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Post Info TOPIC: WW1 Tank 119 Old Bill


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WW1 Tank 119 Old Bill
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HelloI am tracing my Grandfathers WW1 history especially around January 1918.  His name was George Beer and at that time he was attached to the Tank Corps.  In January 1918 a WW1-Presentation Tank, number 119 nicknamed Old Bill, toured the country, the Midlands, Nottingham, Leicester and a few other towns I have not located as yet.  This was this was part of the War Savings Association, named Tank Banks collecting donations for the war effort.  My grandfather was the driver of 119 and I have found a few pictures of him and 119 in Leicester and Nottingham. 
Does anyone else in this forum have any further information, documents or pictures relating to 119 Old Bill.  Any help appreciated.Thanks Mike

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This is definitely news. I've been trying to build up a history of the Tank Banks and which towns they visited (and on what dates) -there are lots of gaps and partial info - eg 'on such and such a date a tank visited Mumblebury' - but no tank name or number is given. There are also confusions in which one tank is reported as being another - Julian for example would appear to have been capable of being in two places at the same time! some of which, on closer inspection, appear to have been one tank mistaken for another by some local (lazy) reporter using MoD press releases rather than actually looking at the tank. The name Old Bill does not feature (which does not mean that it didn't exist - as I've said the recorded info is not straight forward). I would very much appreciate seeing any photos.
BTW there is confusion between Tank Bank tanks and presentation tanks. They are not the same. Tank Bank tanks (which I suspect Old Bill was) were generally retired veterans shipped around the country by rail. They were drivable and gave lots of demos (some even went to North America and appeared in Canada and US but probably no more than 2 ). The presentation tanks appeared after the war's end - one was shipped to each 'presentation' town and drove down the road to its display point, a presentation took place allowing local dignitarys, politicians and other members of the criminal classes to parade themselves whilst the delivery crew removed the transmission chains thus imobilising the tank. These tanks seem to have come mainly from training areas. Very often there was confusion between the tank bank tank that visited the town in late 1917/early 1918 and the later presentation tank and several towns claim to have been the last resting place of the same tank bank tank. In general tank banks were male and presentation tanks were female but this seems to have escaped the eagle eye of local journalists (for example there is a photo claiming to be of Julian in Warboys Park Luton but it is of a female tank!)

-- Edited by Centurion at 00:43, 2007-01-20

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Here's two photos of 119. Can't remember where they came from.

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Hello
First of all I would like to say thank you for the very prompt and informative replies I have received to my first post on this forum.
I would like to explain that any confusion between the explanation of Presentation Tanks and Tank Banks was an error on my behalf.  I am very new to this type of research, my Military knowledge is Nil and that is just one of a number of errors I have made so far during this enquiry.  I expect there's a few more ahead.
This research started when I was given a Picture Postcard showing four men stood in front on a Tank number 119.  There was one officer and three crew members on being my grandfather George Beer.  On the back was a personal message written by my Grand father and it was stamped 18th Jan 1918 W.S.A. which I believe to be War Savings Association.  I sent a copy of this card to Bovington who identified the Tank as 119 Old Bill.  They went on to say that the Tank was given that name after a Barsforth character very popular at that time but that is only a guess.  The location of the picture and date stamp was identified as being Leicester goods yard as the Tank came off the train.
If you take a look at the web site "Friends of the Lincoln Tank" the opening statement quotes Six Mark 1V male tanks "Egbert" No 141, "Nelson" No 130, "Julian" No 113, "Old Bill" No 119,  "Drake" No 137 and "Iron Rations No 142 toured England, Wales and Scotland in 1918 raising Millions of pounds through Tank Bank Weeks.  You may already be aware of this particular Web Site.
The two pictures posted by Mark, again thank you very much, I have no idea where either photograph was taken but I can say with 99.9%certainly that on the first picture the solider stood to attention in front of the taken is my Grandfather George BEER.  Now that is a result.
I have tried to attach a copy of my postcard but in doing I managed to loose my typed reply so I had to start again, I will post it after I sent this.  Since starting this research I have made contact with people on other Forums, Friends of the Lincoln Tank and the Great War Forum, who have great knowledge on this subject.  I will pass the photos on and see if we can get the location identified.
As I am new to the workings of this forum is there a way to send me better copies of the photographs posted, especially the first one.  I tried to drag it off but then the quality was not so good.
Tanks again for the replies, I am going to post this now before I loose it again
Mike



