WHEN THOSE BRITISH TANK CREWS SACRIFICED EVERYTHING WHICH WAS DEAR TO THEM ON BEHALF OF THE FREEDOMS WE ALL ENJOY TODAY, THEY ENTERED DEATH. HOWEVER, THEY WILL ONLY BE CONFIRMED DEAD WHEN OTHERS NO LONGER SPEAK THEIR NAMES.
THE TMYS WILL ENSURE THEY ARE NEVER CONFIRMED DEAD.
LEST WE FORGET.
The TANK MEMORIAL YPRES SALIENT and on site “Register Book” lists 243
WW1 tank crew members who were killed in
action or died of wounds, buried or commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission in Belgium.
Also commemorated is a WW2 Royal Tank Regiment tank crew member buried nearby.
The standards of the Royal Tank Regiment Association Nottingham & London Branch, the Royal British Legion Ypres Branch and the British Torch of Remembrance Belgium Branch offer salutations alongside the "Garden of Remembrance" and floral tributes placed during the inauguration ceremony.
British Army Commanders, Royal Tank Regiment Commanders, the RTR Regimental Colonel, Officers, NCO's & soldiers amongst others attended the inauguration ceremony.
THE TANK MEMORIAL YPRES SALIENT
"GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE"
The "TMYS Garden of Remembrance" is an integral piece of the memorial and contains 243 personalised poppy crosses applicable to each WW1 fallen British tank soldier buried or commemorated in Belgium. A further personalised poppy cross commemorates a single WW2 RTR tank soldier buried nearby.
The poppy crosses are all fixed within wooden beams, thus emulating the concrete beams used by the CWGC within it's cemeteries.
Flanders fields soil recovered from the collective Ypres Salient battlefields applicable to where the men fought and fell is also included within the garden.
The TMYS no longer in the shadow of the nearby Guynemer Memorial once darkness falls. Both memorials are now illuminated together forever.
Tank D29 Damon II was knocked out just in front of where the Cafe De Zwaan can be seen in this image immediately behind D29. On conclusion of the war, the tank was recovered and moved to the very spot where the TMYS stands today and became the village war memorial.
In 1941 the Germans took the tank away when it was smelted it for their own war effort.
Assistant Chaplain General Father Francis Barber (RC) 1st UK Armoured Division
blessed the new memorial.
Major General Chris Deverell MBE dedicated the TMYS on Saturday 10/10/2009.
THE TANK MEMORIAL YPRES SALIENT
The TANK MEMORIAL YPRES SALIENT LEGACY CD contains a unique photograph of every soldier's grave or memorial listing commemorated by the TMYS.
Also included are the CWGC burial/memorial, personal military/civil details applicable to each soldier.
Each soldier's grave or memorial received a dedicated visit, poppy tribute placement & "Exhortation" with details concerning this dedicated visit being placed within the cemetery/memorial visitors book.
The legacy has since been placed into the care of Royal Tank Regiment RHQ and Bovington Tank Museum. Copies are available for donation.
*All donations received go towards TMYS ceremony running costs and wreath purchase.
The TMYS dedicated wreath.
TANK MEMORIAL YPRES SALIENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT LETTER
RECEIVED FROM BUCKINGHAM PALACE
On receipt of the above letter, key persons involved in the creation and construction of the TMYS received a Her Majesty's Britannic Ambassador to Belgium commendation.
These were presented after receiving a joint invitation to attend a special commemoration reception within the British Ambassador's residence in Brussels.
During the proceedings Ambassador Dr Rachel Aron offered the following statement to all present:
On behalf of Her Majesty's Government and her people, I thank Chris and his committee for their dedication and for their great achievement on behalf of the tank crews lost in the Ypres Salient.
*The above phrase of appreciation is revealed within the official commendation itself & for that Ambassador Aron, we are all truly very grateful. Thank you.
Internal & external awards applicable to the TMYS
TANK MEMORIAL YPRES SALIENT
DEDICATED SERVICE MEDAL
Included within the specifications concerning the TMYS project and cost, a one off run of 20 commemorative medals were struck and supplied by Thomas Fratorini Ltd, medal suppliers to HM the Queen.
Medals with diplomas were awarded to individuals and organisations recognised as being integral to the creation of the TMYS by the memorial's founder Mr Chris Lock.
*Medal No 19 being awarded only recently and that to the
Royal Tank Regiment Association Nottingham Branch in recognition of their outstanding gifting to the TMYS of it's brand new Memorial Standard. Thank you Nottingham Branch.
*A silver rosette fixed to the medal ribbon confirms the wearer has also been separately awarded the official, Her Majesty's Britannic Ambassador to Belgium commendation.
THE 2014 ANNUAL CEREMONY
DAY OF EVENTS ITINERARY
11.30 hrs, Saturday June 7th 2014
10.00 hrs.Chaplain Brian Llewellyn will hold a short "Office" within St George's Memorial Church in Ypres, which will include the following:
The full 3 verse version of the hymn "I vow to thee my Country"
The Chaplain will offer the Regimental Collect and a suitable reading will also be offered.
