"Lost" Great War Tank Unearthed in time for ceremony





The grandson of a soldier who fought in one of history’s first major tank battles will see his grandfather’s First World War vehicle - unearthed from a French farmer’s field - take pride of place at a 90th anniversary memorial event.

Tim Heap, 55, a University of Derby lecturer from Winster, Derbyshire, will this weekend attend the unveiling of a memorial to all the soldiers who died at the Battle of Cambrai, northern France, in November 1917, in memory of his grandfather Frank Heap; a tank commander in the conflict which saw more than 300 British tanks used to break through the German Hindenburg line.

The 19-year-old soldier escaped death when his tank was shelled three times, killing four of its nine-man crew, only because he had stepped outside the Mark IV ‘Deborah’ vehicle to take compass directions. One shell landed where he had been sitting a minute before.


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