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Sidearm

Acting Captain W. F. Farrar, MC, Tank Corps

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Sidearm

Hi

I'm hoping someone can help me with a query regarding this officer. As a T/2nd Lt he commanded a tank called "Flying Fox" on the first day of Third Ypres, 31 July 1917 as part of 5th Section, 17th Company, F Battalion, Tank Corps. He won his MC at Cambrai where he commanded the tank "Flying Fox II", being the tank that took a nose dive when crossing the Masnieres bridge, causing him to famously lose his wig. I know he was appointed T/Lt on 24 May 1918, Acting Captain in command of a section from 29 March 1919, relinquishing that rank on 4 October 1919 and then relinquishing his commission on 11 May 1920 and being granted the rank of Captain. During 1919 he was very much involved in the distribution of presentation tanks around the country.

From what I can see, 17th Company, F Battalion weren't in action between the first day of Third Ypres and the first day of the Battle of Cambrai. Can anyone tell me what they were doing during this period, and in particular whether T/2nd Lt W.F. Farrar served with any other Tank Corps battalions at this time and if so, which?

I know this is probably in his Service Records at Kew, but I'm a long way from Kew unfortunately so if any Pals know I'd be most grateful. If not I'll just have to add it to the list of things to do at the National Archives.

Many thanks

Gwyn

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Gareth Davies

Gwyn

I can't help with the period you are looking at but I note from my notes that Hamond refers to him as Kim:

I told Kim Farrar to turn out all his crew except the drivers and gearsmen and to open the hatch on top of the tank in case they fell in. His sergeant, Cuthbert, drove her, I believe. They started and I ran down to the tow path to watch; the old tank crept on and on and I believe she would have had a chance to do it, but just as she got to the point of balance, two or three courses of the pave on the edge (where it had been broken off by the explosion) crumbled up under her weight and she went down - crash - not perfectly true and a bit on one side. You should have heard the splash and seen the steam.”

I am not convinced by the wig story - would you have worn one that day under your hat?

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Colin W Taylor

Gwyn

F Battalion moved to Blaireville for training after August 1917. Though there was an attack at Ypres on 22nd August 1917 involving part of the battalion this didn't appear to involve Flying Fox. The battalion later moved to Auchy-les-Hesdin for further training.

I have a copy of the battalion history which can be found in the war diary.

Kind regards

Colin

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Sidearm

Thank you both.

Gwyn

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Alex Smart

Hello Colin,

Can you please tell me if the Battalion History has details within it such as the Tank serial numbers and if the crews were kept with one tank, or did they just go with a Tank allocated to them on one day and another on another day ? Would such detail be in the reports ?

Also, how/where could I aquifer such reports ?

 

Many thanks

Alex

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johntaylor

Hi,  I think this refers to another thread which is already running - I would recommend keeping it under a single thread, otherwise it will create confusion.

 

All the best, John

 

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