Great War Centennial Corner
The ‘Great War Centennial Corner’ in Cedars Park was created in 2019 to remember those who lost their lives in the First World War and comprises a replica First World War tank, a bronze ‘Tommy’ statue and a centenary poppy bench. The local community holds a remembrance service every Armistice Day.
Deaths in the First World War 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.
The ‘Tommy’ sculpture in Cedars Park depicts a Rifleman from Queen Victoria's Rifle Brigade of the London Regiment and remembers all those who were lost in the First World War. He was crafted by Roger Andrews of Glamorgan, Wales and installed in November 2019.
Remembering Rifleman Uglow
The Cedars Park Tank (1921–1940)
An original tank from the First World War was donated in 1921 by the National War Savings Committee to the people of Cheshunt, and placed on a plinth in Cedars Park. This was one of 265 'presentation tanks' (235 females and 30 males) given to communities across Britain to acknowledge financial contributions to the war effort.
In May 1940, during a time of need, the tank was sold by Messrs Cox & Danks for 27 pounds, 16 shillings, 10 pence to support the Second World War effort.
Sadly, most presentation tanks were poorly maintained and eventually scrapped — the tank in Ashford, Kent is the only exception.
Cedars Park's tank was 2740, a female Mark IV that served in D Battalion, its first action being in the Third Battle of Ypres.
While supporting 18 Div of the Second Army in the Advance on St. Julien on 12 August 1917, the tank became ditched due to very soft ground following prolonged heavy rain. The Hertfordshire Regiment was one of many following the tanks in close support.
On 22 August, a German shell struck and shattered the track of 2740.
It was repaired, then transferred to the Army Service Corps in early September to be converted into a 'Top-Draw Sledge Hauler' — a supply vehicle designated for carrying food, water, fuel, and ammunition over the churned-up conditions of the Western Front — only retaining machine gun armament in a defensive role.
About a year later, production of its successor (the Mark V) began, and the remaining Mark IVs were gradually taken out of First Line Action and reserved as backup tanks.
The New Tank (since 2019)
This representative male Mark IV is an homage to the original Cedars Park tank and was installed in 2019. It is the only known replica to be placed on an original presentation plinth — all other plinths (except in Ashford, Kent) were dismantled or remain bare today after their tanks were scrapped. The tank is a reduced model built by Pinewood Studios in 2004 and has attended military shows and starred in over 70 film and television productions, including: The Magic Flute; Wonder Woman; Transformers: The Last Knight; and The King’s Man.
We have carried out research to find an identity that matches the model this tank is based on. The closest identity for this replica has been heavily researched with the help of many experts and museums to correspond with the Active Service of the original Cedars Park tank, 2740:
2325 was 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 August 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 August 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.
Lest We Forget
© Tarant Hobbs and Jake Gutteridge 2019–2023