The Tank Museum often receives fascinating donations, from flags to photographs, models to medals. A recent contribution to the collection is this Acme Thunderer whistle.
This distinctive and unusual Acme Thunderer Whistle, in the shape of a First World War Male Heavy Tank, belonged to Captain Frank Felix Kendzior. Despite its size, the rhomboid shaped whistle is very detailed with sponsons, tracks, viewing hatches and rivets. Underneath, its “The Acme Thunderer” trademark stamp can still be clearly read and it still has its original `pea’.
Capt. Kendzior began his army career in the Lincolnshire Yeomanry before transferring to the Heavy Branch Machine Gun Corps days before they changed their name to the Tank Corps in July 1917. By August 1918, he was commanding No. 7 Section, B Company, 9th Battalion Tank Corps.
Following the end of hostilities, Capt. Kendzior travelled the world before managing a farm in America. He returned to England, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War and served in the Home Guard.
Made in Birmingham, Acme thunderer whistles were widely used by British Officers and NCOs to issue and communicate commands. They were usually suspended from the uniform by a whistle cord.
The whistle, one of a range of souvenir models made between 1919 and 1926, along with Capt. Kendzior’s cap badge was donated to the collection by his Grandson. The Museum are currently in contact with Acme to discover more about their origins.