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Remembered Today:

Alex Smart

Falmouth celebrate the 100th year since Tank arrived.

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Alex Smart

https://www.google.com/search?authuser=1&biw=1067&bih=592&tbm=isch&sxsrf=ACYBGNSXtuJ7UdCvE2ob6mBhRs6RGIh_Yg%3A1568593168036&sa=1&q=falmouth+celebrate+100+years+of+presentation+tank&oq=falmouth+celebrate+100+years+of+presentation+tank&aqs=mobile-gws-lite..#imgrc=aDFVfEuKPldJkM%3A

 

At the end of WW1 Falmouth was recognized by the Government for its financial contribution to the war effort contributing around £600,000.

The town was presented with a Tank, which arrived by train on Saturday 13th September 1919. It was a 27 ton Mk.IV. It was manoeuvred into position at the specially constructed plinth by her crew. 

Captain Farrar

Lieutenant MacNab

Sergeant Draper

Private Goodall

Private Tiffin

Private Drewett.

The Tank remained on its plinth for eight years being removed and scrapped in 1927.

It is reported that some 264 of these Tanks were presented throughout Britain, including Redruth, Camborne Penzance and Truro.

 

So my reason for posting is this.

From records can the Falmouth Tank serial number be discovered ?

Can the Crew named above be connected to any particular Tank if so what was its serial number ?

What was the crews combat history ?

 

Many thanks for any help, answers and guidance.

 

Alex

What were the serial numbers of those presented to other Cornish towns listed ? 

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johntaylor

Hi, there are some real experts on presentation tanks who I'm sure will be along shortly - notably Gwyn Evans who previously asked a question about Capt Farrar on GWF (see below). This was Capt Walter Frederick Farrar MC, who served in F Battalion. I haven't looked up the 'other ranks', but presentation tank crews seem to have been assembled for the purpose rather than being transferred wholesale as fighting crews.

 

John 

 

 

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Alex Smart

Thank you John,

I appreciate your reply.

From the post you kindly provided it would look like Farrar named his Tank's "Flying Fox" .

I cannot but hope that the Falmouth Tank would have also have carried the name followed by either 3 or higher number. As there would I think be perhaps a link with the presentation and the local Fox family who were VIP's then and still important today 

Many thanks

Alex

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sadbrewer

A Female Tank...that took part in the Battle of Cambrai according to the speeches in this article from the British Newspaper Archive. 

Screenshot_20190917-074707.jpg

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johntaylor

Hi, most sources say Walter Farrar (then a 2nd Lieut) commanded F22 Flying Fox II at Cambrai - this is the tank which famously fell through a bridge at Masnieres on 20 November 1917, and I believe it was still in situ there at the end of the war. In any case it's listed as a male tank, whereas the Falmouth one was female. It's true that commanders and crews would sometimes transfer the same name to their next tank (assuming they had one), but if Farrar had any personal connection with the Falmouth tank then you can be sure he would have mentioned it in his speech, and the local paper would have reported it.

 

The newspaper article is very interesting because it does tell us something about this particular tank's war service, but I'm afraid we can't assume any link with Capt Farrar's war service.

 

In fact there were hundreds of presentation tanks which were outdated models left over at the end of the war, and my impression is that by this time, they were probably delivered by scratch crews made up of men who were at the depot and awaiting demob.


However I stress again that I'm not an expert on presentation tanks, and there several people who are. If Gwyn doesn't happen by soon I'll drop him an email.  I know the Friends of the Lincoln Tank have also done a lot of research on this: http://www.friends-of-the-lincoln-tank.co.uk/Merchandise.html

 

All the best, John

 

 

Edited by johntaylor

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Alex Smart

Thank you John for the newspaper clip and the Tank link.

Will look at purchase of the DVD.

 

From what is understood of the Tank it was  Mark IV.

So numbers for "female" mk.IV' were -

2501 - 2900 .

4501 - 4700 .

6001 - 6200 .

 

Can the position of the serial number be confirmed, in other words were these numbers positioned in the same area on every tank or did it vary ?

 

Alex

 

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johntaylor

Hi, the photos online confirm it was a Mark IV female. The manufacturer's number would have been at the back of the tank in the area shown in my snip below, but has obviously been painted over (the number was also painted inside the cab, but that's not much help now!)

 

The most comprehensive list of tank numbers is on the Landships website: https://sites.google.com/site/landships/home

image.png.b320144cd8d3fca983c8f713f00868cf.png

 

I sent an email to Gwyn and hope he will be along soon to tell you what he knows about this tank.

 

All the best, John

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Sidearm

Hi

 

I am unfortunately very occupied with other matters at the present and so my time for looking at tanks is very limited. I apologise therefore for my tardy response.

 

The serial of the Falmouth tank is not known to me.  If you can discover it, please let me know!  The tank was a Mark IV Female and is fitted with a twin tubular radiator.  For this reason we can be a little more precise about the serial number than indicated above.  I would expect the number to be between approximately 2576 and 2650, or between approximately 2776 and 2800, or between approximately 2826 and 2900. Alternatively it may be between 6001 and 6020 (this is not a mistyping: 6021 to 6200 had Female hulls but were completed as Tenders), or between 4501 and 4525, or between 4551 and 4700.   

 

Photographs, of which I have just three, show that the tank probably saw service in France.  This is indicated by the white/red/white recognition stripes visible on the tank but there are also signs that the tank was at one time fitted with unditching beam rails, though these had been removed by the time of the tank's presentation.  Sadly the article (o r at least the extract provided) tells us nothing of the tank's war service.  Every speech followed a set script and virtually every town was told their tank served at Cambrai, regardless of the truth.

