Tank memorial proposed for Lincoln roundabout

A tank memorial group are aiming to have a full scale replica of the first tank, built in Lincoln, erected on a city roundabout.

The Lincoln Tank Memorial Group want to have the replica Mark 1 placed on the Tritton Road roundabout by 2014, in time for the 100th anniversary of WWI.

The aim behind the idea, which will cost up to £25,000, is to remind and educate people on Lincoln’s engineering history, and commemorate the effort made by civilians in the city during the war.

The first tank was built in Lincoln by William Foster and Co. The brand was just one of many engineering firms in Lincoln providing locals with much needed jobs, such as Ruston Hornsby, Ruston Bucyrus and James Dawson and Co, which still exist.

The location would also be close to the Foster’s factory site, where the first tank came off the production line in 1916.

The memorial will be a partly constructed tank, with no guns on board — this is because no tanks built in Lincoln ever fired a shot in the city.

Male and female figures will stand around the tank, dressed in work attire, with spanners and paintbrushes in hand.

The replica might also feature Lieutenant Walter Wilson, William Tritton and engineer William Rigby, who were the designers, developers and manufacturers of the tank.

Tank Memorial Group member and organiser Julie Cooke said: “The idea of a tank on a roundabout has been talked about for some years.

“My husband Joe and his fundraising partner Frank Connell got together over two years ago with the Lincoln Tank Group with a view to ‘making it happen’, but unfortunately due to illness we had to suspend the project. The project was relaunched last August in The Tank Room of the White Hart Hotel.

“My connection is that both my grandmother and great uncle worked on the tank and my grandmother used to tell me about how she had gone to watch the tanks being tested and how secret the project was.”

Lincoln Tank Memorial Group are accepting donations to help build the memorial, and recently received a £1,000 donation from Running Imp.

The group have so far raised £7,000 of the needed £20-25,000.

Anyone wanting to donate or get more information on the memorial should contact Julie Cooke via email.