The Tank Museum’s landmark First World War Centenary exhibition, Tank Men: The Story of the First Crews, focuses on the stories of eight men who crewed the first tanks, 1916-1918.
The new exhibition tells the stories of eight First World War British tank soldiers who were among the pioneers of armoured warfare. These individuals were carefully chosen following extensive research in the Museums archives, drawing upon previously unseen materials – documents, images and supporting collections - to assemble their service histories.
Elliot Hotblack, Cyril Coles, Sydney Hadley, Archie Smith, Basil Henriques, Walter Ratcliffe, Charles Baker and Clement Arnold were chosen to feature in the exhibition because they stood out. Each man’s involvement with First World War tanks resulted in remarkable experiences – dramatic and moving stories that have stood the test of time and have an emotional impact that still resonates today.
Alongside the personal stories are of course the tanks themselves. The Museum boasts the finest collection of First World War tanks in the world including the only Mark 1 tank in existence. This new exhibition will serve to illustrate the link between the tanks, the people who served in them and their extraordinary stories.
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