This is a tank crew face mask, which would have been issued to every member of a tank’s crew to protect his face and particularly his eyes from the effects
Poelcapelle is in Belgium, not far from Ypres. During the First World War the area was the scene of some bitter fighting and it was almost reduced to rubble, but
Sponsons were built separately from tanks, not necessarily by the company that built the actual tanks.
This framework of wood and wire-netting (chicken wire the Americans call it) was devised as a means to prevent enemy stick grenades from lodging on the roof of the tank.
The pair of tail wheels on a Mark I tank seem to fascinate most people; they are in fact the rump of the articulated Landship idea devised by Colonel Crompton.
David Fletcher talks through the Mark I tank, in this Tank Chat, the world’s only surviving example of the tank.
Historian Dan Snow presents this bite size history of the tank in the First World War, filmed on location at The Tank Museum.
The British Mark II Tank features in his Tank Chat presented by David Fletcher MBE.
One object, The Henriques Ring, now on display in the new Tank Men exhibition offers a fascinating and very personal link to the first tank attack in history.