Tank Trial at Hatfield Park

By Jane Toyne

Hatfield Library local studies collection

The tank trials held at Hatfield Park were vital to the war effort. The first one took place on 29th January 1916 and the second one a few days later on 2nd February. A couple of days after this a private demonstration of the trials was organised for the King, Lord Kitchener and David Lloyd George.

A mock battlefield had been laid out with trenches and shell holes of various sizes.

Following these trials, the tanks took part in the Battle of the Somme.

This page was added on 16/05/2014.

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  • My brother and sister and I, regularly played in this tank from 1960-1968 and I think the armament had been taken out by then as I don’t remember playing with any guns. The tank has been restored and now resides at the Bovington Tank Museum, nr Weymouth and I’ve said “hello” to it a few times over the years!

    By Jim Farrier (07/05/2020)
  • I distinctly remember visiting Hatfield House on a school trip in 1951 and, in the grounds, our party coming across a WW1 tank left in a field. It was definitely a ‘male’ as I remember one or two boys being reprimanded by the teacher for swinging on one of its guns. 

    By Terry Askew (07/12/2014)