Lt Alfred Enoch. Born 25 June 1891 in Willenhall near
Cpl Charles Ironmonger. Born 5 June 97 n Clerkenwell. He was bought up in Islington and then Southwark. He drove a 3 wheeled car for a wetfish shop before he joined the MMGS. He was one of the dozen or so men who where sent to the Trident works at
Gnr Bowen – possibly 200919 Harold R Bowen enlisted 1 Jul 15; later promoted Cpl, discharged and awarded SWB for sickness, having served overseas, on 19 Mar 19.This may be Harold Rhys Bowen, who was born in Chalford near Stroud and who later move to Plymouth. His father was an engine fitter. Harold settled in St Budeau after the war and married Elsie Peglar from Torpoint. Harold died, aged 67 on 10 March 1965. , .
Gnr George Hume was born in Edinburgh on 29 Sep 1896, an unmarried Law clerk, aged 19 years, he enlisted on 28 Sep 15. He joined at Bisley on 1 Oct and was approved at the MMGS Trg Centre on 8 Oct 1915. He deployed on 28 Aug 1916 and later fought in Tank D20, with Lt Alfred Enoch at Flers and at Morval on 25 Sep 16. He was transferred to D Bn on its formation (18 Nov 1916). Later 200775 Tank Corps he was injured during the battle of Cambrai and casevaced to England on 19 Dec 17; admitted to Priory Hospital Cheltenham on 24 Dec 1917 with GSW to the right leg’ also noted as having pneumonia (“an unusual cause”). Recommended for discharge from Army on 27 Mar 1918 by the Special Invaliding Board at Cheltenham. Discharged having been awarded SWB 17 Apr 1918 and pension for 52 weeks. Wounds shown as GSW to Right hand shoulder, leg and side; damage to lung also listed. He died of lung cancer on 7 Aug 1918.
32182 Gnr Alfred Lapthorne. Enlisted 18 Oct 1915; badly injured on 25 Sep 16 -discharged as a results of his wounds and awarded Silver War on 5 May 17.
200862 Gnr Archie Richards. Born 7 Jan 97, formerly a Cornish tin miner; served as 6lb gunner. Afterwards fought with C Bn at
2098 Pte Sydney Thompson MMGS – b C Oct 1889, a grocer’s manager, he married to Sarah Ann Ward on 21 Mar 14 at
M2/1857 Pte Sydney G Barnes who remained in ASC.
Later action; The tank was one of three D Coy tanks deployed during the Battle of Morval on 25 Sep; Cpl Ironmonger’s notebook states that the tank was knocked out at about 14.40 hrs. The crew consisted of 2Lt Enoch, Cpl Ironmonger, Gnr Tomson (sic), Gnr Richards, Gnr Bowens, Gnr Franks wounded, Gnr Llapthorn (sic) wounded, Gnr Humes (sic), Reserve Gnr Vince. Ironmonger was wounded in chest (notebook shows shrapnel wounds), knee, face and arm; he was evacuated to the
D8 (No 720 - Male).
Tasked to move along NZ Divisions left flank to Factory Corner, a location to the northwest of Flers and a major enemy position. The tank was damaged as it moved up to the start point; its steering wheels were useless, but 2Lt George Bown pressed on and had caught up with the infantry at their first objective (Switch Trench) by 07.05 hrs. At 07.20 hrs, the tank moved forward, as the creeping barrage resumed its forward progress, and supported the NZ troops for the rest of the day. It reached the third objective, northwest of Flers, and in so doing, not only providing support to his own Div but also 47th Div to his west near High Wood. As this put pressure on the German units in the area, especially in the Switch Line trench. Bown’s tank was soon targeted by enemy artillery and both he, and his ASC driver (Pte BJ Young), were temporarily blinded by glass fragments from the tank’s shattered vision prisms. At 14.50 hrs, orders were received for the infantry to consolidate on the third objective; at 15.30 hrs, a further order was given for attacks to crease until the following day and for the tanks to return to their base. Accordingly Bown, who had recovered his vision, headed south in Coy with D16 and D18. The tank was in action some 20 hrs
2Lt George Bown. Born 20 Aug 1892 in Mudford near Yeovil, the eldest son of Walter Bown. Educated at
Note his younger brother Lt Cyril Walter Bown joined the West Somerset Yeo two weeks after his 16th birthday in 1910. He was commissioned on 29 Oct 1915 and later attached to the Tank Corps. Cyril served with H Bn and commanded the tank Hotpsur, in his first action, which was hit by enemy artillery fire on the first day of the battle of Cambrai. When the German counter-attack took place on 30 Nov, Cyril was among those loading tanks onto trains in the town of
Cpl Jimmy Lindsay born 5 October1889 at
Gnr Ernest Didcote born Homerton
Gnr Pestell (possibly William F Pestell; 2465 Gnr MMGS (RHA/RFA) then 200778 Gnr MGC then 310525 Spr RE – Signals ?)
