Derbyshire War Memorials
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Memorial Title

Derby - Tank Week (Lost)

Derbyshire War Memorials: a description of a WW1 tank used as a war memorial in Normanton Recreation Ground, Derby.
No images are available.
Last known location:
Normanton Recreation Ground
Warwick Avenue (A5111)
New Normanton
Nearest postcode:
DE23 8DA

SK 34406 34002
(From online digital mapping.)
(Map opens in new window.)
Location details:
The site is now known as Normanton Park. The tank was sited just inside the main entrance which at that time was on a track off Stenson Road, Warwick Ave not being constructed until later.
Overall type: Tank.

Overall condition: Lost.


A WW1 Mk IV tank, number 136.

See the History and Comments section below for further details of the circumstances of the acquisition of the tank.


Component Material Height Width Depth Condition
Tank Steel 2440 8050 4120 Lost
Dimensions in millimetres ±5mm unless stated otherwise.
Conflicts and people named:
Conflict First World War (1914-1919) Totals
Number died 0 0
Number served and returned 0 0
Total names 0 0
Custodian: Formerly Derby County Borough Council (Derby Corporation).

Local authorities:
From WW1: Derby County Borough Council (Derby Corporation).
From 1974: Derby District (later Borough and from 1977 City) Council and Derbyshire County Council.
From 1997: The unitary authority has been Derby City Council.
28th January, 1918: Tank 119 "Old Bill" arrived in Derby Market Place to begin Tank Week to raise funds for the National War Savings Committee. During the seven days £1,284,514 18s 6d was donated by local businesses, organisations and individuals for tank production. This was enough to pay for 257 Tanks.

1918-19: Following the conclusion of hostilities the government decided to present surplus tanks to towns which had funded them as a memorial to the contributions made by the civilian population.

16th May, 1919: Derby's presentation tank had arrived by rail at St Mary's Station and was ready for the presentation.

23rd May, 1919: : The tank processed through Derby town centre in a huge parade including the band of the 1st Battalion, Sherwood Foresters; the band of the Volunteer Battalion; a hundred men from the Sherwood Foresters; the Municipal Secondary School Cadet Corps and representives of the Discharged Sailors' and Soldiers' Federation; the Comrades of the Great War and the Boy Scouts. Three motor cars carried Ald W B Rowbotham (Mayor), Lt Gen Sir John Maxwell (commander in chief of the Northern Command), Lord Roe and other dignitaries and officials. At Normanton Recreation Ground a huge crowd watched Lt Gen Sir John Maxwell formally hand over the tank to the Mayor.

c1940: The tank is believed to have been cut up for scrap to help with the WW2 war effort.
Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal: 16th May 1919 p7; 17th May 1919 pp2 & 9; 25th May 1919 p5; 30th May 1919 p11 and 31st May 1919p11: notices and descriptions of the preparation for, and performance of the ceremony.

Derby Daily Telegraph: 17th May 1919 p1; 22nd May 1919 p3; 24th May 1919 p3: notices and descriptions of the preparation for, and performance of the ceremony

Derbyshire Life and Countryside, 9th November 2015: Derby Tank Week - an account of the organisation and implementation of Tank Week at Derby.

Derby Telegraph: 10th August 2016: a readers comment on the tank and its disposal, together with a photograph of it in the recreation ground.
Contemporary press reports, and the speeches reported at the presentation ceremony, make it clear that the tank was a memorial to the civilian contribution to the war effort.

Tank 136 is described in some reports as being a female but the tank in the Derby Telegraph photograph appears to have a canon protruding from the sponson, which would make it a male.

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Page © Roy Branson