Churchill Mark IV Plate

Discussion in 'Vehicle Names and Census Numbers' started by Mark NL, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Mark NL

    Mark NL New Member

    Hi all,

    I've got an interesting object (at least for me) in my possession which I inherited from my grandfather when he died about fifteen years ago. I never took real interest in it and used it as a kind of odd decoration on a bookshelf. On a recent clean up I took a closer look, wondering how and when he obtained this. I asked my father and uncle and they told me my grandfather worked for the allied forces as an engineer/mechanic and he did some supply missions to Belgium and France for parts. This plate came of a Churchill tank, but my father was not sure how he got it. I have to ask my uncle again if he knows more when I see him.

    This is a picture form it:


    "Churchill IV"
    "Makers N* NC4340 W.D. N* T172452B"
    "Date June 1943"
    "WT" (on the red edge)

    As far as I know now, with help from a friendly Frenchman and from Chris C (on track48):

    - My grandfather took the plate of a Churchill Mark IV tank when he was doing work for the allied forces as a mechanic/engineer. It was probably in the Netherlands, but maybe in Belgium or France.
    - The Churchill Mark IV tank was built in June 1943.
    - The 'B' on the end of the W.D. number could mean it was (re)fitted with a 75mm gun, which was made by taking a 6 pounder and boring it out from 57mm tot 75mm.

    Maybe common knowledge, but what is the 'Makers Number', and what is a 'W.D. Number'? Also there are letters in the numbers, any clue to what those mean?

    Final question, on the red edge of the plate on the bottom side there are 2 letters: W T , what could those mean?

    Thanks in advance!
    Kind regards.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  2. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Hi again Mark,

    Chris C here again :) As far as the "W.D. Number" is concerned, I'm pretty sure that stands for "War Department Number". Sometimes they're referred to as "census numbers".

    These were a way of individually tracking every vehicle. When vehicles were going to be produced, or even before, a block of numbers would be reserved, and each vehicle manufactured would get assigned a different number.

    The "T" at the start of the number indicates "Tank". Armoured cars had an "F" prefix I think. Motor transport was different again.

    I'm not sure about the Maker's Number or the "WT".
  3. Mark NL

    Mark NL New Member

    Thanks again Chris! I'm curious about what people here might be able to tell me about the 'B'. In a list I found here are W.D. numbers similar to mine.. Interesting :army::)
  4. willers

    willers Member

    Makers Number may well cross refer to a contract of supply / or the accredited prime contractor ... just a thought ...
  5. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    I suggest you post your original message in the Allied Discussion Group at missing-Lynx where it should be picked up by Dick Taylor or Kevin Tucker. Both those guys visit this Forum but, certainly in the case of Dick, only on an occasional basis.
  6. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    Ahh, now missing-lynx can be hard to get posting privileges for. I do have an account and could post, except I know that Mr Taylor is on vacation at the moment.

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