The service will conclude with the playing of the National Anthems of Great Britain and Belgium.
The remaining daily itinerary will require own transportation.
11.30 hrs.The 2014 TMYS annual ceremony in Poelkapelle.
Official reception in Poelkapelle. (Venue to be confirmed.)
We then travel to the grave of the "Unknown Tank Soldier" who rests in peace within Wijtschaete CWGC Cemetery where a wreath, suitable poem and pipe lament will be offered.
This cemetery is located near by and on route to the following location.
A short wreath placement ceremony will then take place at the nearby Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing.
All three major memorials to the missing which include Tank Corps soldiers who have no known grave will then have received a dedicated TMYS annual ceremony commemoration.
On conclusion of this event, all attending on behalf of the TMYS day of events are at liberty to do their own thing before attending the 8pm Last Post ceremony in Ypres.
A TMYS delegation will attend the Last Post Ceremony under the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, which will be followed by a social get-together in the nearby Ypra Inn.
Sunday date and time to be confirmed:
Chaplain Brian Llewellyn offers all attending TMYS/FotTMYS members and their guests a respectful invitation to attend the normal Sunday morning St George's Memorial Church service.
DESTRUCTION OF THE TMYS 2013
It is my painful duty to reveal that the TMYS has been destroyed during a road traffic collision. The rubble was cleared away yesterday leaving only the imprint of where this fine tank memorial inaugurated in 2009 by Major General Chris Deverell MBE in 2009 once stood. On conclusion of this ceremony the TMYS was placed into the ownership of Langemark-Poelkapelle Authority who have confirmed that the memorial will be rebuilt in due course under their monuments insurance policy.
On behalf of the Tank Corps fallen and the RTR today, both myself and Milena as Founder and Co-Founder of this once fine memorial are delighted to report that the Langemark-Poelkapelle Authority are clearly committed and dedicated in protecting the TMYS situated on their territory. In return we offer our respect and sincere gratitude.
The damaged TMYS was broken down and removed by
local authority engineers on 30/8/2013.
A BRAND NEW TMYS HAS RISEN FROM THE RUBBLE......
Included within the below image is our dearly departed Lt (Ret) Eric Smallwood, former Honorary Vice President of the Friends of the TMYS as he stands proudly to attention in front of the memorial which commemorates his regiment's fallen who fell within the Salient and are buried or commemorated in Belgium by the CWGC today.
Lt Eric was Troop Leader of a troop of 8 Cromwell tanks during WW2 and was in command of the first tank into Hamburg. He and his men also engaged and took on the feared Tiger tanks and although they lost many of their comrades in the process, they eventually won the day. *Every year Lt Eric travelled to a certain Dutch village and apologised for shooting up their village church whilst dealing with a Tiger tank which had destroyed one and damaged another of his tanks. He had long since been forgiven!
Lt Eric also attended the final capitulation meetings attended by the Red Army representative Field Marshall Georgie Zhukov.
The Friends Honorary President is Lt General (Ret) David Leakey CMG CBE.
He is supported by the Friends of the TMYS Board of Admistrators and it's membership.
Former Honorary Vice President of the Friends of the TMYS, Lt (Ret) Eric Smallwood flanked left by the TMYS Standard Bearer Mr Peter Mahieu and right, Mr Alex Hamilton, Standard Bearer of the RTRA Nottingham Branch
DEDICATION OF THE TANK MEMORIAL STANDARD
The newly reconstructed Tank Memorial Ypres Salient also received its brand new Standard on Saturday, November 23rd 2013. It was donated to the Memorial by the Royal Tank Regiment Association Nottingham Branch.
Revd Brian Llewellyn of St George's Memorial Church Ypres, Belgium, blesses the new Standard at its official dedication service on Saturday November 23rd 2013 in the presence of the RTRA Nottingham Branch, Friends of the TMYS and invited guests.
Revd Brian is also Honorary Chaplain to the Friends of the TMYS.
The new TMYS Standard & long standing RTRA Nottingham Branch Standard flanked by the current Royal British Legion Ypres Branch Standard & Belgian Royal Entente Standards during their inclusion within the same day 8pm Last Post Ceremony.
The donation of the new TMYS Standard was only made possible due to the generosity of the RTRA Nottingham Branch.
Special mention of gratitude must go to the Branch Secretary Brian and his wife Janet Rogers for their guidance, vision and dedication in ensuring the Standard was achieved.
We at the TMYS and its conjoined Friends of the TMYS will never forget their collective wonderful gesture. Thank you!
Attending members of the Friends of the TMYS & RTRA Nottingham Branch share a moment of contemplation and comradeship on conclusion of the ceremony at the Tank Memorial in Poelkapelle.