Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Goodbye to the tank.

In early September 1937, large metal cylinders similar to torpedoes in shape and size, appeared alongside the First world war tank near the war memorial in Bargate, followed by the appearance of two workmen. These proved to be employees of Thos. W. Ward, Ltd., of Sheffield, who had recently bought the tank and the German field gun from the council as scrap metal at the price of £56.
The workmen said that the large tubes were part of the oxy-acetylene plant with which the tank and field gun would, within the course of that week, be taken to pieces. Oxy-acetylene burners they said would bore their way through the side plates of the tank, one side of which would be removed first, and the weapon would be gradually taken to pieces suitable for handling by the workmen. The field gun would also be taken to pieces in the same manner. The work was expected to last the week and on the morning of September 2nd. the work was being watched by an interested crowd.
Two years later we would be at war with Germany again and probably some of the scrap metal went into building arms for the new war effort but personally I wish we still had the tank and field gun. Not many pictures have survived of the tank or field gun, in the one below which was taken in 1921 at the unveiling of the war memorial the tank can just about be seen under the crowd of children sitting on it!! In the next one the tank is just visible.

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