Hundreds line streets to see returning world war tank

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By Faversham Times | Friday, February 22, 2013, 08:00

LAST year thousands of spectators lined the streets of Faversham, patriotically waving their Union flags as they watched a once-in-a-lifetime event; the passing of the Olympic Torch. But on July 30, 1919, the very same route drew crowds for a similarly historic reason.

It was the day a First World War tank made its slow journey from the railway depot in Station Road, along Newton Road, to its final resting place at the northwest corner of the Recreation Ground.

The impressive spectacle was greeted by hundreds of schoolchildren who lined the route, waving and cheering as they watched it take its place on a special plinth. The procession was led by the band of the local branch of the National Federation of Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers.

Tanks were awarded to towns that achieved certain National Savings targets during the Great War, and about 265 were issued in the post-war years.

It is thought to have been displayed at the Whitstable Road ground, before being taken away for scrap in 1937.

These are just two of the thousands of vintage snaps in Peter Kennett's personal archive.

Mr Kennett, 65, of Broomfield Road, has collected more than 4,000 vintage photographs from fairs across the country, and shares them in popular slide show events where he talks residents through their town's not-so-distant past.

His book tells the story of Faversham through vintage photographs from the 1890s to the 1960s.

One of his favourite wartime photos in the collection is a photograph taken in 1915 of the arrival of wounded soldiers at Faversham railway station.

He writes: "Sporting their German trophies, the famous picklehaube officers' helmets, the men are laughing and chatting as they wait, presumably for transport to the Mount military hospital at Faversham. Their uniforms are still spattered with mud from the fields of France or Belgium and their faces betray a range of emotions."

Faversham From Old Photographs is available for £12.99 from KGN News, Preston Street or from www.amazon.co.uk

      

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