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Doug Lewis

Tank Corps Honours -World War 1

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delta

Offer to "look up" stills stands - I now have both the hard copy and the CD version

Stephen :)

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Doug Lewis

Offer to "look up" stills stands - I now have both the hard copy and the CD version

Stephen

So is mine!!!! :P:lol:

Doug.

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Sidearm

It is four years since the last post on this thread. If the offer still stands after all this time, might I ask for one please? It's the citation for the award of the MC to 2/Lt P. N. Dingley of B Battalion, Tank Corps, November 1917.

Thanks in advance.

Gwyn

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delta

Hi Gwyn

Sorry I missed the post.

On 30th November, at Gouzeaucourt, this officer's tank got a direct hit which wounded five out of seven of the crew which rendered the tank useless. The officer in the next tank being wounded, Lt Dingley took charge of the latter's tank and crew, and proceeded straight to his objective after leaving the wounded officer and wounded men of his own crew in charge of the two unwounded men. The change of tanks was effected under heavy shell fire. This officer was in action altogther for about seven hours. He showed great initiative and devotion to duty, setting a fine example to his crew.

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Sidearm

Thank you very much indeed. The mystery deepens though, because I didn't think any B Battalion tanks were in action on 30 November 1917 - none are mentioned in Ian Verrinder's book. More digging to be done.

Whilst I'm at it, would it be just too cheeky to ask for one more. Promise I won't ask again, well for a while anyway! I'm interested in an award of the MM to Private W. Christmas, possibly of 10th Battalion, or possibly 11th Battalion, I believe around April 1918.

Very many thanks once again.

Gwyn

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delta

Gwyn

It's very odd. No mention of Christmas in the Book of Honour and can't find a logical MIC; nor an obvious entry in the LG.

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Sidearm

Thanks for looking Delta. My information may be wrong. I'll post the whole story later but I've just been sent out to buy some chips... Sorry for not replying earlier by the way, I've been away for a few days.

Gwyn

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delta

Gwyn - glad to help.

Enjoy the chips

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Sidearm

Right! Chips eaten, so now I'll explain why I'm interested in Pte W. Christmas.

I came across him in G. Murray Wilson's "Fighting Tanks" (published 1929). It's not the greatest source as it makes the war seem like a Boy's Own adventure, so I'm not convinced that facts often get in the way of the story. Anyway this is what it says as part of the chapter "The Tide Turns: Villers Bretonneux":

"Supply tanks generally led rather uneventful lives, but one of them, "Kingfisher", lived up to its lively name. It was a Mark V of the 10th Battalion and was operating in the Courcelette area. "Kingfisher" set out on his daily delivery round, complete with a crew of six. His strict duty was to victual other tanks with petrol, ammunition etc and keep out of harm's way, if possible; but, like other adventurous birds, he allowed the wine of excitment to go to his head. In fact, he ran himself right onto the sights of a German anti-tank battery. The enemy gunners caught "Kingfisher" on the flank with their broadside and blew one track clean off, disabling five of the crew. The survivor, Private Christmas W., seems to have become for the first time mentally intoxicated. His tank could now only travel in a circle, and his next move obviously was to abandon ship. Instead, he opened the throttle wider and stayed in. Perhaps in civil life he had been a member of the Metropolitan Railway staff: for the succeeding half-hour he drove on the "Inner Circle" over everything in his way - trenches, houses, batteries, shell-holes and Germans. A providential mist had descended, so he was a difficult target. He enjoyed himself hugely. It was a fearsome spectacle. The maimed tank, twisted out of shape, charging round and round, scattering or crushing everything it met, only needed a little wild music to complete the resemblance to a Valkyrie on a merry-go-round.

"A kind of vertigo possessed Private Christmas - such as one sometimes feels on the ordinary sort of roundabout. He could not stop (not that he in the least wished to do so), but, like the Wandering Jew, he had to go on dreeing his circular weird. At last the Germans managed to train another gun on "Kingfisher", shot through his other wing and captured the Private C.O. He, however, was too untamable for captivity. Two of our Whippets loomed suddenly out of the mist, bore down on the enemy crowding around the disabled "Kingfisher", made them all prisoners and released the knight-errant. He, by immediate award, was created Private Christmas W., M.M."

Now immediately a couple of things don't add up. If it was a supply tank then at this date it would be a Mark IV, not V. Next the name "Kingfisher" should be a tank of 11th Battalion and not 10th. But these are minor points. I have seen one or two accounts of tanks driving on one track, and now there seems to be no citation to a W. Christmas. All in all, it's a bit of a mystery.

Gwyn

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Gareth Davies

I think he was the G Bn Recce Officer.

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pagius

Am I right in saying that I need to get the 7th Battalion Tank Corps diary and that's only available from Bovington?

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Gareth Davies

It's not available from Bovington but it is available from the National Archive.

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pagius

Thanks.  I'll get it from the NA,   I already have 15th Battalion Tank Corps from when I was looking into Anthony Maurice Bell ...later Dom Maurice Bell of Downside Abbey and Headmaster of Worth Preparatory School  1940-1959.

 

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spof

Hubert Hatton-Hall into a new thread in Soldiers to avoid distracting from the main point of this thread.

 

Glen

GWF Admin Team

 

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Russ Morley

I’m looking for information on William John Morgan probably serving with Tank Corps in France in 1917-18. Thanks in anticipation.

Kind Regards, Russ Morley

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Gareth Davies

Russ, welcome to the GWF.  

 

I can find 3 William John Morgans in the Tank Corps.  What I suggest that you start a brand new thread in the Soldiers area and we can take it from there. 

Edited by Gareth Davies

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