D1 Daredevil 1 (No 765 - Male). In support of preliminary attack by 14th Div to east of Delville Wood, with D5 attacking from the north; then to assist assault to the east of Flers. D1 started south of the Ginchy to
· Capt Harold William Mortimore. Born Chiswick 91, the third child and eldest son of Harvey Mortimore (an engine driver on a steamship) and Anne Louise Mortimore. Four years pre-war service with City of
· 1409 Sgt H Davies starboard gunner the oldest of the crew; the majority were teenagers. Davies is reported (by fellow crew member Gnr Smith, to have suffered from shell-shock and been removed from the tank to be cared for by the RAMC.
· 2481 Gnr Arthur Day portside loader. Born Oct 1892 and the son of Frederick William Day, his home address (and that of his father) was 141 Tulketh Brow Ashton on Ribble near Preston Lancs. Attested aged 23 year 4 months on 24 Oct 1915 at
· Gnr Ewart Doodson was born in Elland Yorkshire in Nov 98. After the deaths of his natural parents he was adopted. He went to work as a junior clerk at the Yorkshire Electric Power Coy in Thornhill, but volunteered in October 15 aged just 16, joining the MGC. During the 15th September attack Ewart Doodson was a gearsman and described the action in a letter to his parents, then living at
· Gnr FC Hobson - starboard 6lb gun loader -probably 205442 Gnr Frederick C Hobson later Tank Corps
· 2494 Gnr Henry Leat gearsman. Born Dorking c95, the ninth of 10 chidlren, his family soon moved to Aldershot where he was educated at the East End School. He completed an apprenticeship with Gale and Potter in their letter press department. He enlisted at Bisley in the MMGS in Dec 1915 and continued to serve with the D Coy, then with D Bn. He died of wounds aged 22 on 11 April 17 received during 11 Coys attack at Bullecourt but his grave site is unknown. His great neice Sue Chifney is a member of the site.
· 2074 Gnr Albert Smith Portside gunner - awarded MM for action at Beaucourt 16, For good work during operations on the right of Delville Wood on September 15 16, when serving with D Coy. Note: this probably refers to the recovery of D9s guns undertaken with Lt Hastie later on 23 Sep 16. Remained serving with the Coy and transferred on its formation to D Bn. Late Pte 200770 serving with 4th Bn - survived.
· M2/188383 Pte Albert S Wateridge ASC Possibly born 27 Feb 84 at Cranham Essex, eldest son of Charles and Lucy Wateridge - originally of Alton. He enlisted into ASC on 11 Dec 15 and was attached to Heavy Branch MGC in Spring 16. After the action, he rebadged to the MGC (75071), remaining with D Bn and promoted LCpl. He was awarded the MM for his actions at the second Battle of Bullecourt (3 May 17) when driving Tank D41 (No 793; an unarmoured Mark II tank commanded by 2Lt CM Knight) - one other crewman being James Anderson (see D22). The tank was in support of 62nd Div, who assaulted from the south west. The tank patrolled along the German trench but found no infantry to support. It was forced to retire as the crew were being injured by the armour piercing bullets. On the way back, the tank stopped to pick up more injured crew and then returned to the south east of Bullecourt; both Wateridge and Anderson refusing to give up their roles. Having again patrolled the German trench, the tank returned to its rally point, its ammunition virtually expended. The MM citation states: When this drivers tank was in a deep crater in Bullecourt, his skilful driving under heavy fire from armour-piercing bullets enabled the tank commander to extricate himself and continue in action. The tank, owing to casualties in personnel, was brought back to starting-point and the wounded crew were replaced. This driver, however, continued at his post. Wateridge was later promoted Sgt and served on with the Tank Corps. He was discharged on 2 May 19 under KR para 392 (XV) as No longer physically fit for war service.