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Having a bit of trouble uploading the Picture Postcard  operator error again
Mike

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In addition to the six tanks listed in the Friends of Lincoln site it's possible that 145 and 148 were also used as fund raising tanks. I've found examples of local papers efereing to visits by all of the six named tanks except Old Bill which is why I find this new info particularly interesting, however I've learnt that local newspaper accounts can be spectacularly inaccurate so that visits ascribed to one tank were made by another so Old Bill could well be in there. Male tanks were used for these tours as the public could have easy access through the door at the rear of the sponson (where the money was taken and bonds handed out). However in the US two female tanks were used for Victory Loan parades and fund raising. One of these was called Britannia and was a Lewis gun armed female whilst the other had mounts for Hotchkiss. It's possible that Britannia also visited Canada.
Now can anyone help with the photo of a fund raising tank shown below?
The hats of some of the crowd clearly indicate that it's not in Britain but the sign showing the amount raised to date has a pound sign so it's not the USA. All the photos of fund raising parades in Australia show dummy tanks being used so I'd guess Canada. Was Canada using pounds rather than dollars in 1917/18?

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Centurion wrote:
Now can anyone help with the photo of a fund raising tank shown below? The hats of some of the crowd clearly indicate that it's not in Britain but the sign showing the amount raised to date has a pound sign so it's not the USA. All the photos of fund raising parades in Australia show dummy tanks being used so I'd guess Canada. Was Canada using pounds rather than dollars in 1917/18?

Are you sure that it's not Britain? The reason I ask is because that tank is 141 "Egbert". The damage to the front and starboard sponson are identical. It can't be Canada because they were on the decimal system back in 1859.

Nearly all the fund raising parades in Australia were done with dummy tanks except for some appearances by female tank 4643.



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Mark Hansen wrote:

Are you sure that it's not Britain? The reason I ask is because that tank is 141 "Egbert". The damage to the front and starboard sponson are identical. It can't be Canada because they were on the decimal system back in 1859.

Nearly all the fund raising parades in Australia were done with dummy tanks except for some appearances by female tank 4643.




 



Well there's the mystery
A substantial section of the crowd appear to be wearing wide brimmed high crowned hats which, unless there was a troop of older boy scouts around does suggest out of Britain

If that is Egbert then it's somehow lost the 141 number and the name that can be seen in a number of other photos (and gained a new paint job). I recognise some of the damage from other photos but am still not completely convinced that they are of Egbert for the same reason. Unfortunately captions cannot be relied on (there is a photo of Nelson with its 130 number that is captioned as Egbert for example and I think that a number of tanks were labled as Egbert or Julian that were neither) I haven't seen that big hole in the front plate before.

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I am having problems posting my picture post card this is what I am doingClicked reply to last postTick attach files a drop down appearsClick choose file which I did from my desk topThe source file appears and a small jpeg picture of my postcardWhen I click upload nothing happens.  Any advice what I am doing wrongMike

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It doesn't sound like the process I know - see attached screen shots shoing how these scrren shats were attached. Note rather than clicking on upload once you've listed your pictures just click on submit post

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Its red face time - I answered by own query - on checking other photos of tank weeks I find that boy scouts were indeed employed to look after selling the bonds from the tanks - its a troop of young bluebottles (goon joke) so probably Britain after all.

BTW I think I may have discovered one cause of confusion on captions of tank bank photos. I found some text references to a 'tank bank' - this being a pottery form of piggy bank shaped like a tank for kiddies to save their pennies for the war effort. When they'd saved about 15 shillings they could take it along and exchange this for a war bond. The tank depicted was Egbert. Thus in some peoples' minds 'tank bank' and Egbert would be associated so there would be a danger of the real full size tank banks being refered to as Egbert also. This doesn't mean that a caption of Egbert is necessarily incorrect but that one should not assume automatically that its correct either. As I've said there are some photos and references to tanks that are clearly not the real Egbert but which are refered to as Egbert. Confusing.