Gnr John Morris Tennent born Jan 1895. A postal clerk he enlisted 13 October 1915 at
Gnr Eddie Williams born c 1892 in
M2/1650 Pte Bertram Young ASC. Born 1879 New
D9 Dolly (No 546 Female).
Tasked to support 41st Div attack on Flers. Moved in concert with D14 (Court); failed to cross British trench system and also failed to tow out D14 once it has crashed into a dug out. The failure to get across the trench could have been because the ASC driver, Pte George Mullis, did not go into action. The tank was dug out by 4th Bn South Lancs, Dolly's skipper was given a rocket by his Company commander Frank Summers and retasked to support attack on Gueudecourt the next day. On 16th Sep, in Coy of D14, Dolly made its way to south of Flers, and linked up with infantry by 5.30 hrs. Told by the infantry the advance had been cancelled; Dolly was tasked by Summers to advance and lead the left element of assault on Germans to north of Flers. The original driver was injured by artillery shrapnel; LCpl Sanders took his place and drove on. 2Lt Huffum saw Cort destroyed by German artillery fire. Dolly was then hit by artillery fire; two crewmen killed, four injured including Huffam. (Did Huffam drag Sanders back to safety using belt?). The tank remained between the German and British Lines; its guns were later removed by Gnr Albert Smith of D1 and Gnr Roy Reiffer of D17 to avoid them being used by the Germans during subsequent British attacks.
2Lt Victor Huffam. Born 18 May 1890 at Heaton Chapel, near Stockport, Victor was the son of a company secretary, Spent 1907 to 1914 in
LCpl Archer – NCO and driver ASC (tbc) - blinded (temporarily) during attack on 16 Sep 16. Born Oct 1894 and registered at Burton on Trent, the eldest son (second child) of postman Arthur and Emma Archer. From Horninglow, living at
Gnr Alfred Andrew; born ‘88 Barnes in Surrey; the son of a draper Alfred C Andrew and his wife Maria; in 1901 the family were living in Hillside, West Ashford in
Gnr Ronald Charles Eric Chapple was born at South Stoneham near
Gnr Reginald Laverty was born on 19 August 1893 at
Gnr D Martin – wounded
LCpl Harold Sanders - NCO gearsman according to Huffam; took place of driver; lost both legs when tank was hit by artillery fire during attack on Gueudecourt on 16 Sep; he survived and was later visited in a Kentish Hosp by Huffam. Survived until 1957 – corresponded with Liddell Hart whilst living at Yardley in Birmingham. (No MIC, pension or service record found.)
D10 (No 535 - female).
One of four tanks supporting the New Zealand Div assault. Leaving the RV at Delville Wood, the tank moved up the hill to the British front line, crossing it close to the current NZ memorial; it then followed the track north which was also the route of the German communication trench, known as Fish Alley. The original plan was for D10 to veer off towards the Northwest edge of Flers, but Darby continued north until he reached the track linking Flers with the rear of High Wood as he had seen that the NZ infantry were held up by a large barbed wire obstacle. As he guided his tank towards it, D10 was hit by an artillery round which shattered the prism glasses which temporarily blinded both Darby and his driver (LCpl Phillips). A second shell hit the tank which smashed one of its tracks and buckled the outer plating, shattering the cast-iron controls inside the tank. As a result, the tank was uncontrollable and Darby and his crew abandoned the vehicle, taking shelter in Fish Alley and then joining the infantry in the attack. The tank was abandoned.
