Great War Centennial Corner
War Memorial in Cedars Park, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire
Compiled and copyright © Jakant Research 2021
tank (1917) that stood in Cedars Park from 1921 to 1940 was one of 265
Presentation Tanks given to communities across Britain as they raised
Funds for the War Effort. These consisted of 235 'Females' and 30 'Males'.
Our current tank is a replica 'Male' and is one of only two tanks standing
on an original presentation plinth - the other is at Ashford in Kent.
original Presentation Tank was a 'Female' Mark IV (machine guns only)
with number '2740', built at Fosters of Lincoln. It was donated by the
National War Savings Committee after Cheshunt raised a considerable amount
of money to support the Great War Effort, and was sold for scrap in May
1940 to Messrs Cox & Danks for 27 pounds, 16 shillings and 10 pence,
which helped fund WWII. '2740' of 'D' Battalion first saw Action in the
Battle of III Ypres - Passchendaele, supporting 18 Div of the Second Army
on 12/8/1917 in the Advance on St. Julien, just NE of Ypres, becoming
Ditched as very soft wet ground following prolonged heavy rain. On 22/8/1917
it received a direct hit from a German shell, which resulted in it being
transferred to the Army Service Corps in early 9/1917 and converted to
a 'Top-Draw Sledge Hauler' (a vehicle designed to pull a supply sledge
which carried food, fuel and ammunition to the Front, over the churned-up
conditions of war), only retaining its machine gun armament in a defensive
role. About a year later, production of its successor - the Mark V - began,
and slowly the remaining Mark IVs were taken out of War First Line Action
and reserved as backup tanks.
Ettridge can be seen standing on the tank with her father in the 1922
photo on the information plaque in front of the tank plinth. Her daughter,
Alison, donated the photo to the Council from the family archives.
plinth remained bare until 21/7/2018, when Mark IV Tank 4086 (A1) from
the Bovington Tank Museum was temporarily placed on it, to commemorate
the Centenary of the Great War 'Armistice'.
War Memorial Tank (Lottery Grant purchase) is representative of all in
the Tank Regiment during the Great War, and an identity has been heavily
researched with the help of many experts and museums to be contemporary
with the Active Service of the original Cedars Tank - our replica is based
on '2325', a British 'Male' Mark IV (Cannons and Machine Guns) of 'G'
Battalion of 6th Section (part of HQ Section), 20 Company, and listed
as the 22nd Battalion Tank (i.e. G 22) - named "Grasshopper" by the Crew.
'G' Battalion fought alongside 'D' Battalion of '2740' on 12/8/1917 and
was commanded by New Zealander Second Lieutenant George Ranald MacDonald
- the Tank was 'Knocked Out of Action' with right track broken, and MacDonald
was wounded twice whilst still retaining command. By 8/1918, having been
wounded again, he was promoted to Acting Captain, being awarded the Military
Cross for 'Conspicuous Bravery' (surviving the Great War). On 22/8/1917,
'2325' was transferred to 12 Company of 'D' Battalion and in Action 'Broke
Down and was Ditched'. It does not appear to have returned to 'G' Battalion
or even survived, as "Grasshopper II" existed later in the Battalion.
All Tank names started with the first letter of the Battalion, and in
1918 became interchangeable as either '7' or 'G'. Tank Trials were held
at Hatfield Park in 1916 with ground obstacle work provided by 3 (Mid
Herts) Battalion of the Hertfordshire Regiment. The development of the
Tank was a means of breaking Trench Warfare stalemate to minimise the
severe losses being experienced by the BEF and only became possible through
the strong support of Winston Churchill, the First Sea Lord, in 1915 (originally
called 'Landships' but 'Tank' evolved as a cover, suggesting 'Water Carriers').
