22 Apr 2012
April 22nd saw a small party of Sussex Military History Society members visit an isolated part of the Sussex coast to record the location and remnants of a British WW2 tank.
After a hard slog along the shingle in brilliant sunshine (and water-filled wellies after a few miscalculations about incoming waves), the site was identified and our team stood transfixed as the receding tide gradually gave up its secrets.
First a road wheel broke the surface, then the gun mantlet plate and gun barrel, and finally some pieces of caterpillar track and suspension. One surprise was the state of preservation of the solid rubber tyres on two of the three wheels found - they were almost like new despite 70 years in the sea!
Photographs were taken to catalogue the remains for the historical record while Ed, the Society's resident rivet-counter and leader of this expedition, was flicking through his tank identification manuals and delivered a diagnosis of one of the ‘Cruiser' family of tanks - possibly a Covenanter.
The site is known locally, but not the exact circumstances of how the tank came to be on the foreshore; documentary research has pinpointed a date when Covenanter tanks were training in the area, but no further detail as yet. However, fresh avenues of research at the National Archives have been identified and will be followed up.
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7.30pm for 8.00pm start
Function Room of the
Royal Oak Public House,
Station Street, Lewes,
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