Re Old Bill - from Mark's photo it appears to be an early production Mk IV being Lewis gun armed rather than Hotchkiss.

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I still cant get the postcard into the forum, could it be that I am using a Mac with Safari as my browser, just a thought.Mike

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Mike

   You may have to resize your photo.

All the Best

Tim R



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I think that the 141 and Egbert only appear on the one side. Egbert has one other distinguishing feature. The drivers side vision flap has its lower edge bent up. This is visible in most photos. Unfortunately, I'm not at home for the next week so can't access the photos to point it out.



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Hi, I'm new to this business of posting on forums, but have been researching tanks a long time, so I hope this works & is useful.  The picture discussed with the boy scouts is definitely 141 Egbert.  It was taken at Market Hill, Luton in July 1918.  The location can be identified because the building to the right is the Corn Exchange.  One of the people standing on top of Egbert is the Mayor of Luton, Charles Dillingham.  If anyone wants a copy of this photo it's in the Luton Museum collection reference LM3627.

The reference to the tank in Warboys Park Luton is also incorrect - there's no such place.  The correct name is Wardown Park. 

The name Egbert appears on both sides of the tank.  The reason it can't be seen easily on one side is that the number 141 has been painted over it, so you need a particularly good photo.  Fortunately such shots exist from the tank's visit to various South Wales towns, including Bridgend.

Finally a postcard of 119 Old Bill was recently on eBay.  Take a look - you might have a few minutes left to buy it... 

 

 



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I have been looking every day for pictures of Old Bill on eBay where and when did you see it
Mike

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Gwyn Evans wrote:

Hi, I'm new to this business of posting on forums, but have been researching tanks a long time, so I hope this works & is useful.  The picture discussed with the boy scouts is definitely 141 Egbert.  It was taken at Market Hill, Luton in July 1918.  The location can be identified because the building to the right is the Corn Exchange.  One of the people standing on top of Egbert is the Mayor of Luton, Charles Dillingham.  If anyone wants a copy of this photo it's in the Luton Museum collection reference LM3627.
Thanks - it shows how places change - I lived for 15 years at Aley Green 5 miles outside Luton and there is no longer any similarity between the place then and now.

The reference to the tank in Warboys Park Luton is also incorrect - there's no such place.  The correct name is Wardown Park. 
A slip on my part, I was posting late at night, however the photo of the tank in the park captioned as Egbert in a Bedfordshire paper is clearly not Egbert as it is a female tank -beware of newspaper and local museum captions!

The name Egbert appears on both sides of the tank.  The reason it can't be seen easily on one side is that the number 141 has been painted over it, so you need a particularly good photo.  Fortunately such shots exist from the tank's visit to various South Wales towns, including Bridgend.

Unfortunately the photos I have seen of the tour in S Wales (including Bridgend) only show the same side of the tank - starboard and in these the name very clearly has not been painted out. The tank is covered in signatures. Do you have a photo of Egbert's port side showing the painted out name and number? My point about some tanks being mis captioned as Egbert can be illustrated by a shot of a tank captioned in a local museum archive as being Egbert when the number 130 can clearly be seen on the side. Do you have something other than a caption that clearly identifies the Luton Tank as Egbert?

Finally a postcard of 119 Old Bill was recently on eBay.  Take a look - you might have a few minutes left to buy it... 

 

 




 



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Lookingforoldbill wrote:
I still cant get the postcard into the forum, could it be that I am using a Mac with Safari as my browser, just a thought.Mike

I got your picture Mike and I'll try to upload it.

P.S.: Success! I don't know why it won't allow you to upload it because I did nothing to the picture. Probably an incompatibility issue as you suspect.



