In November 1917, the appearance of two tanks in the Lord Mayor of London’s Show, proved to be a major hit with the public. As a result, the National War Savings Committee decided to capitalise on the public’s fascination with these new weapons in a campaign to promote and sell War Bonds and War Saving Certificates.
On November 26th, 1917, “Egbert”, one of the tanks that had recently taken part in the Battle of Cambrai, the first large-scale use of the tank in battle, was shipped back from France and put on display in Trafalgar Square. So successful was this fund-raising event, that a further five tanks were allocated to tour the country’s major towns and cities to raise money from the sale of Bonds and Certificates. To foster a spirit of competitiveness, it was decided that whichever town or city raised the highest total per head, it would win one of the tanks - “Egbert”.
In 1918 West Hartlepool requested the visit of one of these promotional tanks, and on February 4th, “Nelson” arrived. As was customary, to demonstrate the tank’s capabilities, “Nelson” ‘put on a show’. There was a huge public response and by the time “Nelson” left, £2,367,333, had been raised (more than £143 million at 2015 values)– the equivalent of £37 0s 8d per head (just over £2,240 per head at 2015 values)
West Hartlepool had won the competition, and in June 1919, in front of the Municipal Buildings, General E. D. Swinton, presented “Egbert” to the town. Naturally “Egbert” put on a show – his last leap before going on permanent static display at Stranton Bull Garth, finally going for scrap in 1937.
The Promenade, Seaton Carew looking South to the village. Some men are erecting a street light to the right. The people are gathering to view 'Egbert' the tank which is on display. Egbert was a battle scarred tank which was given to West Hartlepool in 1918 as a reward for their fund-raising efforts.
HHT&N 554More detail »
Outside the Municipal Buildings in February 1918 are from left to right The Mayoress and Mayor (W Edgar). the Dowager Lady Londonderry, Mr Havelock Wilson and the Mayor of Hartlepool, Mr Thomas Wilson Watson.
HHT&N 544More detail »
Taken at the Armoury during the War Bond fund-raising week, the image shows "Nelson" and possibly Colonel Robson (left) and the Mayor of West Hartlepool (right). Ward Street is off to the left.
HHT&N 543More detail »
Taken in February 1914 to open 'tank week' where people were encouraged to buy war bonds. A record breaking £2,367,333 was raised in the Hartlepools.
Beside the tank is a board which appears to be declaring the amount raised in other towns among them: Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, Preston, Sunderland and The Potteries.
On the left is the mayor of Hartlepool, then the Dowager Lady Londonderry and the Mayor and Mayoress of West Hartlepool.
HHT&N 542More detail »