On January 30, 1916 D’Eyncourt wrote to Lord Kitchener and informed him that the machine was ready for his inspection and that it fulfilled all the conditions laid down by the War Office (that it could carry guns, destroy machine guns, break through wire entanglements, and cross the enemy’s trenches, whilst giving protection to its own crew). D’Eyncourt also recommended that a number should be ordered immediately and that whilst these were being manufactured the design of a more formidable machine could be developed.

On 2 Feb 16 a VIP visitors’ day was held at Hatfield.  Those who came to see Mother/Centipede/Big Willie in action included:

Field Marshal Earl Kitchener of Khartoum (Secretary of State for War)

The Rt Hon A J Balfour MP (First Lord of the Admiralty)

The Rt Hon D Lloyd George MP (Minister of Munitions)

The Rt Hon R McKenna MP (Chancellor of the Exchequer)

Vice Admiral Sir Frederick Hamilton (Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel)

Sir William Graham Greene (Permanent Secretary to the Board of the Admiralty)

The Rt Hon G Lambert MP

Major General Sir S B Von Donop (Master General of Ordnance)

Major General Butler

Major General H G Smith

Lieutenant General Sir John Cowans (Quartermaster General)

General Rudyear

Lieutenant General Sir W Robertson (Chief of the Imperial General Staff)

Major General Whigham (Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff)

Brigadier General Corkran

Brigadier General Nanton

Brigadier General Maurice (Director of Military Operations)

And a number of assorted Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels and Majors.

One response on “VIPs

  1. Stephen Pope

    Sir Alfred Stern’s book – Logbook of a Pioneer – reveals that Maj Hugh Elles, who was later to command all tank units in France, was also present at the trial

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