-- Edited by Mark Hansen at 03:20, 2007-01-23

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Mark
Thanks for uploading my postcard, for yours and everyone else's information my Grandfather is the man stood on the far left with one hand behind his back.  At this time he was serving in the 3rd Tank Corps.  The photograph was taken at Leicester goods yard date stamped 18th Jan 1918.  He survived WW1.
If anyone has any other information on "119 Old Bill" please contact me.
Mike
 

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I've never seen a photo of the presentation tank in Wardown Park Luton, but we all need to be careful about confusing presentation tanks with the touring tanks.  The touring tanks, Egbert included, went to a town for a period, helped raise funds and moved on.  The presentation tanks were presented to the towns and stayed there until scrapped.  (Sorry if I'm teaching people to suck eggs).  I've never suggested that the Wardown Park tank was Egbert, and the proof is the evidence it was a Female.  It is true that captions can be misleading, but even the Luton Museum caption says "This tank, or a very similar one, was on display in Wardown Park until the Second World War..." (my emphasis) - so even they hedged their bets! 

However the Museum caption does not identify the tank as Egbert!  That it is Egbert can be determined from a decent sized and good quality photographic print (1) because it is possible to identify the tank from Egbert's extensive battle damage, as another respondent has pointed out, and (2) because it is just possible to determine that the first two digits in the training number (I prefer the term Home Forces number) are 1 and 4.

I found a photo of Egbert's port side in a book in Cardiff library decades ago.  Now all I have to do is find  the article I wrote on Egbert for the South Wales MAFVA magazine at the time.  (I no longer live in Cardiff.)  I'll let you all know. 

Gwyn 



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Legend

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I enclose a shot of the Wardown Park tank - as one can see it is not "very similar". The point I was trying to make is that many records/reports etc from the 1920s to 1960s get very confused between tank bank and presentation tanks (at least 3 towns claim Julian and another 3 Egbert). In reality tank bank tanks were all male (at least in the UK) whilst almost all presentations appear to have been female (why the strong female presence in presentations I don't know). There is also confusion over tank bank tanks ( I enclosed a picture of 130 at Hartlypool - in the local authority archives this is both captioned as Egbert and identified as their presentation tank!). The problem with the identification of Egbert through battle damage is that this is largely visible from port side photos only and I have not seen a port side view yet that shows either number or name (The starboard side views that do show a number and name only show some damage to a visor - this could be coincidental- and a different paint scheme - covered with signatures on the side including the inside of the port front horns). None of the port side photos of 'possibly Egbert' have any visible graffiti. Any port view that shows number or name would therefore be of great interest. The degree of damage seems to differ between photos - the Luton photo shows a big hole in the front 'glacis' below the driver's cab that I have not seen in other shots.
Note I am nt being so dogmatic as to say some of these shots are not Egbert - merely that there are a number of discrepancies needing explanation.

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Centurion wrote:
I enclose a shot of the Wardown Park tank - as one can see it is not "very similar".

I think the point that Gwyn was making was that the Luton Museum hedged its bets rather than himself suggesting that the tanks were similar - which they obviously are not to people knowledgable about tanks but are to a casual observer.

The problem with the identification of Egbert through battle damage is that this is largely visible from port side photos only and I have not seen a port side view yet that shows either number or name (The starboard side views that do show a number and name only show some damage to a visor - this could be coincidental- and a different paint scheme - covered with signatures on the side including the inside of the port front horns). None of the port side photos of 'possibly Egbert' have any visible graffiti. Any port view that shows number or name would therefore be of great interest. The degree of damage seems to differ between photos - the Luton photo shows a big hole in the front 'glacis' below the driver's cab that I have not seen in other shots.

The photo I posted earlier in this thread, which is captioned as being at Pontefract, has exactly the same hole in the front plate. The graffiti looks to be chalk which by its very nature is ephemeral. The visor damage similarity is unlikely to be coincidental.

Note I am nt being so dogmatic as to say some of these shots are not Egbert - merely that there are a number of discrepancies needing explanation.
On another note, am I the only person on this forum not having trouble with the toolbar? When I quote a posting it takes a little while for the toolbar to appear but it does turn up. It seems to wait until it has loaded the thumbnails. I am using Windows XP and IE6.



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Spot on, Mark.

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Legend

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One question about the tank about to suffer the tender ministrations of the gentleman with the sledgehammer: Is the stand it is on typical of how the presentation tanks were displayed in their various towns?

