A veteran of the Second World War has returned a small model tank that he used as a target when firing his air rifle, after having it in his possession for 71 years!
Lance Corporal George Martin is now 88, said that he nabbed the model of a Sherman tank so he could hone his shooting skills before he joined a tank crew. He then decided to keep hold of the tank model as a souvenir, and did so without telling anyone.
The model is around the size of an egg box, and has been kept on the sideboard of Mr Martin for many years. He has recently returned the model to the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset, which is where he trained in 1944.
In order to simulate the conditions found on a firing range, a number of these small lead Sherman tanks were arranged on a table top in a Nissen hut for trainees to fire at with their air rifles. Each member of the tank crew had to learn how to shoot, and it was using this makeshift shooting range that George and his crew practised.
After being “liberated” by George, the model travelled with him to Cairo and across the Sahara Desert, before returning back to England. The tank now sits proudly in the Tank Museum, and was not an item previously held in their collection.
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