For local Landmarc Support Services (Landmarc) employee, Geoff Armstrong, building a replica Mark IV tank for the World War One centenary celebrations at Carlisle Castle is all in a day’s work!
A skilled carpenter, Geoff works at RAF Spadeadam and is adept at building some unusual wooden items for military target practice, ranging from aircraft wings, to vehicles and buildings.
The brainchild of Colonel Anthony Steven, Commandant of Cumbria ACF, the ‘Carlisle Remembers 1918’ celebrations will include an all-day re-enactment at Carlisle Castle of what life was like in 1918, which is being held on Saturday, 10th November, starting at 11 am. Geoff and the Landmarc team were delighted to be involved, as Geoff explains: “My first thought when I was asked to build the replica tank was how I could ensure it was as close to the real thing as possible. So, we bought a one-to-35 scale model and simply multiplied everything up by 35. The models are pretty realistic, so it meant I could really focus on all the details.
“I’m really proud to have been asked to build the tank. It’s almost complete now and has been constructed in sections so that it can be transported more easily and positioned in pride of place right in the centre of the castle.”
Colonel Anthony Steven added: “I knew that Geoff and the team at Landmarc were highly skilled in building some incredibly realistic targets for military training practice. So, when the idea for recreating the Mark IV tank that was outside Carlisle Castle’s gates for many years came up, I called RAF Spadeadam and got talking to Geoff. After just three minutes on the phone, I could tell that he was up for this and it’s been a fantastic experience working with him and the Landmarc team to realise this ambition.
“The attention to detail is amazing and I can’t wait to see the finished replica taking centre stage at our Armistice Day celebrations, where it will be joined by a genuine World War One supply lorry and a tank crew in period uniforms. My thanks and admiration go to Geoff and the team for creating this poignant reminder of the sacrifice made by so many during the Great War.
“We’ve already got an army of volunteers that will be helping us to bring the Castle to life on the 10th November and we hope to see many local residents and visitors joining us for a day of celebration and remembrance.”
On the day, visitors will be able to experience soldiers being trained for battle and the wounded treated in a military hospital, along with a trench reconstruction and other attractions.
To find out more about the Carlisle Remembers 1918 commemorations, please visit the Facebook page @carlisleremembers1918