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Looking at my slowly accumulating collection of presentation tank photos there is no 'typical' stand. Some are on earth and grass ramps, some on stone or concrete plinths, some in railed off enclosures, one mounting a low wall, others just standing on the ground

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Centurion wrote:
Looking at my slowly accumulating collection of presentation tank photos there is no 'typical' stand. Some are on earth and grass ramps, some on stone or concrete plinths, some in railed off enclosures, one mounting a low wall, others just standing on the ground

Thanks for that. I had noticed a few that were mounted like the one in the photo, as well as the ones arranged to look as if they were bursting through a brick wall.



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Another photo of 119 has just been advertised on eBay.  Search on "tank postcard" and you should find it.

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A number of points re Mark's recent posting

1. I wasn’t implying that Gwyn had been ‘hedging his bets’ but just trying to point out the degree to which local museums and papers can make errors in identifying tanks and therefore that we should approach such identifications with caution and seek other corroborating data. In fact the presentation tank was also incorrectly identified as Egbert by a Bedfordshire newspaper (the photo came from their archives). As I keep pointing out there are a number of instances of tank bank and presentation tanks being mis identified and sometimes confused by local historians.

2. Mark writes “I think that the 141 and Egbert only appear on the one side”. Gwyn writes “The name Egbert appears on both sides of the tank. The reason it can't be seen easily on one side is that the number 141 has been painted over it, so you need a particularly good photo. Fortunately such shots exist from the tank's visit to various South Wales towns, including Bridgend.”
However the only South Wales shots I have seen are of the starboard side. The number is very plain on the Bridgend and Aberagoed photos (already posted) and the name is just visible on the latter (don’t be confused by the name Egbert written on the photo itself, it’s also to be seen on the hull) but the number looks as if it has been painted over it.

I attach another photo of the ‘Pontefract’ tank. This is the best port view I’ve seen. There is clearly no number or name on the side of the tank nor any evidence of one having been painted out. It seems very strange that the number would be on one side and not the other – it was after all a battlefield call sign. However I also enclose a photo of the tank bank tank that visited Doncaster. Location and timing would suggest that it might be the same tank as visited Pontefract (the two S Yorkshire towns are quite close and in pre Beeching days shared a railway line). Although it’s a rather small photo a number of points stand out – the tarp on the drivers cab – very like that in the Pontefract shot, the lack of a name or number on the starboard side and the driver’s flap has been removed all together.

3. Looking at the photo I’ve enclosed, the Pontefract, Bridgend and Aberagoed photos the damage on the driver’s flap is different. On the first two pictures the break runs from the bottom of the flap diagonally to just under the starboard end of the hinge and there is very little left of the starboard side of the flap. On the two shots of Egbert in S Wales the damage is a missing broad V shaped section, this does not go up as far as the hinge and the starboard edge of the flap is largely intact. That two tanks should both have damage to the driver’s flap is quite likely as this was one of the parts that a German army directive said that riflemen and machine gunners should specifically target. Looking at various photos of wrecked tanks quite a few show the driver’s flap either missing or damaged in some way.

4. It seems that pre printed flyers were sent out in advance of tank weeks advertising that a particular named tank would visit the town on a particular date. Using such records as still exist to try and map tank tours can produce some illogical routings. I suspect that the name on the flyer and the tank that actually arrived did not always match. The people of the town would know no better (the tank numbers would mean nothing to them and thus local record would show that say Julian or Egbert arrived when the actual tank was different. This would explain the Hartlepool error I’ve referred to elsewhere. I also suspect that there were at least two more tank bank tanks (possibly being passed off as a different tank).


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Gwyn
Thanks for the hint.  A bit expensive but I got it.
Mike

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Just a little help required please. I am attempting to write up for my family a resume of my grandfathers war service. As stated he was in the Tank Corp and later in his service involved in Tank Bank weeks, with 119 Old Bill. Articles and information I have found, refer to male and female tanks. Could someone please explain, without going into lots of detail what the basic difference is between a male and a female tank, bearing in mind the people who will read my resume, including myself have a very basic military knowledge.

Mike

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Lookingforoldbill wrote:
Could someone please explain, without going into lots of detail what the basic difference is between a male and a female tank, bearing in mind the people who will read my resume, including myself have a very basic military knowledge.

