The life stories of those who crewed the first tanks in September 1916

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Jack Stagg was a member of D Company

Posted by firsttankcrews on February 10, 2017 at 10:25 AM

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 September at the same time that a section of B Company provided the five new crews. 

Jack, who was born in North Coker near Yeovil in Somerset, was probably a founding member of D Battalion's Workshop Company which formed in France in early 1917.  As a trained mechanic, Jack would have been very busy trying to keep the Mark I tanks available for training and to make them ready for the Battle of Arras. He would have been equally busy during the Battles of Ypres and Cambrai. Granted home leave just after Christmas 1917, he returned to the Tank Admin Area near St Pol sur Ternoise where tank battalions were based when not on operations.  Whilst on leave, he was posted to the Central Stores at Erin, the Battalions' Workshop Companies having been disbanded and a new depth repair system introduced,  This made for a much more effecient system of keeping the tanks in operation as it grouped men with specialist skills together. Jack served with the Central Stores at Erin until he was demobilsised in January 1919.

If you would like to know more about the way in which the tank repair and salvage organisation developed, have a look at this excellent article published by the Western Front Association in 2008   

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