Tank Banks

Tank Banks

Throughout World War I the British Government devised several schemes to raise capital in order to fund the ongoing war effort. Tank Banks was the term used for the tour of six World War I Mark IV British tanks, which toured the towns and cities of England, Scotland and Wales from December 1917 to promote the sale of War Bonds and War Savings Certificates.

"Julian"

HM Tank 113 "Julian" was one of six battle-scarred Mark IV tanks used by the British Government to go round the country during the Tank Bank tours. Taking its name from General Sir Julian Byng, the tank saw action during the successful campaign at the Battle of Cambrai, where it served under General Byng. Following the battle, Julian and the other tanks were returned to the United Kingdom where they were used by the National War Savings Committee to help encourage public investment in War Savings Certificates and War Bonds.

Setting out in December 1917, Julian toured the industrial towns of north England before continuing on to Scotland where it collected over £30,000,000 from the Scottish public. Glasgow alone contributed £14,500,714 to the Tank Bank campaign. As a small token of appreciation for the country’s support, Julian carried tartan upon one of its six-pounder guns. Great statesmen, politicians, war heroes and churchmen were invited to tour with the tank, addressing the crowds from its roof, encouraging them with patriotic speeches to invest their money in Britain’s hour of need. In a time of such hardship and loss, men, women and children from all walks of life flocked to give their money as a service to their country and to be able to say ‘I have helped!’

Tour of Angus

Julian toured the towns of Angus between Friday 20 September 1918 and Wednesday 25 September 1918. Accompanied by local dignitaries and representatives of the War Savings Committee the tank participated in the following visits:

Kirriemuir, Friday 20 September 1918.

Arbroath, Saturday 21 September 1918.

Forfar, Monday 23 September 1918.

Brechin, Tuesday 24 September 1918.

Montrose, Wednesday 25 September 1918.

Tank Tour poster advertising the sale of War Bonds and War Savings Certificates
General Sir Julian Byng, commander of the British Army at the Battle of Cambrai, from whom Tank 113 “Julian” took its name.