Mike


The difference between a male and a female tank is in its main armament. The male tank was fitted with a 6-pounder naval gun in a sponson on each side, while the female tank had two machine guns in a sponson on each side. The tank body without the sponsons only differed internally in the ammunition stowage. Sponsons from male tanks could be fitted to females and vice versa, which was done mainly to the Mark V producing a hermaphrodite or composite tank. The Tank Museum at Bovington has a male Mark II with a female sponson; however this was a postwar alteration.
Another difference between males and females was that the female was very difficult to get into and almost impossible to get out of, especially in an emergency, due to the smaller sponson door. This was somewhat alleviated on the Mark IV onwards with the redesigned sponson.

P.S.: I may have been a little unclear about the total main armament. A male had two 6 pound guns and a female had four machine guns per tank. Originally the female tanks had the Vickers water-cooled MG's which were later replaced with Lewis air-cooled MG's which were in turn replaced by Hotchkiss air-cooled MG's. The male tanks had the same type of 6 pounder gun from the Mark I to the Mark V**, the only difference being a shorter barrel on the Mark IV onwards to prevent snagging on obstacles.


I think sometimes on the forum all of us are guilty of forgetting that there are people that would like to know more but are put off because we don't stop often enough to explain what all these things are that we in the know keep referring to.

-- Edited by Mark Hansen at 00:56, 2007-02-02

-- Edited by Mark Hansen at 01:04, 2007-02-02

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Mark

Just what I wanted, thanks very much.

Mike

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Mark Hansen wrote:

Lookingforoldbill wrote:
Could someone please explain, without going into lots of detail what the basic difference is between a male and a female tank, bearing in mind the people who will read my resume, including myself have a very basic military knowledge.

Mike

The difference between a male and a female tank is in its main armament. The male tank was fitted with a 6-pounder naval gun in a sponson on each side, while the female tank had two machine guns in a sponson on each side. The tank body without the sponsons only differed internally in the ammunition stowage. Sponsons from male tanks could be fitted to females and vice versa, which was done mainly to the Mark V producing a hermaphrodite or composite tank. The Tank Museum at Bovington has a male Mark II with a female sponson; however this was a postwar alteration.
Another difference between males and females was that the female was very difficult to get into and almost impossible to get out of, especially in an emergency, due to the smaller sponson door. This was somewhat alleviated on the Mark IV onwards with the redesigned sponson.

P.S.: I may have been a little unclear about the total main armament. A male had two 6 pound guns and a female had four machine guns per tank. Originally the female tanks had the Vickers water-cooled MG's which were later replaced with Lewis air-cooled MG's which were in turn replaced by Hotchkiss air-cooled MG's. The male tanks had the same type of 6 pounder gun from the Mark I to the Mark V**, the only difference being a shorter barrel on the Mark IV onwards to prevent snagging on obstacles.


For Mike's benefit Mk IV  Male sponsons also carried a machine gun in addition to the 6 pounder,  initially a Lewis and later Hotchkiss, Mk V onwards this was a Hotchkiss. All tanks also carried a machine gun in the cab. On Mk Is this was a Hotchkiss, on MK II & III a Lewis, On MK IV initially a Lewis and later a Hotchkiss, Mk V onwards it was a Hotchkiss. Although I have seen no photos to confirm this I have read that on some Female M IVs the sponsons had Lewises whilst the cab gun was a Hotchkiss 

I think sometimes on the forum all of us are guilty of forgetting that there are people that would like to know more but are put off because we don't stop often enough to explain what all these things are that we in the know keep referring to.

-- Edited by Mark Hansen at 00:56, 2007-02-02

-- Edited by Mark Hansen at 01:04, 2007-02-02






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Gwyn Evans wrote:

I've never seen a photo of the presentation tank in Wardown Park Luton, but we all need to be careful about confusing presentation tanks with the touring tanks.  The touring tanks, Egbert included, went to a town for a period, helped raise funds and moved on.  The presentation tanks were presented to the towns and stayed there until scrapped.  (Sorry if I'm teaching people to suck eggs).  I've never suggested that the Wardown Park tank was Egbert, and the proof is the evidence it was a Female.  It is true that captions can be misleading, but even the Luton Museum caption says "This tank, or a very similar one, was on display in Wardown Park until the Second World War..." (my emphasis) - so even they hedged their bets! 

