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Looking Back - Stalbridge model tank poses First World War mystery

By Dadcock  |  Posted: September 03, 2014

  • The little tank viewed from above

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A little model of a First World War tank with a Stalbridge connection is posing a big mystery for its owner.

Ewan Ward-Thomas was given the wooden and brass model two years ago after helping a friend to clear a house at Charlton Horethorne.

The history teacher, who used to live near Shaftesbury but now lives in London, is keen to know more about it and hopes Blackmore Vale Magazine readers can supply the answers.

The seven-inch long tank is made of wood and brass and has details including the carved word Stalbridge and a little shield bearing the initials CHB.

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Mr Ward-Thomas said: “There is no date on it but I have taken it to the Imperial War Museum.

“The museum told me this is an example of trench art but they haven’t seen one before with the name of a British town or village.

“Trench art was normally engraved or embossed with the name of a place of battle.”

The model is probably based on a Mark IV tank, with plenty of artistic licence, and could date from 1917 to 1919.

Mr Ewan-Thomas said: “I don’t know what the initials stand for - they don’t relate to the family.

“I would love to find out more about this little tank and its connection with Stalbridge. It’s intriguing.”

Anyone who knows more about the object should write to Looking Back at Blackmore Vale Magazine, High Street, Stalbridge, Dorset, DT10 2LH or email deeadcock@bvmedia.co.uk.

Dee Adcock

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