Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

WW1 Military Motors - 1916 set x 50 cards


Lancashire Fusilier

Recommended Posts

Lancashire Fusilier

The Imperial War Museum's lost ( destroyed ) treasures.

At the time of the opening of the new Imperial War Museum at Crystal Palace on 9th June, 1920, in additional to the many exhibits housed and displayed within the Crystal Palace, several large exhibits, including the only surviving example of a WW1 Gun Carrier Mk.1, were on display in the grounds of the Crystal Palace.

However, following the Imperial War Museum's decision to move from Crystal Palace to South Kensington when their lease at Crystal Palace expired in March 1924, it was further decided that as the new IWM premises at South Kensington were substantially smaller than those at Crystal Palace, many exhibits would need to be disposed of, either by sale, relocation or amazingly by ' destruction '.

In what today, would be considered absolute criminal madness, the IWM took the decision to destroy, rather than sell or re-locate, the last surviving example of a WW1 Gun Carrier Mk.1, previously on display in the grounds of Crystal Palace.

Under supervision by IWM management and staff, workmen were brought in to literally ' cut up ' and butcher the Gun Carrier into scrap metal pieces using their oxyacetylene torches, this happening sometime prior to the IWM's move to South Kensington in November 1924.

The next series of photographs, show the ( today priceless ) WW1 Gun Carrier Mk.1 on display in the grounds of the IWM at Crystal prior to it's destruction, and also the amazing photographs showing the last surviving Gun Carrier's deliberate and tragic destruction.

For those interested in reviewing the presentation made on the WW1 Gun Carrier Mk.1 which commenced on December 28, 2014 post #2988, and which contains several pages of information and many Gun Carrier photographs, here is the link :-

The first photograph, shows the last surviving WW1 Gun Carrier Mk.1 ( EX.211 ) on display in the grounds of Crystal Palace before it's deliberate destruction.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

post-63666-0-56760700-1449327510_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

As if on an appropriately symbolic stark, mournful and dismal day sometime in the Winter of 1923/24, workmen, under the supervision of Imperial War Museum management and staff, deliberately go about butchering the last known surviving example of a WW1 Gun Carrier Mk.1., ( only 50 built ) and reducing it to a mere pile of scrap metal.

Today, that WW1 Gun Carrier Mk.1 would be priceless, and one wonders what was in the IWM's mind at that time, by not wishing to sell or relocate that magnificent machine so that it could have been conserved and preserved for future generations to have enjoyed.

I am sure, the current IWM would love to have a WW1 Gun Carrier Mk.1 to display.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

post-63666-0-15530600-1449329776_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

A really sad picture and a very sore subject, I hope you don't move on to the A7V ! The scrap dealers who did the work and had the remains were Thomas Ward and Sons. When the A7V was cut up in similar circumstances there was still live SAA under the floor gratings and Charles ffoulkes, the IWM Director at the time stated that he loaned the workers some steel loopholes from the collection to protect them as they did the deed. He also mentions the sum of money raised from the sale of the scrap from these various acts of vandalism - all in his autobiography " Arms and the Tower".

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

A really sad picture

Mike

Many thanks for the interesting information, and yes, I shall also be covering the A7V's destruction.

Regards,

LF

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

Your earlier photo with the furrows, (4268) has something that I have been searching for.

To the left of the photo is a mass of clutter, boxes and a T bar.....BUT looking closely there are two jacks. One upright the other on its side (showing the triangular base)....these jacks were used in placing the carriage onto the base, also for lifting the components to enable the axle units to be fitted or removed.

George,

I am pleased that you were able to spot the two lifting jacks, and match them to the brass ' lifting jack ' plate on the IWM's Gun, and I hope they help with your project.

These old WW1 photographs are often packed with all sorts of interesting details, and as the old adage advises " God ( the devil ) is in the detail ".

Here is an enlargement of that photograph, detailing the two lifting jacks.

Regards,

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

post-63666-0-97028000-1449336979_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

George,

I am pleased that you were able to spot the two lifting jacks, and match them to the brass ' lifting jack ' plate on the IWM's Gun, and I hope they help with your project.

These old WW1 photographs are often packed with all sorts of interesting details, and as the old adage advises " God ( the devil ) is in the detail ".

Here is an enlargement of that photograph, detailing the two lifting jacks.