D2 (No 539 - Female). One of three tanks (E Gp) with D15 (Bagshaw) and D19 (Sellick) tasked in support of 41st Div. Tank ditched in shell holes in Delville Wood on route to the start point; the car was eventually recovered. Later action: Huffam states
· Lt Hugh Reginald Bell. Youngest son of the Rev Samuel Bell and Mrs Elizabeth Bell, born Pimlico,
· Cpl Walden possible 205643 Cpl William L Walden
· Gnr Gilbert Adamson was born 9 June 1898 at
· Pte Walter
· Gnr Arthur Branfield was born in May 1891 and shown as a 24 years old Commercial Traveller employed by William Hoare and Co of Basinghill St London. Married Dorothy Carrie West at Wembley on 26 Dec 12. Living at
· Gnr James B Brunton was born 26 Oct 89 at Merchiston,
· Gnr John Letts was born May 1897 the son of John Charles Letts and Mary Elizabeth Letts. A shop assistant he lived at
· Cpl Ernest Keats ASC was born in Tincleton,
D3 (No 728 -Male). One of 4 tanks (with D1, D4, and D5) in support of 14th Div assault on Flers. D3s route was through Delville Wood, by night, which was slowed by unexploded mortar shells; the crew initially moving the duds out of the way but subsequently driving over them. It towed D5 out of a shell hole and, crossing the start line, and then followed the German Comms trench, known as
· 2Lt Harold George Head. Possible DoB 11 Feb 95; Raised and educated in Bournemouth, Initailly joined 1/9th Bn Hampshire Regt (Cyclists Bn) and was later commissioned into the Regt. Following his suuport to 39th Divsion on 18 Oct 1916 he was awarded the MC for conspicuous gallantry in action. He handled his Tank with great courage and skill, remaining out for over an hour under heavy fire, and accounting for many of the enemy. He later served with D Bn, Temp Capt 12 Apr 17 (LG 26 Jul 17). Commanded no 10 section, during the Canadian assault on Vimy Ridge (9th April 17, when his tanks became ditched due to the poor ground conditions. Probably commanded at Bullecourt on 3 May 17. He also commanded the sect during the assault on Flesquieres on 20 Nov, on the opening day of the battle of Cambrai. On 26 Mar 18, he commanded twenty Lewis Guns teams, found from D Bn, under the command of 106 Bde, on the Bray to
· Cpl William McNichol possibly 200781 Sgt William NcNichol Tank Corps
· 2715 Pte William Barrie MMGS. Born Berwick on
· Gnr Bentley wounded on 15 Sept. Note the war diary lists only one casualty, in the crew of D3, and reports injured by a HE splinter on the hand.
· 2511 Gnr Cecil
· 32003 Gnr William George Shelton born
· Gnr Frank Steer. Born October 1895 near Sittingbourn; A fruiterer he enlisted into the MMGS in November 1915 at Coventry. Originally trained at Bisley and posted to 21 Bty, he was posted to D Coy in May 1916. Deployed to France on 28 August, he stayed with D Battalion on its formation and served with them until October 1917 when he was returned to Bovington. Initally posted to 14th Bn, he joined 16th Bn in January 1918 and retruend to France in Sep 1918. Later promoted Cpl, he was demobilised in Mar 1919 and returned to Sittingbourn. He died, aged at 92, at Hounslow.
· M2/182923 Pte George A Simpson; Simpson re-badged to the Tank Corps.(77490) and survived the war
D4 (No 516 - Female). In support of 14th Div assault. Ditched in Delville Wood en route to start point. Guns salvaged by a party under Lt Hastie but tank had to be abandoned.
· 2Lt Charles Ernest Storey. Born 1877; educated
· Gnr Beardmore
· probably Pte 32139 later 206156 Oswald Clayton born Apr to Jun 82, the son of James and Ellen Clayton; both cotton weavers. In 1901 the family were living at
· LCpl Hawker
· Gnr Heath - possibly 40008 Pte Clement John Heath later LCpl Tank Corps
· Gnr Morrison
· Gnr Roberts; probable 76209 Pte. ROBERTS, W.of 12th Coy D Bn. Awarded MM. At Bullecourt, May 3, 17. Though wounded early in the action he remained at his post and did good work. Later, when the tank took fire from a direct hit, he assisted in putting out the flames and was of great assistance in bringing in the tank.
· M2/191254 Pte William J Shortland Rebadged to MGC then Tank Corps remained Private 77489 survived
D5 Dolphin (No 540 - Female). In support of preliminary attack by 14th Div to east of Delville Wood, with D1 attacking from the South, then tasked to move north east of Flers. D5 ditched on route through Delville Wood and was not on time to support D1s initial attack. Recovered by D3 (Head), it followed up the infantry, parties clearing bodies in order that the tank did not run over them. It was well behind the first waves as it crossed its first objective (the German front line). Slowed by the badly damaged ground, and its steering wheels which were being dragged uselessly behind, it reached the second objective at Gap Trench. "Dolphin" then crossed diagonally from the west to east side of
· Lt Arthur Herbert Blowers. Born on 5 Nov 91, in Knodishall, near Saxmundham in
· 2447 Cpl Edward "Ted" Foden Born Mar Apr 1896 at Wolstanton, near Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffs. Enlisted 4 Oct 15, aged 19 years 7 months; a butcher's assistant living at
· 32489 Gnr Edgar Robert Barnsby born
· 2518 Gnr Leslie Robert Gutsell, born Dorchester 96, the eldest son of Robert Gutsell, a house furnisher and Mary Godley. Assistant Scoutmaster for Shaftesbury Boy Scout troop. Machine Gun Corps (Motors) then HB MGC. KIA 15 Sep 16 in the tank; body recovered and buried on 30 Sep next to Barnsby; grave subsequently lost. Commemorated on the Thiepval memorial; parents presented a bookcase to the scouts in his memory
· Gnr Hodgson helped Blowers get Barnsby out of the tank and put him in a shell hole, returned to own lines
· Gnr Plant.
