickenham Times article and so we have 2 machines. Also the number at the rear of 148 would normally appear on both sides of the tank and because it is shown on one side in the photo above then I would almost certainly expect it to be on the other side.

Looks like the Richmond & Twickenham Times photo is incorrect and must be a photo of another tank somewhere else. However, very glad to see the mystery of where 148 was presented to is cleared up. At one stage it was thought, due to it being a male, it was Lincoln's tank. Still looking for a photo of that presentation machine so if anyone has one, post away!!

Tanks3

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Sidearm

Thanks for saving me the bother of resizing and posting the photo, KevinW4! The tank is very definitely a Male. Aside from the sponsons the number 148 is also a giveaway, as the evidence is that only Mark IV Males carried three digit training (I prefer the term Home Forces) numbers starting with a 1. There's quite a long thread on this that I started some time ago on the Landships forum.

I don't have the Richmond and Twickenham Times photo in front of me, but from memory it showed the left side, not the right, and the rear half of the left side at that. In other words not where a Home Forces number would appear. However the reasoning in Tanks3 post does work as if the R&TT photo was the Chiswick tank I would expect to see the manufacturer's number 4074 on the tank's side.

Gwyn

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