However the Museum caption does not identify the tank as Egbert!  That it is Egbert can be determined from a decent sized and good quality photographic print (1) because it is possible to identify the tank from Egbert's extensive battle damage, as another respondent has pointed out, and (2) because it is just possible to determine that the first two digits in the training number (I prefer the term Home Forces number) are 1 and 4.

I found a photo of Egbert's port side in a book in Cardiff library decades ago.  Now all I have to do is find  the article I wrote on Egbert for the South Wales MAFVA magazine at the time.  (I no longer live in Cardiff.)  I'll let you all know. 

Gwyn 



Just to let anyone interested know I'm still on the case.  The photo of Egbert's port side is in "Old Crumlin to Pontymister in photographs, vol. 2"  by B. Collins and T. Powell.  I've requested a copy of the book on inter-library loan, but such loans take ages. 




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Corporal

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Hello again

I am still attempting to trace the movements of 119 Old Bill and I have managed to collect a few Pictures/Postcards from Leicester/Birmingham/Coventry/Nottingham??. I am not sure if they are all pictures of the same tank, my knowledge is not that good, the Birmingham Postcard is defiantly a fake but it shows the number 119.

I have a printout from the library at Bovington which gives all the known towns where Nelson, Julian, Old Bill, Egbert, Iron Ration and Drake were shown. I tried to upload it but again my system would not allow me. If anyone is interested in having the 4 page list which gives dates from 26.11.17-24.4.18 I will send it on by email. I can only assume that the dates are correct as the source is pretty reliable.

Mike


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Legend

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As I was saying aeons ago, Egbert carried the name and number 141 on both horns. Attached (I hope - first attempt at this!) is the photo I mentioned and whilst the good burghers of Risca have congregated in front of the tank blocking most of it from view, it is just possible to see the tips of the numbers and also the letters "BER" between the 4 and the second 1. Apologies for the quality of the scan, but I've given the source in an earlier post, in case anyone wants to look it up for themselves. Incidentally, I think that Egbert may also have carried the name on the hull front.

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Legend

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Fantastic. And it has all that grafitti too - just like the starboard views of Egbert. This supports my theory that some of the tanks said to be Egbert are in fact not Egbert (Just as some Julians are also not Julian) but in fact other tanks 'standing in' The 'Pontifract' tank (also appearing in Luton and other places) would seem to fall into this category. As I said before no one would know at the time - if your advanced publicity says you are getting a visit from Egbert and on the day a tank rolls up then as far as you (and the local press) are concerened it is Egbert. Would make scheduling the transport on the railway much easier to have a 'ringer' or two up one's sleeve.

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Centurion wrote:

Fantastic. And it has all that grafitti too - just like the starboard views of Egbert. This supports my theory that some of the tanks said to be Egbert are in fact not Egbert....
It is extremely hard to exactly reproduce battle damage on two different tanks.
If two photos of two tanks show identical damage then it is not only reasonable to assume that they are the same tank but almost impossible to argue that they are different tanks.
One other point is that the censor or an editor can edit out what they might like hidden in a photograph - such as graffiti. And graffiti can be applied, officially or unofficially,at any point in the tour unlike battle damage.

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Legend

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I agree with Mark, Centurion. The photo of the tank in Luton (the one where it's surrounded by the Boy Scouts and not the one with the chap with the sledgehammer) is definitely 141 Egbert. I have a large photographic print here of it and it is possible to see the whole of the first digit and the tip of the number four. The battle damage is the clincher. You can also make out a few letters of the name Egbert on the hull front.

I'm afraid the chalk graffiti proves nothing. It might even be a money-spinner - "Let the tank carry your name for a penny" - then wipe it off ready for ther next town.

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Hello again

Just a gentle reminder regarding the origin of this thread, has anyone any further information on 119 Old Bill. Please continue with your facts and theories its all very interesting.

Mike

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