Towns which had organised themselves to raise the most money for War Bonds and other war-related appeals were presented with a First World War tank – its guns suitably deactivated – for public display.

Smaller communities might get a field gun or captured German machine guns.

Tanks went to Biggar Bank at Walney, to Tank Square in Ulverston and to Millom Public Park.

All had vanished before the Second World War – sold for scrap or removed as people tired of being reminded about military conflict.

The procedure was to get the lumbering beasts as close as possible by rail.

Huge crowds would then watch for several hours as engineers first tried to start the unreliable engines and then drive them to the chosen display plinth.

The arrival of Millom’s tank was reported in the Millom Gazette on February 27 in 1920.

It noted: “Formerly on active service with G Battalion, the monster is categorised as a Mark IV female tank (a 26-ton affair) fitted with a 105hp Daimler ‘Silent Knight’ engine.

“Under active service conditions it would be manned by an officer, NCO and six men.”

Getting it from the railway station to its final resting place was a long and noisy affair.

It noted: “The mud-stained relic was skilfully guided to its last place of honour – a bed of concrete, situated partly up the slope about equidistant from the Bank of Liverpool and the allotments adjoining the Temperance Hall.”

It was later reported to be infested with rats and described as an “eyesore”.

Millom council sold it for £11.

Barrow’s huge gift from the War Savings Organisation arrived on February 26 in 1920 and set out for Walney by road at 11.20am.

It was estimated that the tank was burning up to five gallons of fuel for every mile and was described as “snorting and grunting and emitting petrol fumes.”

Ulverston’s tank was handed over on February 26 in 1920.

Reports at the time noted: “The monster has arrived.

It certainly is not a thing of beauty.”

Its end was reported in the Ulverston News on Saturday June 20 in 1936.

The report noted: “Whilst breaking up the tank which has stood in Tank Square, Ulverston, for over 15 years, a local scrap metal firm found a live shell of six pounds weight in the gears of the machine.

“For years children have played about the tank’s interior.

“The shell has been handed over to the police.

“The tank was presented to the town by the War Office in recognition of the notable achievement of its citizens in financing the war and the important part played by the Ulverston War Savings Committee in the country’s war effort.

“During the National War Bond campaign in March and November 1918, Ulverston raised a total of £281,925, equivalent to £28 per head of population.”

The tank had been sold for scrap by Ulverston Urban District Council.