Tank, Mark V (Male) (E1949.327)
Among the new features was a rear cab for the commander, complete with signalling apparatus and a rear machine-gun position. Our exhibit also carries an unditching beam, which was first introduced in the Mark IV. This would be used if the tank got stuck in mud - chained to the tracks it was drawn under the tank and gave it something solid to grip.
Our Mark V is shown in the Markings of 8th (H) Battalion (No. H41), Tank Corps at the time of the Battle of Amiens (8 August 1918). Commanded by a young officer named Whittenbury this actual tank took part in the battle and its young commander was awarded the Military Cross.
(Issued to 8 Bn TC in July 1918 - first Bn to receive Mark V). In 5 Tank Bde between 8 August and 11 November 1918 as part of last British offensive, 29 September at Bellincourt (France). The tank was grazed by a field gun shell on the left front horn which broke a track. Lt. T.R. Harding was in command. In 1921 went to 4 Bn Tank Corps, returned to Bovington in 1925 and was used for demonstration.
The Tank for May 1956 (page 282) includes a small piece, generated by the Driving and Maintenance School (Colonel R H Harding-Newman) pointing out that the Mark V which they used 'for film demonstrations and other functions' is wearing out its tracks and asking if anyone knows the location of any spare links.
The British Tanks 1915-19 by David Fletcher (Crowood Press 2001 isbn 1 86126 400 3)
Mark V Tank by David Fletcher, New Vanguard 178 (Osprey Publishing 2011 isbn 978 1 84908 351 5)