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andrew pugh

Whats known about this tank?

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andrew pugh

Good Evening All

There was a thread on this forum about tanks that were donated to various towns in the UK after the war.Whats the history behind a tank called "Kaffir" it was presented to Bury St Edmunds in December 1919. It was located in the Abbey Gardens until 1933.

Kind Regards

Andy

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Gareth Davies

From http://www.stedmundsburychronicle.co.uk/galleryww1/galleryww1page_10.htm

 

In December, 1919, Bury was presented with a defunct mark I British tank sporting the name "Kaffir", to reward the town's contribution of two million pounds raised by the local war savings committee for the war effort. On 12th December,1919, it was driven up Northgate Street to the Angel Hill where it was presented to the committee by Major E E Pearson of the Suffolk Regiment. The council gave it a home within the Abbey gardens where it stood by the Abbey Ruins until 1933.

parktank.jpg

Edited by Gareth Davies

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andrew pugh

Hi Gareth

Thanks for replying, that's the one!

Regards

Andy

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NigelS

According to reporting in The Times of  Saturday, July 8th, 1933, it still had a bit of a sting in its tail - or should that be horns? - when it was dismantled:

'When the War tank presented to Bury St. Edmunds in recognition of the town's support of the War Savings movement was being broken up  yesterday a box of smoke bombs, fire bombs, and detonators was found in the rear part of the machine. The tank, which has stood in the Abbey grounds since 1919, is being scrapped in deference to the local feeling that it is unsuitable for retention in such surroundings.'

This appears to one of several similar incidents where unused ordinance was found in presentation tanks years after delivery. It seems that more attention was taken in making sure that they  were immobilised once in situ rather than what might have been left in them!

 

NigelS

 

Edited by NigelS

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2ndCMR

Would be interesting to know how and why it came to be scrapped?  Only a few months after the Oxford Union debate wasn't it?

Temper of the times?

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delta

Not wishing to challenge the contemporary newspaper report but the image appears to be a Mark IV female 

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andrew pugh

Hi Delta

Did it have any service history in France or Belgium during WW1 or didn't it see any service overseas?

Regards

Andy

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tanks3

Andy

 

Without knowing the tanks WD number it would be difficult to establish this

 

Tanks3

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Sidearm

The tank's serial number was 8093.  This means that it was built as a Male by the Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon & Finance Co Ltd either at Saltley, Birmingham, or at Oldbury.  Clearly, when it was presented it was a Female.  This is not unusual.  Many Mark IV Males had their sponsons removed and replaced with Female ones around April - May 1918.  The Male sponsons were used to convert Mark V Females to Composites in response to the appearance on the battlefield of the cannon-armed A7V.

 

The name Kaffir suggests service with 11 Battalion, but we have no further information about its service history.

 

The tank was scrapped by Avis & Co Ltd.

 

Gwyn 

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andrew pugh

Good Evening All

Thanks for the information given on this tank.It's a shame that they were nearly all removed between the wars..

Regards

Andy

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