Regards,

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

Thanks, yes this type of thing is invaluable, it ties up lose ends, these jacks are mentioned in the manual where it describes the procedure of assembly.

I note with sadness the destruction of priceless exhibits....unfortunately this mindless vandalism is still active.....the Woolwich Museum will soon close, the price of land will see the demise of the Woolwich Arsenal, though I am led to believe the collection (????) will transfer to Larkhill. Woolwich was accesible, Larkhill less so it being an active base.

What will happen to the library is in doubt, Again access will be difficult, and more likely, expensive.

I have over the years of research heard horror stories of collections being trashed due to lack of space and interest.....one particular occurrence was when the US company took over the Rootes Group...all archive material and drawings prior to the take over were skipped and burnt. The list goes on.....to end this sorry tale, I have found the current intake of curators and librarians have little knowledge of their subject.

George.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating photos of the breaking up of the tank. To me it just shows how attitudes have changed over the years as I suspect there was absolutely no sentimentalism involved when someone took the decision to break it up and little regard for the fact that it might be of considerable valve both in monetary terms and historically in years to come. It reminds me of the breaking up of the steam engines of our railways.

David

Link to post
Share on other sites

George,

I am pleased that you were able to spot the two lifting jacks, and match them to the brass ' lifting jack ' plate on the IWM's Gun, and I hope they help with your project.

These old WW1 photographs are often packed with all sorts of interesting details, and as the old adage advises " God ( the devil ) is in the detail ".

Here is an enlargement of that photograph, detailing the two lifting jacks.

Regards,

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

LF,

Looking again at your cropped photo, there could be (I'm sure) one possibly two other jacks shown in the furrow....the chaps legs tend to obscure the view.

Do you have either a better photo, or the IWM photo number....I would buy this....I have in the past bought their stuff, and with a little playing around with controls have been able to bring up details often in shadow.

George.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

Two more photographs, which graphically illustrate the destruction of the last surviving WW1 Gun Carrier Mk.I ' EX 211 ' by the IWM prior to their move from Crystal Palace to South Kensington in 1924.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

post-63666-0-81295600-1449407505_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

A workman, is seen using an oxyacetylene torch to cut up the IWM's Gun Carrier Mk.I which was previously on display in the grounds of the IWM at Crystal Palace, the resulting scrap metal was then sold off by the IWM.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

post-63666-0-84089400-1449407691_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

Charles ffoulkes - his autobiography " Arms and the Tower".

Mike

Mike,

Many thanks for the book information, I just ordered a copy.

Regards,

LF

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

LF,

Looking again at your cropped photo, there could be (I'm sure) one possibly two other jacks shown in the furrow....the chaps legs tend to obscure the view.

George.

George,

That particular photograph did not come from the IWM, however, I have just emailed you a much larger copy which may show other lifting jacks ?

Regards,

LF

Link to post
Share on other sites

George,

That particular photograph did not come from the IWM, however, I have just emailed you a much larger copy which may show other lifting jacks ?

Regards,

LF

Thanks.....reply sent.

George.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

Fascinating photos of the breaking up of the tank. To me it just shows how attitudes have changed over the years as I suspect there was absolutely no sentimentalism involved when someone took the decision to break it up and little regard for the fact that it might be of considerable valve both in monetary terms and historically in years to come. It reminds me of the breaking up of the steam engines of our railways.

David,

I shall be posting some more equally fascinating photographs showing both the destruction, and thankfully, the saving of other IWM Crystal Palace exhibits.

The steam engine comparison is excellent, if only those magnificent engines had been preserved !

Here is a superb ' Light Pacific ' locomotive in it's glory days, and another being scrapped in 1966.

Regards,

LF

These images are reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

2

post-63666-0-39055300-1449414479_thumb.j

post-63666-0-83697000-1449414560_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lancs,

Back in the 1960's I worked in the drawing office of a company in Wigan, Lancashire. One of our fabrication sub-contractors was the Central Wagon Company. On occasion I had to deliver updated copies of detail drawings to them. They were engaged in the scrapping and dismantling of steam railway engines and rolling stock most of them local, ex L.N.W.R. and L.M.S. I was able to wander about and have a look at the work in progress, a terribly sad sight to an ex train spotter. Was offered various bits, steam gauges, number plates, brass handles, steam whistles, and all manner of other hardware, also prints of famous engines and trains, that had adorned the carriages, all at either 'ten bob or a pound' to my eternal regret I never took up any of these offers, but at the time was only earning around £5 per week!