· Gnr Faraday Sladdin. Born in Brighouse, on 1 Nov 1888, he was the son of a shoulderpad manufacturer. He enlisted in Dec 1915 but was not mobilsied until May 1916 when he reported to Bisley. He deployed to France less than four months later and served with D Company, then D Battalion and then 4th Battalion until February 1919. Never promoted, he returned to Yorkshire and married a local girl Edith Gaudin in 1922. They settled in Cornwall but sadly Edith died in 1946. Faraday remarried in 1948, to Eleanor Denham, but he died on 16 Sep 53.
· M2/181493 Pte George Henry Thomas. Probably born born Royston 91and married to Miinie Poulter on 18 November 1911;they had two children daughter Lily M Thomas born Royston in Jan to Mar 1912 and Edmund G Thomas born Jul - Sep 1913 at Royston. Enlisted Hitchen; Wounded and awarded MM for action on 15th Sep. Rebadged to MGC (75068) and served with 12th Coy of D Bn. He probably fought at Thelus, during the opening day of the Battle of Arras. He was KIA aged 27 on 3 May 17 during the second battle of Bullecourt. Grave unknown; commemorated on
D6 (No 747 - Male) Only tank in C Gp supporting 41st Div attack on Flers. D6 followed main Rd to Flers until it reached German Switch Trench, where it passed Sgt Carmichael, of 21 KRRC, who was taking part on the assault. He described the sight of the tank lumbering past of my left, belching forth yellow flames from her Vickers gun and making for the gap where the
· Lt Reginald Charles Legge was born 18 Feb 82, the son of Mr and Mrs JV Legge. Educated at Brighton Grammar School, he first work in London as a draper's assistant, Prior to the outbreak of war, he was overseas, working as a merchant. He returned in Jan 1915 from the Gold Coast and served as Tpr and L/Cpl in 2/1st Bucks Yeomanry (Royal Bucks Hussars) until 4 March 16, when he attended six weeks officer cadet training at No 5 Offr Cadet Bn. Asked to join the R Surrey Regt but was posted to HSMGC. Commissioned 15 Apr 16 and will written at John OGroats Camp near Thetford on 25 Aug, the same day he deployed to France; the will was witnessed by Harold Mortimore and Hugh Bell. MIC states he had no previous overseas service. After the tank was hit, Legge ensured that his crew got out and was last seen by Herbert Clears in a shell hole. The Roll of Honour website for Lindfield War Memorial states he was captured and DOW 16 Sep 16. The CWGC website agrees date as 16th Sep. His body was buried by the Germans, his will and possessions being returned to his mother, but the location of his grave are not known. He was considered to be a fire eater, by his comrades. Good old Legge recalled Blowers He came so close to being great. Regrettably his undoubted determination and bravery were never formally recognised by the British; his name was recorded in the War Diary of 1st Bn, 10th Bavarian Inf Regt ie those who fought him at Flers. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial and at Lindfield (
· 38018 LCpl Wilfred da Cunha Brookes was born and enlisted
· 32106 Gnr Robert Beesley was born c 8th Feb 1890 in Coventry; second son of watch movement maker Peter Beesley and his wife Selina living at 53 Spon End Coventry 1891 same address in 1916. Enlisted 28 Mar 1916 in
· 32295 Gnr Fred Bardsley, born
· 206104 Gnr Herbert H Clears machine gunner and mechanic; received head injuries during action and was captured by Germans on 15 Sep 16. Details of interrogation provided in Tanks at Flers. Remained PoW for the remainder of the war, visited at Friedrichsfeld POW camp (near
· 32193 Gnr George Goodwin Cook; Born Westminster c88 and enlisted Camberwell. KIA aged 28 years on 15 Sep 16; son of Mrs. Sarah Ann Cook of Bowden Cottage, Lacock, Chippenham, Wilts. Commemorated on the Thiepval memorial and also at Bowden Hill church, near Lacock, as G Goodwin-Cook.
· 39140 Gnr John Harry Garner born Long Eaton Sep 91 the son of John Henry Garner and Sarah B Garner, lived at Long Eaton in 1901. Enlisted Ilkeston. KIA on 15 Sep 16. Brother of George H Garner, of
The tank was left where it was abandoned; it was blown up with explosives after the war during the battlefield clearances. The right hand track adjuster was subsequently located by Philippe Gorczynski whilst he (with Trevor Pidgeon and J-L Gibot) were visiting the area. Part of the tank superstructure were also later recovered and both presented to the tank museum