During Airfix Model World’s recent visit to The Tank Museum at Bovington for the Model Expo show, there was sufficient time for a walk-round of the major exhibits, including this seemingly innocuous Mk.A Whippet, serial A259 ‘Caesar II’. However, on investigation, it’s a rather famous vehicle, being the mount of Lieutenant Cecil Harold Sewell, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) on August 29, 1918.
His actions included climbing out of Caesar II and crossing open ground (while under enemy machine gun fire) to rescue the crew of another Whippet, which had become stuck in a shell hole and subsequently caught fire. Unaided, he cleared mud from the vehicle’s access hatch to free the crew, before noting one of his own crew lying wounded behind Caesar II. Lt Sewell then returned to his tank, again traversing open ground, during which he was hit by enemy fire…he was then hit fatally while giving first aid to his injured crew member. His selfless and gallant actions, all undertaken during a period of heavy enemy fire, resulted in him being awarded the VC posthumously; the medal is also on display at The Tank Museum.
Those seeking further information on The Tank Museums events and shows (including the famous Tiger I 131) can visit: