2740 was in 'D' Battalion and first saw Action in the III Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), supporting 18 Div of the Second Army on 12/8/1917 in the Advance on St. Julien, just NE of Ypres (the Hertfordshire Regiment being one of many following the tanks, in close support), becoming Ditched due to very soft ground following prolonged heavy rain. On 22/8/1917, 2740 was struck by a German shell, which resulted in it being transferred to the Army Service Corps in early 9/1917 and, after repairs, was converted to a 'Top-Draw Sledge Hauler' (a vehicle designed to pull a supply sledge which carried food, fuel and ammunition to the Front, over the churned-up conditions of war), only retaining its machine gun armament in a defensive role. About a year later, production of its successor - the Mark V - began, and slowly the remaining Mark IVs were taken out of First Line Action and reserved as backup tanks.
In 2004, Pinewood Film Studios commissioned the creation of a working replica 'Male' Mark IV tank for use in Kenneth Branagh's The Magic Flute (2006). This was produced by Dave Roberts, a special effects employee at the studios. The vehicle measures 13 feet wide and 21 feet long, slightly shorter than an original so as to make it easier to move around on film sets, however the height and main body width are correct. The frame is made of tubular steel, however some parts are made of marine plywood, which significantly reduced the weight down to 7 tons. Originally, the tank was powered by an electric motor, however this was replaced by a 2.3L diesel engine from a 1990s Ford Transit. The gearbox and drivetrain from this van were also transferred to the tank. Otherwise, the weaponry and body shell have been accurately replicated.
Military vehicle hobbyists Tony Cooke and Kevin Jepson of Landships Community Interest Company acquired the tank in 2012, which they named "Frank", and carried out an extensive exterior and interior refurbishment in 2013. Under their ownership, it was involved in over 70 jobs, including being featured in Wonder Woman (2017), Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) and In Love and War (2018). It will also feature in the upcoming film Kingsman: The Great Game, which was filmed in 2019. Smaller appearances include the 2014 documentaries Our World War and Tony's Robinson's World War I, The Burying Party (2018), Tommy (an independent short film) and Russian, German and Danish television productions. Additionally, "Frank" attended several military history shows.
"Frank" was briefly placed on the Cedars Park tank plinth on 21/7/2018 to commemorate the Centenary of the Great War Armistice, however it was removed shortly after. At this time, it had the inaccurate markings '4086' and 'A1'. The engine and tracks were removed to be used in a 'Medium Mark A Whippet' replica, which reduced the final weight of the replica down to 6½ tons. Tracks made of wood with plasticised top, resembling the original metal ones, were installed in place of those removed. Broxbourne Council purchased the external body for use as a presentation tank in Cedars Park, and in the first half of 2019, it was painted in Valspar "Wagon Train". The tank was brought into the park on 1/7/2019, being placed on the original presentation plinth. Support chocks were later added by Jakant Research. This is the only known replica to be placed on an original tank plinth - all other plinths were dismantled or remain bare today after their presentation tanks were removed (most sold for scrap). Tony Cooke and Kevin Jepson are now contractors for the tank, carrying out annual repair and restoration works, however it is often left filthy or damaged for long periods of time by the local council.
"Frank" remembers all who served in the Tank Regiments during the Great War, and an identity has been heavily researched with the help of many experts and museums to be contemporary with the Active Service of the original Cedars Tank. Our replica is based on 2325, a 'Male' Mark IV of 'G' Battalion of 6th Section (part of HQ Section), 20 Company, listed as the 22nd Battalion Tank (i.e. G 22) - named "Grasshopper" by the Crew. 'G' Battalion fought alongside 'D' Battalion of '2740' towards St. Julien on 12/8/1917 (the Hertfordshire Regiment again being one of many following the tanks, in close support), and "Grasshopper" was 'Knocked Out of Action' with its right track broken. The tank was transferred to 12 Company of 'D' Battalion and in Action on 22/8/1917 'Broke Down and was Ditched'. It does not appear to have returned to 'G' Battalion or even survived, as a "Grasshopper II" existed later in the Battalion.
Recommendations for new signage to be painted onto the tank, in accordance with the original "Grasshopper" tank, have not been approved by Broxbourne Council since proposed in August 2020. A new information board for the Great War Centennial Corner, researched by Tarant Hobbs, was installed by the council in late May 2022 to include information about the (Male) replica tank, since the previous information was written some years ago, referring to the original Female tank.
Cedars Park's excellent bronze sculpture of a Rifleman from the Queen Victoria's Rifle Brigade of the London Regiment - all of eight foot tall - was created by Roger Andrews of Glamorgan, Wales, and donated to the community in November 2019 to Remember all those who were lost in the Great War. This amounted to some 1 million from the British Empire, with the addition of over 2 million wounded, many of whom succumbed to their injuries or were left permanently disabled. We should also not forget the military personnel and civilians who died while clearing the battlefields, especially in Flanders and the Somme, due to detritus and munitions remaining after the War had concluded.
While the statue was erected in memory of all who died in the Great War,
it is in special memory of
Rifleman William Ernest Taylor Uglow, who lived in
Cheshunt and was the youngest volunteer recruit from the Broxbourne District
during the Great War.
A bench was installed in Cedars Park to Remember the Fallen.
It is made of steel, with imagery of poppies and soldiers walking to war.
The bench was produced by
David Ogilvie Engineering,
and several with this design can be found across the country.