Roll of Honour

Private

George Munro Mann

Student

George was born on the 13th March 1894 in Avoch, Ross-shire. His father, also George, was deceased before he matriculated at Glasgow University in 1913 to study Engineering, the son of Christina, a farmer’s widowed daughter also from Avoch. His first year classes included Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and Mathematics, as well as Laboratory Instruction. His exam results in March 1914 show that he was among the best in his year.

Image of George Mann

George returned for a second year and enrolled in Mathematics, Engineering Laboratory and Drawing, and Geology. George lodged at 10 Caird Drive, Partick, Glasgow. He may also have taken classes at the Royal Technical College. A promising engineer, he was supported by a bursary from the Royal Highland Society. By the time the Spring exams of 1916 came round again, however, he had volunteered.

The Machine Gun Corps was formed in October 1915 and became the Heavy Branch in 1916, later the Royal Tank Regiment. Crews of the prototype tanks trained in secret. This was the unit George served with. Tanks were the British governments’s secret weapon, unleashed for the first time at the Somme in the hopes of surprising and breaking the German line. It was at Fleurs on the 15th September 1916 that they began that historic rumble across the battlefield.

Private George Mann’s tank, number 14, D6, had failed to reach the starting point that day, ditched in a support trench. After it was dug out it proceeded onwards and into Guedecourt but was stopped again at Grid trench when it encountered an obstacle. Two of the crew got out to inspect when the tank took a direct hit from artillery fire. Private George Mann was killed on the 16th September, aged 22, with all his crew. Their nickname was ‘the Suicide Club’ on account of their high casualties. Private George Mann is remembered at Thiepval among those with no known grave.

Comments and Citations

University of Glasgow Registry, Faculty and General Council Records (GUAS Ref: R8/5/34/6, R8/5/35/6 and R5/6/3).