Thanks for your seasonal greetings, have a great Christmas and New Year,

Regards,

Mike.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One example of the IWM's cavalier and careless attitude in relatively recent years was a skip outside the museum from which were saved trench maps and a map of Ypres used by Douglas Haig during 1st Ypres presented to him by a Belgian Cavalry officer. They were saved by someone who realised their value - and I have seen them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

Was offered various bits, steam gauges, number plates, brass handles, steam whistles, and all manner of other hardware, also prints of famous engines and trains, that had adorned the carriages, all at either 'ten bob or a pound' to my eternal regret I never took up any of these offers, but at the time was only earning around £5 per week!

Mike,

If only ................. we have all been there ! and I certainly remember my first weekly wage at age 15, also 5 pounds per week.

Regards,

LF

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

One example of the IWM's cavalier and careless attitude in relatively recent years was a skip outside the museum from which were saved trench maps and a map of Ypres used by Douglas Haig during 1st Ypres presented to him by a Belgian Cavalry officer. They were saved by someone who realised their value - and I have seen them.

David,

That is truly negligent and scandalous, whatever a Museum feels they no longer wish to display or keep, should be offered to other interested parties, including Collectors, not just thrown in a skip !

An American friend gave some very nice expensive, and important items to a museum, and when at a later date returned expecting to see them on display, as had been promised, not only were they not on display, but the Museum could not account for their whereabouts !

Regards,

LF

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier
The Imperial War Museum's Medium Mark C ' Hornet ' Tank
When the new Imperial War Museum opened at the Crystal Palace on 9th June 1920, a Medium Mark C ' Hornet ' Tank was part of their ' Tank ' display in the grounds of the new IWM at Crystal Palace. However, following the decision to relocate the IWM to the much smaller premises at South Kensington in 1924, it was decided that the ' Hornet ' Tank would not be moved to the new IWM at South Kensington, nor would it retained by the IWM.
Despite the IWM's decision not to retain the Medium Mark C Hornet Tank in 1924, it was not destroyed, as were some of the other IWM Crystal Palace Tanks, but rather, was sent off to the Government's Department of Tank Design establishment at Cricklewood in North London.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to confirm exactly what happened to the IWM's Hornet after it's arrival at Cricklewood. It is however reported, that the last surviving Medium Mark C Hornet Tank was scrapped, and melted down in 1940, and sadly, none survive today.
I shall be posting a very interesting series of photographs, which document the Hornet's move from the IWM at Crystal Palace to Cricklewood, as well as several photographs showing details of the Medium Mark C Hornet Tank.
Plans for the Medium Mark C ' Hornet ' Tank designed by Sir William Tritton, were finalized in December 1917, with the Hornet's design being approved on 19th April, 1918.
Originally, the Hornet was to be supplied in large numbers and be part of a planned large scale attack against the Germans at the end of 1918, however, success came early, and by the time the Armistice was signed, some 36 Hornets from the original WD order for 200 Tanks, had been completed, mostly manufactured by William Foster & Co. Ltd., at Lincoln and a few others made by Armlet & Wortley Ltd., of Leeds.
Based on Tritton's previous Tank designs and their wartime Western Front experiences, particularly the earlier Medium Mark A ' Whippet ' Tank, Tritton's design for the Medium Mark C ' Hornet ' Tank incorporated a fixed forward turret, on top of which was a revolving observation cupola for use by the Tank's Commander.
The Hornet's armaments, which were to be concentrated in the fixed forward turret, consisted of both Male and Female configurations, with the Female Tanks ( which were the only version actually manufactured ) having 4 Hotchkiss machine guns, with two machine gun ports at the front of the fixed turret, one on each side, and one at the back of the turret, with another at the back of the Tank.
The intended Male Tank, which was never produced, was to be armed with one 6 Pounder Gun and 3 Hotchkiss machine guns. The Medium Mark C Hornet Tank was also fitted with an anti-aircraft machine gun mounting.
An advantageous feature of the Medium Mark C ' Hornet ' Tank, was it's excellent speed and power to weight ratio, which came from the Hornet's 6-cylinder 150 hp ' Ricardo ' engine, being the same engine as that previously fitted in the ' Heavy ' Tanks, and with the Medium Mark C Hornet weighing just 19.5 tons, which was significantly less weight than the 28/30+ ton Heavy Tanks, the Hornet had a good turn of speed of 8 mph.
Other enhanced features on the Medium Mark C Hornet Tank, also included much improved storage areas for ammunition, spare parts and better crew facilities.
Those few Medium Mark C Hornets that were produced at the end of WW1, were issued to the Tank Corps and remained in service with the Tank Corps until 1925, when they were replaced by the Vickers Light Tank.
Coming into the service at the end of WW1, the Hornet's peacetime role was relatively uneventful, with their only ' action ' being their deployment to Scotland at the end of January 1919 to quell the civil unrest from disgruntled workers protesting their excessive work week hours, culminating with the Glasgow riots, and the ' Battle of George Square ' which the deployment of the Tank Corps' Hornets successfully put down.
Specifications for the Medium Mark C Hornet Tank, were as follows :-
Weight - 19.5 tons. Length - 25' 10 ". Width - 18' 10.5". Height - 9' 7.5". Speed - 8 mph. Engine - Ricardo 6 cylinder 150 hp. Crew - 4. Range 75 miles.
The first series of photographs, provide several different detailed views of the Medium Mark C ' Hornet ' Tank, starting with an excellent view of the ' Hornet ' undergoing testing at the manufacturers, William Foster & Co. Ltd,, at Lincoln.
Note the Hornet's fixed turret, with the Tank Commander's observation cupola mounted on top.
LF
IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

