A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Miscellaneous memorials -
- Isle of Wight War Tanks -


In common with many other towns and cities in the United Kingdom, tanks from the Great War were put on display as memorials and in recognition of the funds contributed to the war effort by the individual towns.

Tanks were provided to Newport and Ryde in 1919. Both were Mark IV 'female' tanks; i.e. they were equipped with 6 Lewis machine guns rather than the guns carried by the 'male' tank. The armament of all Male tanks were 6 pounder ex-Naval guns, initially of full length but Mk IV's and subsequent models all had shortened barrels to prevent them "digging in". The reduction in Muzzle velocity was not of significance as they did not employ Armour Piercing ammunition at that date.

In Ryde, the sum raised for the war effort in the period 1st October 1917 to 18th January 1918 was £501,432. Both the tanks had apparently seen operational service in the first battle of Cambrai and in the Ypres area.

According to Gwyn Evans, This tank is 8050 and is particularly interesting because it is not a Female. There are a limited number of Mark IVs recorded as "Male with Female sponsons" and this is one of them. Several presentation tanks are of this type. You can't really tell from the exterior except that the serial number doesn't match its appearance. 8050 fought as a Male at the Battle of Cambrai as D46 "Dragon III" of 10 Section 12 Company D Battalion commanded on 20 November 1917 by 2/Lt JT. Clark. I have no other details of the tank's service history, although it was still in action on 23 November

After travelling from Portsmouth to Cowes by tug, the Ryde tank was located at the Canoe Lake on the Eastern Esplanade. The Ryde unveiling ceremony took place on Tuesday 16th September 1919 and was attended by local dignitaries, representatives of the War Savings Associations, and Tank Corps officers including Capt. Farrar MC and Lieut. Roberts MC. In his speech at the unveiling, Lieut. Roberts denied being "pulled up by the police for furious driving" contending that it was for "driving without lights".

the Ryde tank was named "Louise", after the then Mayoress of Ryde, Miss Barton. The Mayor was Ald. John I. Barton J.P.

Both tanks remained in place until World War II when they were broken up for scrap.

Isle of Wight County Press, 18 May 1940

The Ryde tank was observed being cut up in 1941; its engine was still in existence at Valvona's scrapyard in Oakfield, Ryde well into the 1960s.
Mark IV female tank at Ryde
Mark IV female tank at Ryde

The Mk IV female tank at Ryde. Images taken from postcards held by, and reproduced with the permission of, The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset.
Tank Museum photos Ref 6532/A1 and 6532/A2

Mark IV female tank at Ryde, Mundell family

This family group shows Sydney Mundell and his wife Annie nee Carpenet (who died in 1929), with their young son Sydney (born in 1919) in front. On the right are Thomas Mundell and his wife Maria Georgina née Snow. The picture was taken ca. 1925. Thanks to Tony Mundell for this image

The boating lake, Ryde

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The Ryde tank is just visible at the top left of this postcard of the boating lake.
The photographer appears to have painted in a warship in Ryde Roads!.

The Ryde Tank

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Source unknown. Thanks to David Longster for this.

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Source : Terry Nigh
page last updated : 11 January 2016
(added 1940 Nigh card)


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