- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Roy Elliott
- Location of story:
- North Africa
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 24 February 2005
Roy Elliott with the first Tiger Tank to be captured intact. Now at Bovington Tank Museum, Dorset
Mr Roy Elliott served 4 1/2 years in the 8th Army in North Africa as a driver mechanic in the REME (They were called Desert Rats) He spent most of this time in the desert and the latter part in Italy. His job was “Tank Recovery”. During this time the British captured a Tiger Tank which was found to be intact and the engine was ok. They discovered that it was abandoned because the Germans couldn’t fire the gun because I believe a round had hit the barrel at the gauntlet and blocked it. According to Roy the turret had a fault too, which was rectified.
It was decided to ship the tank back to England as it was the first one captured intact. This meant a long haul through the desert to Alexandria, which took three weeks.
They loaded it onto a low loader American Tank Carrier then Roy and two other soldiers started their journey through the desert. The wheels kept getting stuck in the sand and the three crew had to dig it out. They decided to take it off the carrier and drive it for a while. They winched it back onto the carrier and drove the rest of the way, which took three weeks. They slept where they could but mostly on the sand. At last they arrived at Alexandria and it was then shipped to England.
It was years later that Roy heard that the Tiger Tank was at Bovington. He went to see it in 2004 after it had been renovated and said, “I hope they have kept the shell holes” and he even remembered where they were (and they WERE still there)
Sadly Roy passed away early in 2005 before he had the chance to tell his story. His friend Dulcie Cox has remembered it and told it for him.
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