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A TANK IN YOUR TOWN – BRIDLINGTON

September 15, 2016
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Bridlington is in East Yorkshire, on the coast a little way south of Flamborough Head. The tank sent to Bridlington as its reward for the part it played in the National War Savings Scheme was unusual in that it was a Mark III female, one of only 25 ever built and only a few of which were sent out as presentation tanks. The type never saw action but served as a driver training tank at Bovington, this one emblazoned with the number 19.

Although it actually arrived, by rail, at Bridlington station on 30 June 1919, it was 14 July, the start of Bridlington’s Peace Week, before it was driven to its final resting place. Having looked at numerous sites the Borough Surveyor said that on account of the tank’s weight, more than 26 tons, he was going to recommend one in Pembroke Gardens but, in the event, the site chosen for the tank to rest was directly outside Bridlington’s Priory Church, St Marks, on Cemetery Road.

Speaking during the presentation ceremony Lieutenant  L. B. Meek who commanded the tank and its crew, explained that it was a ‘Lady’ tank, normally armed with machine-guns while the tank was presented to the town by Sir Dennis Bayley, on behalf of the National War Savings Committee. Later Lieutenant Meek told a local press reporter that the tank had been in action and fought at Cambrai in November 1917. This was part of the normal story told about every tank although this one is unlikely to have left Bovington during the war.

The tank was finally taken away and scrapped in 1933.

Most of this information has been taken from a CD, made by the Friends of the Lincoln Tank, which lists all the presentation tanks in England and Wales.

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