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Tank No 2321 (F12) - Friar Tuck 3rd Ypres Help Required


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Hi there, help required with naming the crew of Tank No 2321 (F12) Friar Tuck (Male) - (F) 6th Battalion 16 Coy 3 Section on the first day of the 3rd Battle of Ypres - 31st July 1917.

F12 was in support of the 164th BDE (although I think it (F12) may have strayed into the 166th BDE area supporting the 1/10 Kings Liverpool (Liverpool Scottish) at or near Bossaert and Setques farms), eventually breaking down and ditching at 23d.95.25, near to the Wieltje - Gravenstafel road, East of Wieltje, F12 was commanded by 2nd/Lt A. Ryrie, No 330751 on the day. I think he was later killed at Parvillers in Whippet Tank No 343 on the 10th August 1918, again with (F) 6th Battalion.


If any of the above information is wrong, please feel free to correct me, only too happy to get it right?


I am trying to name his crew on the day of the 31st July 1917, any additional information on this tank and its time at the 3rd Battle of Ypres would also be appreciated. What is the best way to find out the names of tank crews in WW1?


Many thanks, Gary. 

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The Sixth Battalion war history states that F12 Friar Tuck started late owing to mechanical trouble but caught up with the other tanks; she ditched twice in the Germans front line system , and the last time could not be got out .  


Finding crew lists is a very difficult task.  Occasionally the tank battle sheets , which were a standardised post action report, list individuals who were killed, wounded or displayed gallantry, but these are also rare.


Sorry to sound negative but such low level details as crew lists rarely survive.

Edited by delta
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Hi, just to add that there is one surviving set of crew lists for F Battalion at the 3rd Battle of Ypres, but unfortunately they don't help with your inquiry. One of the company commanders, Major Philip Hamond, kept all his notebooks containing crew lists etc. and these are now in the Tank Museum at Bovington. However he commanded No. 18 Company consisting of tanks F41-F58, and F12 was in No. 16 Company so it isn't included.


So I'm afraid it's a case of "so near, yet so far". As Stephen says, the survival of crew lists and battle history sheets is very hit and miss, and far more have disappeared than survived.


This is a source of frustration to all of us, so you have my complete sympathy!



Edited by johntaylor
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Hi delta, many thanks for that, much appreciated.

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Hi johntaylor, many thanks for that, much appreciated. Just typical of my luck with regard to this particular line of enquiry. Obviously I'm not the first to come across this, and won't be the last, again, many thanks for your efforts and enclosed information. I wasn't aware of the post action reports and battle history sheets, many thanks for that information.


Regards, Gary. 

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