Tank Mark IX No. 936 (E1949.364)
The Mark IX was designed to solve the problem of moving infantry across the battlefield with the fighting tanks. The further tanks advanced during an attack the further the infantry had to go to keep up with them and often over very difficult ground under continuous enemy fire. The first attempt to solve this came in the summer of 1918 when troops were carried inside tanks, in the longer Mark V* model, but they also suffered from the heat and exhaust fumes.
Manufactured by Marshalls of Gainsborough the Mark IX (known to troops as The Pig) was the first purpose built Infantry Carrier. Large doors replaced the gun sponsons and there was space inside for up to 30 armed troops, with provision for them to shoot through loopholes. As an alternative the Mark IX could carry up to 10 tons of stores, such as ammunition or fuel, or be modified into an armoured ambulance.
In the event the idea was never tested in battle. Only one tank was finished at the time of the Armistice and they did not last long in post-war service. To make matters worse the whole idea of Infantry Carriers was dropped until nearly half way through the Second World War, at least as far as Britain was concerned. In November 1918 one Mark IX was fitted with buoyancy equipment and tested on Hendon Reservoir, making it the first amphibious tank.
see Classic Military Vehicle magazine July 2011