2Lt Harold Darby. Originally from
LCpl William Lauder Hogarth MMGS– born Oct 86 in Galashiels he was the son of William Hogarth, later of
Gnr Lionel George Harry Britt, born 1892 Hollington
Pte Clement John Dale Born in Uttoxeter in Jan to Mar 88; fourth child (third son) of painter Charles J Dale and his wife May a dressmaker. A Grocer employed by Messrs Parkman? and Co at the Market Stores. According to Woods’ notebook, he took Darby to hospital. On 25 Sep he was a Vickers gunner of the B Crew attached to the Reserve Army. On 19 Aug 17 admitted to 3rd Aus Gen Hosp with POU, and then suffering from fever. Evacuated to Queens Mary Hospital Whalley in Lancashire. There is in (arrived 16 Sep 17) his record card shows fingers healed on arrival but suffering from pains in legs later sent to Primrose Band Hosp Burnley. Later posted to A Coy Tank Corps Depot. Discharged 2 Apr 18. Later Pte 4th Bn Tank Corps-On 16 Jun 18, he was treated at Wareham after suffering from neck swelling. Transferred to the Reserve 22 Feb 19, he married Eveline Constance Wallace Walton in Jul to Sep 30. Their son Thomas M Dale born Apr to Jun 31; died in Derby in 38. The family lived in Windfield House, Stafford Road in Uttoxter. Francis died at Derby city hospital on 19 Sep 58.
Pte Horace J Ellocott MMGS born
Gnr Robert William Frederick Cornish Frost MMGS, born 26 Dec 92 and registered in Newton Abbott. In 1901 shown living with father, an auctioneer Frederick RC Frost his wife Mary and two elder sisters Dorothy and Winifred, living at
Gnr Leonard Haygarth born Jan – Mar 89 in Colne Lancashire Lived with grandparents and mother in 1901 at Colne. Continued to serve with D Bn. DoW, aged 27 years, on 30 Nov 17, probably as a result of action at Cambrai. Buried at Grevillers Military cemetery near Bapaume.
LCpl Ernest James Phillips ASC. Born Brackley Northamptonshire in early 90. The youngest son of James and Alice E Phillips. Before the war, Ernest was employed as a chauffeur by Lady Brown, who lived in Astrop House Kings Sutton to the west of Brackley. In 1914, Ernest married a local Brackley girl, Helena Roades at St Georges Hannover Square; their only son Leslie Percival Phillips being born on 4 Dec of that year. When he enlisted in 1915, at St Johns Wood London, he was working as an instructor and lecturer at the Motor Training Institute Ltd in London. Wounded during the first action, he tranferred to the MGC and later served with A Bn. He was promoted corporal by the time of the Third battle of Ypres and later reached the rank of SSgt Mechanic - he was one of only two in his battalion at this rank. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre in 1918, whilst serving with 1st Bn Tank Corps, and was KIA on 29 Sep 18 during an attack on the Hindenburg Line near Bellicourt and Vendhuille. His widow remarried on 22 Sep 1922 to John Boden, who had also served in the ASC. Ernest's son Leslie married Muriel Grisewood in Ryedal Yorks in 1942; their son John has provided photos of Ernest which are in the gallery.
D11 “Die Hard” (No 547 - male).
