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1 July 2014
A tribute to all who died & suffered as a consequence of World War 1.

This is the seventh of a series of articles featuring Carlton China models relating to the war.

Part Seven - Tanks

Before we show you the Carlton China models, below are two posters featuring tanks from the time of the War.

WW1 tank posters
Left - American poster from 1917.  Right - British poster displayed in factories to encourage workers and increase tank production.


Carlton China model of a British Mark I tank
Carlton China model of Mark I tank with inscription
The British Tank successfully used against the Germans Combles September 1916.


British Mark I tank

Seven different models of tanks were made in Carlton China. The first, shown right, was based on the British Mark I, which entered service in August 1916. The two wheels placed at the back were added to assist steering.

The top is decorated with the letters HMLS in red enamel; this stands for His Majesties Land Ship. It was also named Crème-de-menthe after tank C5 given that name and which successfully destroyed a German garrison in the Somme offensive September 1916.

Below is a picture of Mark I tank, C15, in action on the Somme in 1916 assisting soldiers in the trenches. The canopy, covered with wire mesh, was added to deflect grenades; the steering wheels are raised. Each tank had a crew of eight to command, drive and fire the guns. In battle, conditions inside were terrible, not least from exhaust fumes.

Mark I male tank C15 at the Somme in 1916
Mark I male tank C15 at the Somme in 1916 moving from left to right. The steering wheels are shown raised.
The rhomboidal shape allowed it to climb parapets and cross trenches.

British Mark IV tank

Carlton China model of WW1 Mark IV tank
Carlton China model of the Mark IV tank made in two sizes.

The shortcomings of the Mark I tanks quickly led to Mark IV, and 1000 were ordered in 1916. A Carlton China model of it is shown on the left with the inscription Buy War Bonds The Tank Bank and the Combles inscription found on the earlier model of the Mark I. These were inscribed with the number 130, which was the number for a touring tank Nelson and not Crème-de-Menthe also found printed on this model. Two sizes were made.

The steering wheels on the Mark I proved ineffective under battle conditions so were removed. Many other improvements were made though its appearance was similar to its "Mother'' the Mark I.
Mark IV tank with regiment,
A lighter moment with a Mark IV tank. Notice the exhaust, which found its way to the interior.
Postcard of British WW1 tanks
Tinted postcard of tanks probably on their way to the front line 1918. The lead tank is a Mark V, followed by Mark IVs.

Smaller British Mark IV tank

Smaller  Carlton China model of the Mark IV tank
Left - Smaller Carlton China model of Mark IV tank & Tank Corp officer's cap badge.
Right - a Tank Corp Officer's cap badge.
A smaller version of the Mark IV tank was also made in Carlton China. . The example on the right is decorated with the insignia of the Tank Corp. An Officer's cap badge is also shown.

Captured tanks were used by the Germans with new "livery" as the picture below shows, next to a cartoon. The Byng Boys were the Canadian Corps named after their commander Sir Julian Byng and a music hall review, The Bing Boys are Here, playing in London in 1916.

A captured Mark IV tank and Byng Boys tank cartoon
Left - A captured Mark IV tank being used by the Germans with new Iron Cross "livery". 
Right - Cartoon c.1917 featuring the Byng Boys, the adopted name for the Canadian Corps after their commander.


Carlton China Tank Bank
Carlton China Tank Bank.
Carlton China Tank Bank.

The largest Mark IV tank was also made as a money box or "tank bank", to help save for the war effort.

This, as were other Mark IV models, printed with the number 130, which refers to tank 130, Nelson. Along with five other tanks it toured towns and cities in the UK to sell War Bonds and War Savings Certificates, sometimes from a table inside the tank.

The new futuristic weapon of war fascinated the public. Below is a picture of Tank 130 in Trafalgar Square, London and a poster promoting the "Tank Tour". One of the touring tanks possibly visited The Potteries.

Tank 130 in Trafalgar Square, London in March 1918 & Tank Tour poster from 1918
Left - Tank 130 in Trafalgar Square, London in March 1918.
Right - Poster promoting the "Tank Tour" 1918.



Carlton China model inscribed HM Whippet Tank mostly based on the French Renault RT.
"HM Whippet Tank"


The Mark IV tanks were slow having a top speed of 4 MPH and so the War Office called for a lighter faster tank. This led to the development of The Whippet, which first saw service in March 1918.

The Carlton China model shown here was inscribed HM Whippet Tank. It was, however, mostly based on the French Renault RT though the turret appears to be a combination of both tanks as the pictures below show.

The Renault FT was by far the best of the three tanks launched during the war; it was revolutionary, featuring many characteristics still in use on modern tanks.

Renault FT tank and Mark A Whippet  tank from 1918
Left - The Renault FT tank.
Right - Mark A Whippet tank 1918.


Carlton China model of the Fiat 2000 tank
Carlton China model of the Fiat 2000 tank. Fiat did not produce these until late
in the war so this model must date from after the end of hostilities.
Fiat 2000 tank

The most curious of the Carlton China tanks is based on the Fiat 2000. Examples of the model have been found wrongly inscribed The British Tank.

The first of the Fiat tanks was not produced until the final stages of the war. They never actually saw combat in World War I. Total production is thought to be two. Neither survives.

The tank had a crew of ten, which included eight gunners. Weighing 40 tons it had a maximum speed of 4 mph, like the British Mark IV tanks.

At the end of the war demand was for lighter and faster machines and the Italians began to make the French Renault RT under license.

The pictures below show the Fiat being demonstrated in April 1919 and with most of its crew Italian soldiers.

Postcard showing Fiat 2000 tank 
				giving a demonstration in a stadium April 1919 and Crew of 8 Italian soldiers in front of 
				their Fiat 2000 tank c.1919.
Left - Postcard showing Fiat 2000 tank giving a demonstration in a stadium April 1919 - location unknown.
Right - Crew Italian soldiers in front of their Fiat 2000 tank c.1919.


Carlton China model of the Vickers Mark I tank
Carlton China model of the Vickers Mark I tank.
Vickers Mark I tank

The last of the Carlton China tanks does not relate to WW1. It is a good representation of the Vickers Mark I tank, which went into production in 1924. The only examples I have seen all have the crest of the Royal Tank Corp printed and enamelled on the top of the turret as shown below.

After the war, the Tank Corps was trimmed down. In October 1923 it was renamed the Royal Tank Corps. At this time, the motto "Fear Naught" was adopted.

Clearly, the earliest date of the model is 1924, by which time the enormous popularity of crested china had begun to wane; these models must be relatively scarce.

Crest of the Royal Tank Corp; Vickers Mark I tank c.1924
Left - Crest of the Royal Tank Corp as found on the turret of the Carlton China model.
Right - The Vickers Mark I tank c.1924.



This concludes our article on Carlton China models of tanks.

Our next article, Part Eight, looks at Carlton China models of armoured vehicles; some were used to bring down aircraft and, as the propaganda postcard on the right shows, Zeppelins.


Other Articles in this series on Carlton China models relating to WW1

Part 1    Men in the Military.
Part 2    The role that women played.
Part 3    Weapons of war.
Part 4    Battleships.
Part 5    Other ships.
Part 6    Submarines.
Part 8    Armoured vehicles.
Part 9    Aeroplanes.
Part 10  Airships.
Part 11  Military Caps & Hats.
Part 12  Miscellaneous.

© Harvey Pettit 2014.
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