The moment military tank from ‘great floods of 1947’ is unearthed

A 26-foot-long Buffalo tank is extracted from the earth in Crowland, Lincolnshire, where it has been

Watch the moment a military tank from the ‘great floods of Crowland in 1947’ is unearthed by a group of volunteers wishing to create a permanent memorial. - Credit: © Terry Harris

A group of volunteers have unearthed a 26-foot-long Buffalo military tank in a bid to create a permanent memorial of the ‘great floods of Crowland’ in 1947.  

It is thought that 16 LVTs, brought in during the late 40s to help seal the breach of the flood, remain buried underneath the Lincolnshire soil.  

A 26-foot-long Buffalo tank is extracted from the earth in Crowland, Lincolnshire, where it has been

Aerial pictures of the 26-foot-long Buffalo tank being extracted from the earth. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Spearheaded by Daniel Abbott of the ‘Save the Buffalos of Crowland’ group, works were carried out today (April 29) to dig up the vehicles. 

A 26-foot-long Buffalo tank is extracted from the earth in Crowland, Lincolnshire, where it has been

Sixteen of the amphibious Buffalo tanks were used to help seal the breach. - Credit: © Terry Harris

The group then plans to use them to create a commemoration of the post-war disaster when the town's flood defences were breached. 

The Landing Vehicle Tracked-4 vehicle, which weighs 18,000kg, has been underground for 74 years and took volunteers five days to dig it up. 

A 26-foot-long Buffalo tank is extracted from the earth in Crowland, Lincolnshire, where it has been

The 26-foot-long Buffalo tank is extracted from the earth in Crowland, Lincolnshire. - Credit: © Terry Harris

“We have permission from the Ministry of Defence, also the Environment Agency, and a letter from the Queen and John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings,” said Mr Abbott.  

A 26-foot-long Buffalo tank is extracted from the earth in Crowland, Lincolnshire, where it has been

The excavation has been organised by a local group who are planning to use the unearthed tanks create a permanent memorial to the floods that happened in the area in 1947. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Experts say the 1947 floods were “a catastrophic combination of high tides, meltwater and a wind surge”, causing a breach in flood defences.  

A 26-foot-long Buffalo tank is extracted from the earth in Crowland, Lincolnshire, where it has been

It has been buried for 74 years since it was brought into the village to help during heavy floods in March 1947. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Most Read

The cost of permanently sealing defences was around £100,000, around £3 million in today’s money. 

The works, carried out by over 200 men, was undertaken by the Dredging and Construction Co of King’s Lynn, now Visser & Smit Hanab.  

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter