Willie Shelton of tank crew D3 is pictured right. Willie was awarded the Distinguished Combat Medal for “great coolness and skill in driving his tank in action on 17th October 1918. When his tank was ditched, he worked under heavy fire for three hours and subsequently drove his tank for 6 hours, showing excellent skills in manoeuiring, so that many machine gun nests holding up the infantry were destroyed. This photo was provided by his great grandson Tim Kelly who is a member of the website.
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|Posted by firsttankcrews on March 25, 2017 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
Born 22 Apr 93 in Ludham, Norfolk,Edwin won a county council scholarship and attended King's Lynn Grammar school before settling at Blofield where he worked for his father on their market gardem. He joined the MGC (Motors) at Coventry in early May and was part of the D7 crew at Flers on 15 Sep 16.
Edwin was wounded at Martinpouich on 25 Sep 16, when a bullet hit his left shoulder which smashed the top of his humerus. The bullet fragments were removed and he was evacuate...Read Full Post »
|Posted by firsttankcrews on March 3, 2017 at 5:50 AM||comments (0)|
The Falkirk Herald provides more information and a photograph about Sgt Robert Hillhouse. Robert who served in C Company and was killed on 11 April 1917 at Monchy le Preux during the Battle of Arras.
The paper confirms that Robert was a motor cyclist as a young man and collided with butcher's horse and cart in his home town of Denny on 23 August 1910. The bike was badly damaged and the horse severely cut as a result of the accident.
Two years later, Robert married Jane...Read Full Post »
|Posted by firsttankcrews on February 19, 2017 at 10:05 AM||comments (0)|
Ernest Thornton was not one of the First Tank Crewmen as he did not serve in one of the four tank companies sent to France in the Autumn of 1916. He was already in France serving with No 2 Battery MMGS when the call for volunteers was made to increase C Company to C Battalion in November 1916 and was one of the first to join the new unit. Ernest later won the Military Medal (MM) as a tank commander at the Bat...Read Full Post »
|Posted by firsttankcrews on February 13, 2017 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
I have added a photo of Harold Darby and the D10 crew to the Photo Gallery. It was provided by the relatives of Gnr Lionel Britt who became missing in action during the German offensive in Mar 18.
I have also updated the details of crews in the light of recent research
|Posted by firsttankcrews on February 11, 2017 at 1:00 PM||comments (0)|
Jack was named John Henry Stagg.
He was born at East Coker near Yeovil in Devon on 13 Jan 1893. He was the son of a bootmaker Henry (Harry) Stagg (born in 1851 in East Coker) and Emma Jane Stagg (born 1852 died 1899).
By 1901 fhe family was living in North Coker and was living in the same village ten years later when Jack worked as a cycle repairer. He was a member of the local Boy Scout troop.
Like most of the crewmen, Jack was a keen motorcyclist, participati...Read Full Post »
|Posted by firsttankcrews on February 10, 2017 at 10:25 AM||comments (0)|
I have recently been given information about Gnr Jack Stagg who joined D Company in France on 30 September 1916.
Jack enlisted, through the Motor Cycle, at Coventry in December 1915 and, having undertaken the standard training package at Bisley, deployed to Boulogne on 18 September travelling via Folkstone. He then spent four days at the MGC Depot at Camiers before being sent to 14th Corps under whose command D Company was operating. He formally joined D Company on 30 Septe...Read Full Post »
|Posted by firsttankcrews on February 7, 2017 at 2:25 PM||comments (0)|
There is little information about A Company crewmen on this site as I can find no extant unit records. However, I am pleased to say that Jeremy Banning has recently put me in contact with Pauline Gurling whose father Bert Day was a member of A Company. Not only that but his service record survived the Blitz, so we should be able to tell the story of his time with the tanks as well as his home life.
Bert won a Military Medal (MM) for his actions on the opening day of the Bat...Read Full Post »
|Posted by firsttankcrews on February 6, 2017 at 1:55 AM||comments (0)|
James, who was from Galashiels, was born on 6 Feb 1895, He joined the Army in 1915 and was allocated to D Coy. He was a member of D1 crew on 15 Sep 16, acording to the Adjt's notebook, and then his name is struck through so he may not have seen action on that day. A Vickers machine gunner, James was allocated to C Crew on 25 Sep which supported the Reserve Army, His diary shows he later served with No 11 Coy, part of D Battalion Tank Corps. From Jan - Oct 1918 James was in two hos...Read Full Post »
|Posted by firsttankcrews on January 19, 2017 at 4:25 AM||comments (0)|
On Monday, I was fortunate to meet the family of Gnr John Frank "Jack" Letts who was the only one of the First Tank Crews to be awarded the Military Medal on two occasions. The MM is awarded to those who demonstrated exceptional bravery
Jack was a member of the D2 crew who later served with B Coy of 4th Bn Tank Corps. He was from Plymouth and, during WW2, was a sergeant in the local police force. He was awarded the first MM during the German spring advance in 1918 and...Read Full Post »
|Posted by firsttankcrews on January 12, 2017 at 2:55 PM||comments (0)|
According to his grandson Chris, C5 crewman Robert Gibson was known as Roy. He fought with Creme de Menthe on 15 September 1916 at Courcelette and probably at Thiepval eleven days later. He continued to serve with C Battalion and then on Whippets in 3rd Light Battalion until July 1918 when he returned to England amd started flying training. Chris also says Roy served as a observer / gunner in a Bristol Fighter. He was discharged in March 1919 and returned to his home i...Read Full Post »