In battle, the Tanks worked in Sections of three - 'Male' centred with
replica was built in 2004 for the film 'The Magic Flute', and bought from
Pinetree Film Studios & refurbished by Tony Cooke and Kevin Jepson,
Military Vehicle hobbyists. It also featured in 'Wonder Woman' and 'Transformers
5'. The guns and machinery of a 'Male' Mark IV have been accurately replicated,
although wooden plasticised tracks replace the metal ones. The tank is
13 feet wide, 6 1/2 tonnes and 21 feet long - slightly shorter than an
original Mark IV (which weighed 18 tonnes) so as to make it easier to
move around on film sets. Planning began in 2018 for the tank's internals
and tracks to be removed and used in the construction of a working Medium
Mark A Whippet replica tank. Broxbourne Council became aware of this and
decided to buy the external body for use as a presentation tank in Cedars
Park. In the first half of 2019, the body was painted brown and not the
common 'muddy green' that was widely used during the Great War. Support
chocks have also been added by Jakant Research. On 1/7/2019, the tank
was brought into the Park and placed on the original presentation plinth.
excellent bronze sculpture of a Queen Victoria Rifleman in Cedars Park
- all of eight foot tall - was created by Roger Andrews of Glamorgan,
Wales, and donated to the community to Remember all those from The Great
War (1914 to 1918) who were lost - some 1 million from the British Empire.
There were additionally over 2 million wounded, many of whom succumbed
to their injuries or were permanently disabled. We should also not forget
the military and civilians who died clearing the battlefields, especially
in Flanders and the Somme, of munitions and war detritus post-war.
following soldier is thought to have been the youngest volunteer recruit
from the Broxbourne District during the Great War:
1687 William Ernest Taylor
UGLOW (17 years old) was in 1/9 Battalion of the Queen Victoria Rifle
Brigade (First Line - Territorial Force) of the London Regiment, who landed
in France in August 1914 as part of the initial British Expeditionary
Force of 100,000, who were sent to support France and Belgium against
the invasion by the Imperial German Army according to Treaty. Rifleman
Uglow joined the Territorial Brigade just prior to the Great War and their
early positioning was at Wulverghem, West Flanders, following the first
Battle of Ypres (the Germans being on much higher ground along the Messines
Ridge, South of Ypres (The Salient) and between Kemmel in France, and
Messines in Belgium). He is listed as being Killed in Action on 1st January
1915, along with over 40 others of his battalion (who had been sleeping
in a barn used as a temporary overnight bivouac with his Company) through
an incendiary bombardment from Hooge heights (the shell was either from
a Trench Mortar or Light Field Artillery), plus many others seriously
injured! There is 'No Known Grave' for William, therefore he is Commemorated
on the Menin Gate Memorial Arch (remembering nearly 55,000) at the eastern
Gate and Wall of Ypres (Ieper) on Panel 54, annotated as a Private. He
is also remembered on the Cenotaph at Cheshunt Almshouses. He was the
son of William Ernest and Florence Uglow.
War Centennial Corner - Appeal for Support (27/2/2021)
Since 9/2020, Broxbourne Borough Council has refused permission for us
to sign up our Tank accordingly, even though templates and spray paint
available since then, without a logical explanation or justification.
War Memorial could become very special, if managed and new information
boards provided as promised. There is great interest from serving Armoured
Corps Personnel, the New Zealand Commission, and even the Chinese Embassy
in that the Central Tank Workshop was mainly manned by excellent Chinese
Labour Corps engineers (from the 96,000 CLC who were employed from China
to support the BEF in France and Flanders - 2,000 of which remain in our
CWGC Cemeteries, many from the 1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic whilst clearing
e-mail your support with getting our Tank correctly signed for historical
and remembrance reasons. This Tank is one of only two representative British
Great War tanks standing in an open setting for public display in Great
Britain. The other is at Ashford, Kent, and was moved to its new location
in the town in 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice. Cheshunt
and Hertfordshire should be proud of this new War Memorial, with an excellent
8-foot 'Tommy' opposite the Tank, representing the Queen Victoria Rifles
(Territorial Force), which the community and visitors certainly are.
show your support for this project please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
9 October, 2021