AVBCW: Tanks at Wool

Yes, you read that right, Tanks at Wool.

Wool is a small village near where I grew up as a kid in south Dorset. Now my father is an avid steam train spotter/fan, and last October I bought him an obscure book on the subject that he wanted. When I received it I had a quick flick through it, and spotted a couple of interesting photos of tanks being loaded onto trains…at Wool.

From “Castleman’s Corkscew (Volume Two), by B.L. Jackson , The Oakwood Press, 2008”, p80:

The use of breakdown cranes for other work is clearly illustrated in these views taken in Wool Station yard during the summer of 1931 involving the Salisbury crane. The top view shows a Mk V heavy tank in the foreground, whilst in the lower the crane is lifting a Medium C tank onto a wagon.

NB: Actually, in the top view there is a Mark V heavy in the background, with the Medium C tank in the foreground. If you look carefully, in the lower picture, as the Medium C is being lifted up, you can see the Mark V tank’s tracks just underneath it in the background.

Wool was the junction from which a single branch line to Bovington military camp was built in c1917-1918 by German POWs (there was at least one photo of them marching dejectedly along). The line was built to accommodate the movement of tanks (700 present at Bovington in 1917). After the war, damaged and captured enemy tanks (?) were shipped to Bovington for repair or scrapping. Some were also distributed from there either as scrap, or as exhibition tanks. This kept the branch line and Wool busy for many years after the war.

So an interesting find in a totally unrelated history book. For the AVBCW it indicates that there were still some late WW1 tanks still knocking about, and in particular the tanks designed for WW1 that never got to see action. I had to wait until Xmas before I could ask my father if I could scan the photos as I didn’t want to break the spine of his new book.

I am guessing that these tanks were on the way to be broken up for scrap, but it remains an intriguing “What If ?”…if someone had diverted them to other locations just in case….

I[‘ve finished off painting a Mark V hermaphrodite today, but the light is at such an angle I can’t photograph it properly. Hopefully tomorrow. 🙂

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