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Post Info TOPIC: Mephisto - Lunchtime Lecture by Mark Whitmore on April 12th.


Legend

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Mephisto - Lunchtime Lecture by Mark Whitmore on April 12th.
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. . . in Brisbane, which is unfortunate for those of us in the Mother Country.

https://www.evensi.com/wednesday-lunchtime-talk-the-mephisto-tank-commissariat/195031275

I'm thinking of asking them if they fancy doing a webcast. Anyone interested?



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Legend

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I'll try to go to the talk. From the blurb it seems that Mark Whitmore and the Qld Museum are producing a new book

on Mephisto - Mark's original book is very hard to find these days.

Regards,

Charlie

 



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Legend

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That would be very public-spirited. Yes, there only seems to be one copy of the original QM book for sale at the mo. However, a rather nice potted version can be found in Australian Military History, 1994 edition, downloadable from Trove for a modest fee.

What's MW's job now? He's billed as 'ex-IWM'.

Btw, a gent named Andrew Currey has been doing some research into who exactly the 'Tank Boys' were. Most interesting . . .

 

 



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Legend

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I don't know what MW is doing these days - might find out on Wednesday.

The "Tank Boys" were from various transport units based at Vaux supporting the AIF - I remember looking them up at the AWM website

- found most of them from the online records.

Regards,

Charlie

 

 



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Legend

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Mark Whitmore retired last year.

The talk was pretty well crafted for a public lecture. The history of the A7Vs was discussed and as an audience participation Mark had marked on the floor the dimensions of the A7V then picked audience members to make up a 22 man crew. It was pretty obvious that sardines have more room than the crew in an A7V. The first two actions of the A7Vs at St Quentin and Villers-Bretonneux were described in detail. Mark had walked the ground and had images of the attack approaches of the A7V tanks. What was remarkable was that the ground had hardly changed in the last 100 years - Mark noted that the 1918 maps were perfectly usable on the modern landscape.

He described the recovery of Mephisto - apparently done by a section of 13 men from 26th Bn AIF (he had a list of their names) and 23 personnel from the 1st Gun Carrier company. He thought that they had used Gun Carriers in the recovery rather than Mark IV supply tanks.

The famous lion painting on the side of Mephisto has been a puzzle since it appeared in July 1918 at Vaux. Mark thought it possible that it was the work of the Australian painter Arthur Streeton who was in the vicinity when Mephisto was recovered. Unfortunately there's no proof of this attribution. There is a joke in this - the Qld Museum tidied up the tank and repainted it when it was moved to the South Bank site in 1986 - the Qld Museum may have been the only Australian institution to have sandblasted a Streeton. 

Regards,

Charlie

 



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Legend

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That is most noble of you, Charlie, and very, very helpful. Thanks for the info. I trust the lunch was agreeable.



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