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How do I find out about a certain Tank during WW1?


potty5
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Dear forum members - in 1918 a tank was used on the square in Crewe Town Centre to help raise funds for "Crewe Tank Week". The tank in question was Tank 137 (DRAKE) or Tank I37 (DRAKE). Is there any way I can find out if this tank actually took part in the war, or its history? All the best, Mark Potts

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137 is an unusual number - could it be I37

Do you have a photo?

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According to David Fletcher in "The British Tanks, 1915-19", only one of the travelling tank banks (141 - Egbert) had seen combat. The remainder were Mk IV male training machines from Bovington, which were assigned names to give them more propaganda value. Normally, the training tanks were identified only by large 2 or 3 digit numbers on their front horns (presumably for quick recognition during training exercises). Since the trainers were not assigned to tank companys, they would not have received a company number (eg. C51). I suspect that the tank in Crewe was designated 137. The library of the Tank Museum at Bovington has prepared a list of localities visited by the various tank banks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a copy of the records and locations of touring tank bank locations from Bovington. There were 6 touring tanks, recorded by Bovington as 130 Nelson, Julian 113, Old Bill 119 (Which I have a particular interest in) 141 Egbert, 138 Iron Ration and 137 Drake. The list I have which was obtained in December is far from complete, Drake is not listed as visiting Crewe during the period mentioned but other towns near-bye are named so no doubt it was there.

I also would be interest in seeing this picture if possible as would the Museum at Bovington, since I have been researching 119 Old Bill, I have sent Bovington numerous items regarding Tank Bank weeks, originals and copies. They are always very grateful.

Mike

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I have a copy of the records and locations of touring tank bank locations from Bovington. There were 6 touring tanks, recorded by Bovington as 130 Nelson, Julian 113, Old Bill 119 (Which I have a particular interest in) 141 Egbert, 138 Iron Ration and 137 Drake. The list I have which was obtained in December is far from complete, Drake is not listed as visiting Crewe during the period mentioned but other towns near-bye are named so no doubt it was there.

Mike

Odd names, some of them. Nelson, Old Bill, Iron Ration and Drake, I can understand, but Julian? -- not to mention Egbert!!!

cheers Martin B

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egbert ????!!!! lol what happened to him,im getting quite attached to this one.egbert the tank,brilliant !!!!!

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There was an I37 numbered tank that took part in the battle of Cambrai. It is mentioned in the book by Gibot, Following the Tanks, pub 1999. Part of I Battalion, it should theoretically have had a name beginning with I (but the book has no record of its name at Cambrai). Don't know if this is the same one as your Crewe tank though.

Andrew

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egbert ????!!!! lol what happened to him,im getting quite attached to this one.egbert the tank,brilliant !!!!!

He was quite a traveller - here he is in Aberbargoed Wales

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Hello all,

I was interested in the replies given in this thread to the point that I contacted Bovington and obtained a copy of their notes on where and when the 6 National War Savings Commitee tanks toured England. Their info for England and Wales is a little thin. The 6 tanks (130 Nelson; 113 Julian; 119 Old Bill; 141 Egbert; 138 Iron Ration and 137 Drake) toured from late 1917 to late 1918. I thought it would be great to get a database prepared showing the movement of these tanks, when they were on display in the towns for "Tank Week" and how much they raised. Do any of you experts out there have this kind of info you can share with me regarding your local town? All info gratefully received

Thanks

Tanks3

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  • 3 weeks later...
There was an I37 numbered tank that took part in the battle of Cambrai. It is mentioned in the book by Gibot, Following the Tanks, pub 1999. Part of I Battalion, it should theoretically have had a name beginning with I (but the book has no record of its name at Cambrai). Don't know if this is the same one as your Crewe tank though.

Andrew

No Drake was 117 a home service number. I37 was a call sign used in active service so that observers (including air borne ones) could report back the position of tanks

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I have a copy of the records and locations of touring tank bank locations from Bovington. There were 6 touring tanks, recorded by Bovington as 130 Nelson, Julian 113, Old Bill 119 (Which I have a particular interest in) 141 Egbert, 138 Iron Ration and 137 Drake. The list I have which was obtained in December is far from complete, Drake is not listed as visiting Crewe during the period mentioned but other towns near-bye are named so no doubt it was there.

I also would be interest in seeing this picture if possible as would the Museum at Bovington, since I have been researching 119 Old Bill, I have sent Bovington numerous items regarding Tank Bank weeks, originals and copies. They are always very grateful.

Mike

Mike has been kind enought to let me have a copy of the Bovingdon lists and I've tried to match these with my database and the corroborating evidence I've located (diary entries, local records, contemporary newspaper reports, council records, even such things a school records when pupils were taken to visit the tanks) as the lists contain no supporting references. Treat these lists with caution there are some errors such as a number of dates being completly wrong (unless the local press and councils were operating a deception operation :D ), some sequences of visits being out and a finding a number of visits to towns not listed in the Bovingdon lists (so Crewe could well be possible). Don't forget that Bovingdon did not organise the original tank bank tours and so won't have the original material (might be in the Kings College Archives)

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