An RE8 in
flight viewed from another of the same type.
My guess is, that there is another photograph in
existance taken from the opposite direction. In this shot
Aboukir Bay, the site of Nelson's famous victory at the Battle
of the Nile in 1798 one hundred and twenty years previously,
is visible in the lower background.
This is a male variant of a Mark 1 heavy tank,
the long barrelled Naval 6 pounder QF gun only fitted to the
Mark 1 providing one clue as to identification. The problems
of these guns digging in on rough terrain or catching on trees
or buildings ensured that a shorter barrelled 6 pounder was
fitted to later marks of tank in redesigned sponsons.
According to Regimental legend Mark IV tanks had
been earmarked but due to shortages for the Western Front worn
out MK 1s, which had been relegated to training, were sent to
the Canal Zone.
The grease lubricant normally used on the tracks
combined with the sand in this theatre to form an abrasive
compound caused frequent track failure such as that shown in
Mark 1 male tank, females had machine guns instead of 6
It was the normal practice to name tanks. Other
named tanks known to have been in this theatre are: Pincher,
Sir Archibald, Nutty, Otazel, War Baby, Kia-Ora (female),
Tiger and Ole-Luk-Oie. These tanks were manned by personnel
from E battalion under the command of Maj Norman Nutt,
deployed in the Canal Zone from January 1917. Three Mk IV
tanks were added prior to the Third Battle of Gaza.