March 28, 2022 8.54 am

WW2 tank recovered in Lincolnshire after 75 years underground almost back to full working order

A huge achievement

A WW2 tank dug up by a Lincolnshire farmer last April is almost back to full working order thanks to a team of local volunteers.

The amphibious Buffalo landing vehicle, one of several washed away during floods in 1947, was recovered by Daniel Abbott after being buried 30ft deep for nearly 75 years.

The tank, which sank during an operation to construct a dam, was covered in mud and stagnant water and volunteers thought it would “never work” but with some perseverance the team got it looking “like new” again.

Daniel Abbott was bursting with pride when he finally got the tank out. | Photo: Cathi Elphee

Volunteers  have refitted the original gear box which is now in full working order, and hope to have the machine running by the end of the year.

Daniel Abbott, who spent three years examining records and exploring the area to try to locate the tank, said: “It is a landmark and a big achievement… I never thought this day was going to come.”

With help from North Level Internal Drainage Board, Crowland Cranes and Tear’s Recovery, Daniel’s 50-man project finally came to a joyous finale on Thursday, April 29.

The tank had been washed away during a flood defence operation in 1947.

It’s believed the tank would have been used to cross the Rhine in March 1945, a key moment in World War Two, as well as being armed with a Polsten cannon and two Browning machine guns, which were removed in Crowland.

It was in remarkably good condition, thanks largely to the preservation qualities of the clay it had been surrounded by for all these years.

To help complete the restoration, volunteers are organising a 1940s themed fundraiser due to take place in June. An they have also set up an online fundraiser.