One of four tanks supporting the New Zealand Div assault. D11 followed D10 northwards and, realising Darby had not cleared the wire obstacle, flattened the wire without difficulty, after which the infantry then stormed through the gap and captured 100 Germans at about 08.15 hrs. “Die Hard” then followed the track towards Flers village and assisted D16 (Arnold) and D18 (Bond) as they destroyed the enemy position to the northwest of the village. It remained in the area, supporting the NZ infantry consolidation at their third objective. Despite being ordered to return back to the dump, Pearsall continued to stay near Flers at the request of the New Zealanders, to beat off any counter-attacks. Fearful of becoming a static target, he ranged across the fields and was spotted, that evening by a RFC aircraft, in ground still held by the enemy, less than 350 yards SE of Gueudecourt. As night fell, “Die Hard” moved froward out of Flers, where it remained overnightto protect its infantry. The next morning, at about 09.30 hrs, he assisted the destruction of a German counter-attack to the northeast of the village. He then again supported the NZ Div as they continued their advance north towards Gueudecourt. A shell explded under thr tank as it left the village, which damaged the tank’s gear box. Pearsall and his crew continued to fire their guns, as the troops advanced, then left the vehicle and supported the attack with dismounted machine guns. They remained until 1600 hrs but, as the tank could not been moved, then returned to Green Dump. Pearsall's report on the action is held at the Tank Museum in the D Company correspondence book.
Lt Herbert George Pearsall. Born 17 Jul 1888 at
32160 LCpl Harry Earle Nixon Born 10 Dec 92 in Grimsby. Wounded during the first action. Awarded MM for the action on 16 Sep 16. Listed in supplement to Tank Corps Honour and on MIC; commissioned as 2Lt Tank Corps 29 Sep 17 – returned to
LCpl Moss- possibly 32500 later 200897 Pte William Moss, born Kendal enlisted Clapham. Promoted to Cpl; KIA aged 21 years on 18 Aug 18 whilst still serving with 4th Bn. Son of Richard B and Ann Ellen Moss of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancs. Buried at Bouchoir New British Cemetery, a concentration cemetery near Amiens.
Gnr Honor= 2652 MMGS Pte James George Daniel Honour, born 6 Oct 1896/7 in Willisden, son of James Honour. An assistant postman his home address was
Gnr J Lee – probably Pe Joseph R Lee enlisted 12 Dec 1915 . Wounded during the action; evacuated and reported back to
2965 Gnr Charles Henry Leeming the son of John Henry Leeming was born in Oct 1891. Living at 7 School Terrace
M2/194988 Pte Frank Still ASC. Fought throughout first day, remained overnight at Flers, then took part in assault until hit by arty during second attack on 16 Sep. Awarded MM for action. Rebadged to Tank Corps as 75067 Pte. Survived and awarded medals ‘19.
2782 Gnr Charles Platt Stuart MMGS was a journalist who worked for the Observer in
After action: The tank was not recovered and subsequently destroyed by artillery fire
D12 (Tank No 719 - Male).
Sect Comds tank supporting the New Zealand Div assault. D12 with D10 (2Lt Darby) and D11 (Die Hard - 2Lt Pearsall) were to work together on the NZ Div right flank, close to the
Capt Graeme Nixon was born in Sep ‘95 West
2993 Sgt Reginald John Vandenbergh (spellings change) was born 8 Dec 1889 in Islington, the second son of commercial clerk Reginald was also a clerk when he enlisted (aged 26 years) at
32206 Gnr Horace Allebone was born 29 Aug 89 the elder son of Augustus Allebone and the director of a boot manufacting company at Rushden. He intially attended to avoid conscription but volunteered and enlisted on 10 Mar 16. Later 200864 of D Bn Tank Corps, he served as a driver and was awarded 2 parchment certificates: one for gallant and meritorious service in the field; one for soldierly conduct under heavy fire 4th Oct ‘17, during the 3rd battle of
32105 Gnr William Bertram Debenham born
2963 Gnr Cecil Frederick Gloyn was born in Plymouth Devon ‘97 the son of Frederick Albert Gloyn and Jesse A Gloyn. Living in
205666 Gnr Harry Zimmerman (later Tank Corps) possibly earlier service as 9881 Pte Ox and Bucks LI.
M2/191040 Cpl Robert R Murray ASC re-badged as a Private in the MGC (75064) then transferred back to the ASC with original number.
Further info; the remains of the tank were still on the edge of the village in the early ‘20s where they were played on by local children