Two Mark IV tanks made their debut at the Lord Mayor’s Show in London in November 1917. This was the first time the public had seen the new ‘wonder machine’. The Government decided to build on the huge success of the tanks appearance by using it to raise money and support from the sale of War Bonds and War Savings Certificates.
Six Mark IV male tanks – ‘Egbert’ No 141; ‘Nelson’ No 130; ‘Julian’ No 113; ‘Old Bill’ No 119; ‘Drake’ No 137 and ‘Iron Rations’ No 142 toured England, Scotland and Wales in 1918 raising millions of pounds through ‘Tank Bank Weeks’.
At the end of the war it was decided to release tanks to cities and towns throughout England and Wales. They stood in parks and other open spaces until all, apart from the one at Ashford in Kent, were cut up for scrap in the 1920’s and 30’s.
Tanks were also presented to towns along the Western Front.
The Friends are compiling a data base of photographs and information, and would be delighted to hear from anyone who has photographs or documentation relating to presentation tanks. If you have any information, we would be very pleased to hear from you.