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September 6, 2016

We’ve already told some of the story of Basil Henriques through the moving history of his ring, however it cannot be complete without his friend George Macpherson.

Basil and George had gone to the same school as young children, joined the same infantry unit and were in the same section in the Tank Corps. They developed a strong bond. On 15 September 1916, they both set off to take part in the first tank battle together.

George Macpherson and Basil Henriques

George Macpherson and Basil Henriques

George Macpherson was a young tank commander, leading his troops into battle aged just 20 years old. Only a year before, in 1915, he had been photographed as head boy at his school Winchester College.

George was sadly killed during that first tank attack. Basil Henriques struggled to cope without his friend and suffered a breakdown.

‘I am awfully lonely out here. George was such a marvellous companion that without him it is blank and empty.’

Of George he wrote:

‘Tall with pure light blue eyes, he was the typical of the flower of England’s youth.’

Basil continued to remember and miss George throughout his life. Both men are featured in the Museum’s Tank Men exhibition.

The Museum will be taking its Mark IV replica to London on 15th September and will be holding an event in partnership with the Royal Tank Regiment at the Museum on 17th September, to mark the anniversary of that first tank attack.

For more on the first tank crews, have a look at our products below.

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