World War One Tank

Contributed by The Museum of Lincolnshire Life

World War One Tank 'Flirt'. © The Tank Museum, Bovington

How did the tank get its name? Its codename was 'water-carriers for Mesopotamia' which was shortened to 'tank'.During the early days of World War One it was William Tritton, managing director of Wm Foster & Co. in Lincoln, along with Major Wilson, who invented the tank. The early machines were produced by the Fosters engineering works however by 1917 Mk IV tanks were being manufactured by the Metropolitan Carriage Works in Birmingham. This included Flirt. Flirt first saw action at the Battle of Cambrai, France, during November 1917; her final battle was at Arras in March 1918. After the war surviving tanks were taken to Bovington Army Camp in Dorset - many were given to towns as memorials and some, like Flirt, were used for gunnery practice. From the 1930s Flirt remained on a plinth outside the Tank Museum at Bovington. In 1982 she was loaned to the City of Lincoln, the birthplace of the tank, where she was restored by apprentices at Ruston Gas Turbines. After restoration Flirt was placed on display at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.

Comments are closed for this object


  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 22:33 on 6 April 2010, Graham Borradaile wrote:

    My father John Borradaile guided the apprentices who restored this tank.
    According to his information, the tank had been retrieved from northern France at a late date, this may or may not disagree with the information you give. At any rate the Museum of Lincolnshire Life has presented it very well for a number of years. Graham Borradaile, Canada.

    Complain about this comment

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline


AD 1917


View more objects from people in Lincolnshire.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.