 

The assumed link to the Fox family is probably coincidental.  Flying Fox was most likely named after the racehorse of that name, which won the English Triple Crown races in 1899.  Unless of course the racehorse is named after the family!

 

The serial number of the Redruth tank was 4620 and Camborne 4085.  The number of the tank at Truro is unknown.  A tank was earmarked for Penzance but I am not convinced it was ever presented.  

 

Gwyn 

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johntaylor

Thanks for your expert knowledge Gwyn!

 

Sorry to hear you're sceptical about the Cambrai story, and I'm obviously more gullible than you.

 

Alex is obviously keen to find out as much as possible about this tank, and I wonder if it might be worth his while going through the Falmouth Council records to see if they give any more information? 

 

John

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sadbrewer
On 18/09/2019 at 22:29, Sidearm said:

Hi

 

I am unfortunately very occupied with other matters at the present and so my time for looking at tanks is very limited. I apologise therefore for my tardy response.

 

The serial of the Falmouth tank is not known to me.  If you can discover it, please let me know!  The tank was a Mark IV Female and is fitted with a twin tubular radiator.  For this reason we can be a little more precise about the serial number than indicated above.  I would expect the number to be between approximately 2576 and 2650, or between approximately 2776 and 2800, or between approximately 2826 and 2900. Alternatively it may be between 6001 and 6020 (this is not a mistyping: 6021 to 6200 had Female hulls but were completed as Tenders), or between 4501 and 4525, or between 4551 and 4700.   

 

Photographs, of which I have just three, show that the tank probably saw service in France.  This is indicated by the white/red/white recognition stripes visible on the tank but there are also signs that the tank was at one time fitted with unditching beam rails, though these had been removed by the time of the tank's presentation.  Sadly the article (o r at least the extract provided) tells us nothing of the tank's war service.  Every speech followed a set script and virtually every town was told their tank served at Cambrai, regardless of the truth.

 

The assumed link to the Fox family is probably coincidental.  Flying Fox was most likely named after the racehorse of that name, which won the English Triple Crown races in 1899.  Unless of course the racehorse is named after the family!

 

The serial number of the Redruth tank was 4620 and Camborne 4085.  The number of the tank at Truro is unknown.  A tank was earmarked for Penzance but I am not convinced it was ever presented.  

 

Gwyn 

 

   Don't wish to hijack a thread but you may find this interesting.

Screenshot_20190920-220712.jpg

 

It appears there may not have been a suitable location.

Screenshot_20190920-221249.jpg

 

 

The full article from the British Newspaper Archive. 

 

https://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000331%2f19190618%2f019&stringtohighlight=penzance tank

Edited by sadbrewer

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Sidearm

Thanks but I don't have a FMP subscription. I think I have seen these articles through the BNA though. I don't think that either makes clear whether Penzance ever got a tank. Confirmation one way or another on this point would be very welcome.

 

Council records are an excellent source of information on presentation tanks John, provided of course the minutes survive and can be found...

 

Gwyn

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George Rayner

While looking for confirmation of Penzance Tank came across list of towns receiving one...

https://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000602%2f19190416%2f010&stringtohighlight=penzance presentation tank

Silver Bullet 16 April 1919

 

Says 285 towns were to receive one

 

George

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johntaylor

I've never heard of the Silver Bullet before, but that's a great list - thanks George. Gwyn, it sounds as though the council records could be a fruitful line of research for Alex if he wants to uncover more about this particular tank, and I'm sure the Forum would be interested in anything he comes up with.

 

All the best, John

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George Rayner

Seems to have been to do with collections for the war effort

View Free Silver Bullet Pages

History’s news at your fingertips

 

Silver Bullet

Issues

34

Pages

146

Available years

1918-1919

 

For this newspaper, we have the following titles in, or planned for, our digital archive:

  • 1918–19 The Silver Bullet (London, England : 1918)

This newspaper is published by an unknown publisher in London, London, England. It was digitised and first made available on the British Newspaper Archive in Oct 3, 2018 . The latest issues were added in Oct 3, 2018.

George

 

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Sidearm

The Silver Bullet was the official newsletter of the English War Savings Campaign. The list is well known to tank researchers, and is not a list of towns that received them but a list of towns that the tanks were initially allocated to. Some on the list declined them and so they were offered to others not on the list. The Silver Bullet list is therefore a good starting point, but isn't the whole story. That isn't a suggestion someone should spend a lot of time and effort (and money) researching this. Most of it has been done, notably by the Friends of the Lincoln Tank with other researchers and local historians making contributions.  There are just a few gaps, like the Penzance tank.

 

Gwyn

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Matlock1418

I know there will be many who know the origin of the "Silver Bullet List" but for those who perhaps do not - its origin seems to go back to the supposedly magical properties of a silver bullet and thence to a really great poster issued at the time in which silver coins morph into bullets [Poster/Newsletter or Newsletter/Poster?].

See IWM https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/29769 

Whatever, it's a great piece of art

Edited by Matlock1418

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George Rayner
23 hours ago, George Rayner said:

Says 285 towns were to receive one

...not did

 

George

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johntaylor

I started by saying I'm not an expert on presentation tanks, which is clear. However it's good to learn more from those who are.

 

John

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tanks3

If anyone id interested in purchasing a copy of the Friends of the Lincoln Tank CD on presentation tanks do let me know. Price is £12.50 inc P&P to a UK address

 

Tanks3

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