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firsttankcrews
Anna Valley
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1 of 52  Sun 1st Mar 2015 12:35am  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:16

Looking for your help please regarding Roland Elliott who managed the Queen Mary's Road garage off the Foleshill Road. Rol Elliott was one of the many Coventry men who served in the Motor Car Machine Corps. More importantly (to me) he also served in the first tank action on 15 September 1916 at Flers-Courcelette. Rol was best friends with Walter Atkins whose story was recently told at the Herbert Gallery - link. Their photograph was taken before they went to France but I am not sure which one is Rol. I think Rol is sitting in front of Walter Atkins and to the left of Harry Drader. Can you identify him? Many thanks Stephen Pope
Stephen Pope

First Tank Crews
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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2 of 52  Sun 1st Mar 2015 9:58am  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4156

Hello & welcome to you Stephen, (First Tank Crews) Wave Thank you for your post & question. Let us hope that you receive info. Thumbs up
First Tank Crews
firsttankcrews
Anna Valley
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3 of 52  Tue 3rd Mar 2015 10:38pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:16

Can you shed any more light on his time as a Manx TT rider? Thanks in advance Stephen Pope
Stephen Pope

First Tank Crews
Norman Conquest
Allesley
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4 of 52  Wed 4th Mar 2015 12:23pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2014  Total posts:822

I don't know of a Roland Elliot in the racing game but there was a Richard Elliot who I think owned the Ace Garage in Radford. If you know what racing he was into he may be easier to trace. There wasn't a Manx TT, there always was a lot of confusion over this. There was/is a Clubmans TT that is open to certain club members. Then there is the Manx GP and the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy with subdivisions and at times overlapping racing. There is of course plenty of other road racing going on, there was once the Ulster GP that rivalled the IOM racing.
Just old and knackered

First Tank Crews
Not Local
Bedworth
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5 of 52  Wed 4th Mar 2015 1:39pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:244

Wilmott Evans owned Ace Garage, he was a pre and post war motorcycle grass track racer. Many years later it was owned by speedway rider Les Owen and then after that by stock car driver Leo McDermott. I think Ace Garage was originally a motorcycle dealership hence the small showroom window suitable for displaying motorbikes. I believe it was a Matchless dealer in the 1950's.
First Tank Crews
mcsporran
Coventry & Cebu
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6 of 52  Wed 4th Mar 2015 2:01pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:419

The website www.iomtt.com has an index of competitors from 1907 to date: R Elliot rode a Rover in the 1921 Senior TT but did not finish; R C Elliott rode a Triumph in the 1958 Senior Snaefell MGP and also did not finish. Edited by member, 4th Mar 2015 2:40 pm
First Tank Crews
Norman Conquest
Allesley
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7 of 52  Wed 4th Mar 2015 2:16pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2014  Total posts:822

Yes that 1958 is Richard but that was the Snaefell circuit, the MGP not the ManxTT, that is what I find a little confusing. As for 1921 that would be earlier than Stephen was referring to.
Just old and knackered

First Tank Crews
firsttankcrews
Anna Valley
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8 of 52  Thu 5th Mar 2015 12:03am  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:16

Thanks for the fascinating details and assistance gentlemen A 1921 appearance is quite feasible. Rol Elliott full name was Roland George Elliott. He was born in Foleshill in 1896 and christened on 31 Jan 1897; the younger son of a mechanic Robert Elliott and his Florrie Elizabeth Elliott. By 1901 the family were living at 123 Cross Road and Rol's father had become involved in cycle manufacturing. They were in the same house in 1911 and Rol was working as a butcher’s assistant. Later he became a motor tester and lived at 160 Cross Road. Together with two other motor testers, he was fined 20 shillings for speeding along the Stoneleigh Road at Styvechale and then for riding three abreast along the Baginton Lane on 13 August 1915. I believe he married Annie Taylor in the summer of 1931 and lived at 38 Churchill Ave but I could be wrong.
Stephen Pope

First Tank Crews
Norman Conquest
Allesley
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9 of 52  Thu 5th Mar 2015 10:49am  
Member: Joined Oct 2014  Total posts:822

Anyone who raced on the island would certainly have raced elsewhere but records are almost non existent for other events. The IOM TT site mentioned above appears to only include those who rode in Tourist Trophy races. Geoff Duke dominated the island for a decade yet to find his results in the GP races is very difficult. I have looked through my records at home but can only find one other Elliot, he rode a Manx Norton in the 50s but never in the senior events. As for the 1921 event seeing that R Elliot was riding a Rover it is quite understandable that he was unable to finish.
Just old and knackered

