Ask any visitor to Lincoln, indeed ask many locals, where the first tank was produced and many will be unaware that the first tank was built in the City of Lincoln by William Foster and Co. Theirs is just one name from a long list of great engineering firms that used to dominate the City and provide employment for many of its residents. Ruston Hornsby who produced diesel engines, Ruston Bucyrus who produced steam excavators and James Dawson and Co, who still exist in the City, manufacturing belting and hose – these companies along with many others produced goods that were exported all over the world.
The Lincoln Tank Memorial Group are a small group of local people who are dedicated to putting a 2D full size model of a Mark 1 tank on the Tritton Road Roundabout near the University which is close to the site of Foster’s factory where the first tank came off the production line in 1916.
The purpose of the Tank Memorial is to educate people and commemorative Lincoln’s great engineering history.
The memorial will be in the form of a partly constructed tank, it will have no guns as no production tank ever fired a shot in Lincoln and the male and female figures standing around the tank will be dressed in their work wear with spanners and paintbrushes in their hands. The memorial will also include the figures of Tritton, Rigby and Wilson who were the designers, developers and manufacturers of the tank.
The memorial will also recognise the huge effort made by civilian men and women in Lincoln during both world wars when the majority of production in the City was switched to war work.
Without the invention of the tank the First World War would have dragged on considerably longer and many thousands more men on both sides would have lost their lives.
The aim is to have the memorial completed in time to join in National Commemorations to mark the hundredth anniversary of the Great War in 2014.
The groups website (www.lincolntankmemorial) is being visited by people from all over the world and ‘hits’ In February, following our site being linked with another tank related site, rose from an average of 600 per day to an astonishing average of 2763 per day. The group have recently recorded an interview with a Chinese News Station which has 75 million viewers in over 100 countries and the producer has warned that the website will receive even more hits once the programme is aired. The site has been congratulated on its historical content and shortly very rare footage of the first tanks being tested will be loaded.