Tank 2024 ‘Slippery Sam’

6th June 1917
…meanwhile Lt. Preston, one of our platoon officers, was gathering together all the ‘A’ Company troops he could collect, in readiness for another rush on the Chateau immediately our shelling on it ceased. Just as these were assembled, a tank put in an appearance slightly to the right of us and kept going until it was in a position to fire its guns at the rear of the Chateau, presumably at the German machine gunners there, for on going forwards again, our lads were able to surround the Chateau very quickly and after the exchange of a few bombs with some Jerries in the rear entrances, Jerry put his hands up and the place was ours. This tank soon afterwards was hit by a shell and rendered useless, the crew, being uninjured, got out and walked back to their commander.

Frank Durham The Long Carry: Journal of stretcher bearer Frank Durham [Oxford, 1970]

This disabled tank remained in its resting place alongside the White Chateau for at least the next year and a half, an increasingly decrepit, rusting landmark. Its 6-pounder guns were stripped from it in February 1918 by an Australian salvage team, and this photograph dates from summer 1918 after the recapture of the area in the German Spring Offensive. The full identity of this tank and details of those who died were uncovered by members of the Great War Forum in 2013.

The last resting place of ‘Slippery Sam’ is on private ground and is not possible to visit.

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