First Tank Crews
Norman Conquest
Allesley
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10 of 52  Thu 5th Mar 2015 1:15pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2014  Total posts:822

Thanks for correction about Ace Garage NL. In the 50s I rode a Matchless G45 purchased from Astons but Ace was really the only place to get specialised spares. I recall having a conversation with someone there who claimed to have ridden on the island and I assumed that he was the garage owner. As for the name confusion, Elliot, Evans. Well I am over 80. Blush
Just old and knackered

First Tank Crews
Not Local
Bedworth
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11 of 52  Thu 5th Mar 2015 4:35pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:244

Our Mr Elliott must have liked his mother's cooking - brought up in Cross Rd, moved across the road, moved just round the corner when he married, and worked just a couple of minutes walk away. Norman - it looks like it was Wilmott Evans you spoke to at the Ace Garage because the TT records show a W. Evans riding Matchless, AJS, and Triumph machines between 1947 and 1951. His name was mentioned to me as a previous owner at the same time I was told it was a Matchless dealership, but that was only a mere 35 years ago when Leo McDermott first took ownership.
First Tank Crews
Not Local
Bedworth
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12 of 52  Thu 5th Mar 2015 5:16pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:244

First Tank Crews - Has anyone thought about contacting Foleshill Ex Servicemens Club, 657-659 Foleshill Rd, Coventry to see if they have any records or old photographs? To put things into perspective, young Roland would have come out of work at the garage and turned left into Foleshill Rd where he would have found the ex-service club a couple of doors down. He would have then either crossed the road and taken the first turn right to Cross Rd or carried on a bit further and taken the second left into Churchill Avenue. The club is still there I think, it has ghastly 1970's front grafted onto a Victorian or Edwardian building. It is or certainly was run as a private members club rather than an old fashioned ex-service club, but in Roland's day it would have been a place where old soldiers may have lingered for a pint and a natter about the war.
First Tank Crews
firsttankcrews
Anna Valley
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13 of 52  Thu 5th Mar 2015 7:52pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:16

Thanks for the suggestion about contacting the Foleshill ex-servicemens club - I shall certainly follow it up. Stephen
Stephen Pope

First Tank Crews
firsttankcrews
Anna Valley
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Thread starter
14 of 52  Sun 5th Feb 2017 6:52pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:16

http://www.firsttankcrews.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=11281544 Walter Atkins, who was from Foleshill, was employed by his uncle Mr Walter Brandish as a motor repairer. Brandish and Co is, of course, still operating as a motor sales and repair firm. Walter was a keen motorcyclist and, in April, volunteered to join the Motor Machine Gun Service through the offices of the Motor Cycle newspaper,. He was trained at Bisley and then at the secret tank training complex near Thetford. He deployed to France in early September 1916. His letters to his mother. which tell the story of his initial training, are in the Herbert Gallery. Walter was a gunner in D20 Daphne which fought at Martinpuich on 15 September 1916. He was wounded in the shoulder when the tank had returned to its start point to refuel and take on more ammunition. He made a full recovery but died, aged just 21, whilst undergoing a routine operation at Bovington on 9 February 1917. He is buried at Foleshill United Reform Church in Coventry and we will be commemorating his life at noon on 9 February 2017.
Stephen Pope

First Tank Crews
firsttankcrews
Anna Valley
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Thread starter
15 of 52  Sat 1st Apr 2017 10:01pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:16

Grateful for help in tracking down John Thomas who lived in Earlsdon in 1920-1940s He was (according to his mother's probate) a master ironmonger; in 1927 he was living with his mother at 4 Albany Road (Earlsdon) and she later lived in Kensington Road. John was another tank crewman who fought at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on 15 September 1916. The following year he was selected for officer training and was commissioned in November 1917 and to France in March 1918, about the time of the great German advance and was posted to his old unit, 3rd Light Battalion Tank Corps. He was discharged in February 1919 and returned to Coventry where he took up his old trade of ironmonger. I think he married a woman called Amanda but I cannot be certain. If anyone has information about John and his family, I would be most grateful if you could share it. Stephen Pope
Stephen Pope

First Tank Crews

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