Percy The WW1 Tank Cat

British tank Somme
Percy
Having just watched a film about the Battle of the Somme I discovered that a black cat called Percy accompanied a tank crew in WW1.

 

 

 

Percy was a black cat who belonged to Harry Drader, he accompanied Harry in his tank throughout the war and both of them survived.

 

On 13th November  Harry lead two tanks to attack isolated location near Beaussart.

 

 

This is what is written in the war diary:

At zero (6.00 am) tanks advanced to the attack and at 50 yards range, Lt Drader opened fire. The tanks still advanced and crossed the first line of the strong point. Simultaneously the enemy hoisted the white flag. The tanks at this moment became ditched and an awkward occasion arose, which was handled splendidly by both officers.  A machine gunner was ordered to watch for any signs of treachery on the part of the enemy and the officers and crews then left the tanks and entered the German trenches with loaded revolvers, then coaxed the enemy out of their dug-outs and after about an hour, the prisoners who numbered about 400 were despatched to the rear with an infantry escort.

I should imagine that there are very few cats that have seen that sort of action!

If you would like to read more please visit http://www.firsttankcrews.com/tankcrewsd20d25.htm

The Imperial War Museum have restored the ‘Battle of the Ancre and the advance of the Tanks’ film. It was filmed in late 1916 as a sequel to the more well known ‘Battle of the Somme’.

This is a clip of it showing a Mk 1 Male tank, the tank crew including Lt Harry Drader and Percy the WW1 Tank Cat.