War memorial

The Great War Centennial Corner was created in 2019 to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and honour the Fallen.

The war memorial comprises a replica First World War tank, a bronze Tommy statue and a centenary poppy bench. The local community pay respect to the Fallen every Armistice Day with a Memorial Service.

Original tank

In 1921, the National War Savings Committee donated a tank to Cheshunt, which was 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 their financial contributions to the war effort. The Cedars Park tank was 2740, a 'Female' Mark IV, built at Fosters of Lincoln. In May 1940, during a time of need, the tank was sold by Messrs Cox & Danks for 27 pounds, 16 shillings and 10 pence, which supported the Second World War effort. Sadly, most presentation tanks were poorly maintained and left to rust, subsequently being salvaged for scrap during the War, the only surviving original being another Female Mark IV located in St George's Square in Ashford, Kent.

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 August 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 August 1917, 2740 was struck by a German shell, which shattered its track. After being repaired, it was transferred to the Army Service Corps in early September 1917 and was converted to a 'Top-Draw Sledge Hauler' — a vehicle designed to pull a supply sledge which carried food, water, fuel, and ammunition over the churned-up conditions of the Western Front — 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.

New replica tank

The tank in Cedars Park is a replica 'Male' Mark IV, commissioned by Pinewood Studios in 2004 and built by Dave Roberts (SFX) for use in The Magic Flute (2006). It is a shorter replica at 21 × 13 × 8 ft so that it could be easily moved around film sets, however the height is correct. It was built with a tubular steel body shell and steel caterpillar tracks, however some parts were constructed of marine plywood. The vehicle was originally powered by an electric motor, but this was later replaced by a diesel engine.

Military vehicle hobbyists Kevin Jepson and Tony Cooke of Landships Community Interest Company (now Lest We Forget Ltd.) acquired the tank in 2012, which they named 'Frank', and carried out an extensive exterior and interior refurbishment in 2013. Under their ownership, the tank attended military shows and was involved in over 70 film and television productions, including:

  • Wonder Woman (2017)

  • Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

  • The King's Man (2021).

Public display and film work

On 21 July 2018, 'Frank' was temporarily placed on the tank plinth in Cedars Park to commemorate the centenary of the First World War Armistice.

The engine and tracks were then removed to be used in a 'Medium Mark A Whippet' replica, and plasticised wooden tracks were installed, reducing the weight to less than a quarter of an original 'Male' Mark IV. The tank was also stripped of all other internal components.

Broxbourne Council purchased 'Frank', painting it brown in early 2019. The tank was brought into the park and placed on the original presentation plinth on 1 July 2019, coinciding with the centenary of Cedars Park being donated to the public. This 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 removed, most sold for scrap. Kevin Jepson and Tony Cooke are now contracted to carry out annual maintenance of the tank.

Recommendations for a 'Male' Mark IV serial number to be painted onto the tank were proposed to Broxbourne Council in August 2020, but have not been approved. An updated information board for the Great War Centennial Corner, researched by Tarant Hobbs, was installed in late May 2022 to include information about the new tank.

'Grasshopper'

Our tank Remembers all who served in the Tank Regiment and Corps during the First World War, and an 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.

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.

Tommy

Cedars Park's excellent bronze 'Tommy' sculpture of a Rifleman from the Queen Victoria's Rifle Brigade of the London Regiment — all of 8 ft tall was created by Roger Andrews of Glamorgan, Wales, and installed in November 2019 for the community to Remember all those who were lost in the First World War.

Deaths 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 this statue was erected in memory of all who died in the First World War, he 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 war. The statue's face is not modelled after Uglow, but the buttons of his rifle brigade, Queen Victoria's Rifles, are accurately represented on the uniform.

Remembrance bench

A bench was installed in Cedars Park to mark the centenary of the First World War and 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.

Armistice Day services