LOOKING BACK - December 12, 2019 edition

Tank presented to the town in 1919

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 8:00 am
A postcard of the tank on its concrete ramp, presented as a thank you for the town raising 800,000 in War Loans

We’ve featured Rugby’s tank before but as you might be able to see from the date of the postcard, it was presented to the town on December 6, 1919.

I can’t remember if we knew exactly why we had it, but this Advertiser story from a century ago helps to explain:

On Saturday afternoon, the tank which has been allotted to Rugby in recognition of the services of the town in raising nearly £800,000 for the various War Loans, was formally handed over to the civil authorities.

A snowy scene of the tank on display in the Rec at Whitehall Road a few years later, with the memorial gates in their original position in the distance

The tank was brought from the L&NWR Station (where it arrived from Richborough and France about ten days previously) to Whitehall at midday and at 2.30 it was escorted by a number of discharged soldiers to the Recreation Ground, where it was placed in position upon a special bed of concrete in the presence of about a thousand persons, including the Earl of Denbigh.

Lieut Meek, the officer in charge of the tank, remarked that when the children who were standing around grew older and their children inquired of them, ‘What did you do in the great war daddy or mummy? they would be able to answer ‘I was not old enough to fight myself, but come with me to the Recreation Ground and I will show you something I helped to pay for.’

The Earl of Denbigh said he was honoured to accept the tank on behalf of the War Savings Committee as a recognition of the splendid work which had been done by the people of Rugby and district in providing the enormous sums of money which were required.