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Centenary of Newark receiving 30-tonne war tank trophy


By Abigail Hunt


Today is the centenary of Newark receiving its war tank trophy.

Yesterday marked 100 years since Newark was awarded the relic World War One tank for the town’s contribution in the war effort.

The 30-tonne tank was paraded into the Castle grounds, where it stood for 17 years before being sold for scrap for just £33.

100 years since Newark was awarded 30-tonne tank trophy by the Government for its contribution in the war effort. (14837923)
100 years since Newark was awarded 30-tonne tank trophy by the Government for its contribution in the war effort. (14837923)

The public gathered in their hundreds on August 13, 1919, lining the route from the Great Northern Railway Station to the Castle for the presentation of a battle-scarred first world war tank.

It was given to Newark by the National War Savings Association for the town’s financial assistance and commitment in the war effort.

In a final victory loan, Newark gave £208,000 as well as a £4,000 credit each month. This was accompanied by £2,042 raised by Newark children.

It is thought Newark was the highest donor in Nottinghamshire and was granted the machine by the Government as a result.

Before arriving in the Castle grounds for all to admire, the parade processed along Appletongate, Queens Road and Northgate.

The tank was escorted by demobolised soldiers and sailors in charge of the Tank Corps.

On arrival, the town’s brigadier ­— General Schofield, a Royal Engineers Commandant of the garrison at Newark ­— said he was honoured to receive the tank as a symbol of the town’s achievements.

It carried six Lewis guns and 24,000 rounds of ammunition, designed to trample barbed wire and knock out hundreds of opposition firearms.

The MK4 had a fighting crew of one officer and six men with the tank travelling at around four miles per hour.

It was equipped with a 105 horsepower four stroke sleeve valve Daimler engine that worked at 1,200 revolutions per minute.

The trophy tank was to stand by Newark Castle for 17 years before being sold for scrap in 1936.

It is believed the town council needed to fill the Castle grounds with 2,000 seats to host the Newark Pageant and so decided the tank should be scrapped.

On June 17, 1936 the symbolic trophy was cut up and the 30-tonne machinery sold.

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