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WW1 British Tank Week

Edinburgh Tank Week, 113 Julian

United Kingdom (1917-1918)
Edinburgh Tank Week, 113 Julian

The amount of money raised during the war effort fundraising Tank Week was staggering. Edinburgh was one of the top ten cities and raised a total of £4,764,639. The Mk.IV male tank 113 Julian arrived in Leith in the city of Edinburgh and made its way up The Walk. The photograph above is Julian passing the junction of The Walk and Montgomery Street. The purpose of the stunt was for people to get a better look at a tank and to be encouraged to give more money into the war effort. “Julian and its crew were delivered by special train to one of the two Leith Walk Goods railway stations, presumably the North British Railway station given that they came from Newcastle on, apparently, Sunday 6 January 1918. They were unloaded and ready for a prompt start at 9.30 on Monday. Julian drove up Leith Walk, York Place, Queen Street, and Hanover Street to the Mound, presumably beside the Royal Scottish Academy. This avoided Princes Street, except for a simple crossing at right angles, to prevent the tank’s tracks getting tangled in the tramway pits. Civic dignitaries and savings organisers gave speeches from the top of the tank before Julian was opened for business, with the hatches on the back face of each “sponson” doing duty as bank teller’s windows.”

Edinburgh, Scotland Tank Week crowds welcoming 113 Julian
Edinburgh, Scotland Tank Week crowds welcoming 113 Julian

During WW1 the Mark IV Male tank 113 Julian, arrived in Leith in the city of Edinburgh and made its way up the Walk. Here we see Julian passing the junction of the Walk and Montgomery Street. The purpose of the stunt was for people to get a better look at a tank and be encouraged to give more money into the war effort. “Julian and its crew were delivered by special train to one of the two Leith Walk Goods railway stations, presumably the North British Railway station given that they came from Newcastle on, apparently, Sunday 6 January 1918. They were unloaded and ready for a prompt start at 9.30 on Monday. Julian drove up Leith Walk, York Place, Queen Street, and Hanover Street to the Mound, presumably beside the Royal Scottish Academy. This avoided Princes Street, except for a simple crossing at right angles, to prevent the tank’s tracks getting tangled in the tramway pits. Civic dignitaries and savings organisers gave speeches from the top of the tank before Julian was opened for business, with the hatches on the back face of each “sponson” doing duty as bank teller’s windows.” The photographs have been screen captured from a film held by the National Library of Scotland, Moving Image Archive.

Edinburgh Scotland Tank Week 113 Julian
Edinburgh Scotland Tank Week 113 Julian

Edinburgh Scotland Tank Week 113 Julian
Edinburgh Scotland Tank Week 113 Julian

Edinburgh Scotland Tank Week 113 Julian
Edinburgh Scotland Tank Week 113 Julian

Edinburgh Scotland Tank Week 113 Julian
Edinburgh Scotland Tank Week 113 Julian

The speeches

The Lord Provost Taggart invested £50,000 for Aberdeen Corporation. The Chairman of the Scottish War Savings Committee, Lord Strathclyde said “The tank has brought home to us the necessity of saving all we can and lending all we can.” Lord Provost Taggart said, “We want your money not to continue, but end the war. Miss Findlay, Secretary of the War Savings Committee said “Bonds and Certificates are really weapons with which you can strike dismay into the hearts of the Germans.” The Aberdeen Tank Bank Week realized £2,501,000 or £15 6s 2d per person. “Tank” you! Dundee Tank week raised £4,400,000. The lesson the tank teaches us is the spirit of overcoming difficulties.” Patriotic men and women who cannot take active service or make munitions of war, can help their country in one way only at this Supreme Crisis. They must save all they can and lend all they can to their native land. Will you do this?”

Chairman of the Scottish War Savings Committee, Lord Strathclyde
Chairman of the Scottish War Savings Committee, Lord Strathclyde

Miss Findlay, Secretary of the War Savings Committee
Miss Findlay, Secretary of the War Savings Committee

The Lord Provost Taggart invested £50,000 for Aberdeen Corporation
The Lord Provost Taggart invested £50,000 for Aberdeen Corporation

133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train

133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train
133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train

133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train
133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train

133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train
133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train

133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train
133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train

133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train
133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train

133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train
133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train

133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train
133 Julian leaving Edinburgh by train

Tank Week

The British Government needed to raise money to pay for the war effort. The tank was a new technology, and most of the population had not seen one. The War Savings Committee decided that six Mk.IV tanks would tour the country starting in December 1917 and throughout 1918 acting as ‘Tank Banks’ during celebrations known as ‘Tank Week.’ Companies and members of the public would be able to buy National War Bonds and War Savings Certificates from the cashier inside the door of the tank sponson. There were 20 shillings to the British Pound. For every 15s 6d (15 shillings and 6 pence: the minimum investment) invested in a War Savings Certificate, after five years, the government would pay back 20 shillings, an increase of 4s 6d (4 shillings and 6 pence). That is a 22.5% return. This was an attractive rate of return so many people and pension companies like the Provincial invested a lot of capital into War Savings Certificates and War Bonds (minimum investment £5). The War Bonds were sold to private investors in 1917 with the advertisement: “If you cannot fight, you can help your country by investing all you can in 5 per cent Exchequer Bonds … Unlike the soldier, the investor runs no risk.”

The six Mk.IV tanks were 113 Julian 4005, 119 Ole Bill, 130 Nelson, 137 Drake, 138 Iron Ration 4034, 141 Egbert and 142 also sometimes called Egbert although it never bore that name. Tank 141 Egbert was the only tank that had actually seen service in France. Other tanks were used. The top 256 fundraising towns and cities were offered a WW1 presentation tank as a thank you. Tanks Encyclopedia writer and researcher Craig Moore has researched and collected photographs of the Tank Week tank visits. If you find more photographs that are not in this collection, please send them to craig.moore@blueyonder.co.uk

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