post-63666-0-07063600-1449490702_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

Two photographs giving excellent details of the front and rear views of the Medium Mark C Hornet Tank, the type of which was displayed in the grounds of the Imperial War Museum at Crystal Palace between 1920 - 1924.

In the first photograph showing the front view, we can see the ' Hornet's ' fixed turret with it's two forward firing Hotchkiss machine gun ports, and also atop the turret is the Tank Commander's observation cupola.

There were also front viewing slits for the Driver, and electric driving lights were also fitted to this example.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

post-63666-0-53246500-1449581142_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

The rear view of the Medium Mark C Hornet Tank giving good details of the Hornet's external exhaust pipe system, and the crew's rear emergency hatch.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

post-63666-0-06782900-1449582318_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

Following the Imperial War Museum's decision not to relocate their Medium Mark C ' Hornet ' Tank exhibit to South Kensington, nor retain it, it was further decided to hand over the ' Hornet ' to the Government's Department of Tank Design establishment at Cricklewood in North London, rather than destroy it, as had been the case with several other unwanted IWM exhibits.

The following series of interesting photographs, document the Medium Mark C Hornet Tank's move from the grounds of the Crystal Palace, where it had been on display with several other Tanks since 9th June, 1920, to Cricklewood in North London.

Although, at the time of the Hornet's move from Crystal Palace, it would still have been a relatively new vehicle, having been built in 1918, only 5/6 years earlier, so one assumes it was still in reasonably good working condition, the photographs show it being towed by a steam tractor belonging to the ' Pickfords ' removal and haulage company.

At this time, I have no information confirming if the 19.5 ton Medium Mark C Hornet Tank was towed all the way to Cricklewood, or just towed from the grounds of the Crystal Palace, and then driven to Cricklewood under it's own power ?

The first of the series of photographs, show the IWM's Medium Mark C Hornet Tank being prepared for it's journey from the grounds of the Imperial War Museum at the Crystal Palace to the Government's Department of Tank Design establishment at Cricklewood in North London under the supervision of IWM management and staff.

Interestingly, the Tank Commander's observation cupola, which was mounted on top of the fixed forward turret, has been removed.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

post-63666-0-61854000-1449666007_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

The grounds at Cricklewood [Dollis Hill ?] were very close to the railway which I think was used for other tanks taken to the testing grounds during the war. The Welsh Harp on the other side of what is now the North Circular Road was used for amphibious testing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lancashire Fusilier

The grounds at Cricklewood [Dollis Hill ?] were very close to the railway which I think was used for other tanks taken to the testing grounds during the war. The Welsh Harp on the other side of what is now the North Circular Road was used for amphibious testing.

johnboy,

Many thanks for the information on Dollis Hill, and attached is a very nice watercolour painting by William Bernard Adeney ( 1878-1966 ) which is part of a series he painted in 1918 depicting daily life at the War Department's Experimental Depot for Tanks at Dollis Hill, London.

Regards,

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

post-63666-0-43826000-1449685223_thumb.j

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...