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Historic WWII tank returns to Burton upon Stather

The 1943 Mark 9 DD Valentine tank arriving into Burton upon Stather
Image caption The 1943 Mark 9 DD Valentine tank is thought to be the only one remaining in the world

A secret military vehicle which was based in North Lincolnshire during World War II has returned to its former home.

Local historians organised for the amphibious 1943 Valentine tank to return to the village last weekend.

The small rural village of Burton upon Stather was a base for top secret military planning.

The Mark 9 DD Valentine is thought to be the last remaining fully operational tank of its kind in the world.

It was paraded through the village and displayed at the Ferry House pub before making its way to the historic military ramp on the nearby river bank.

'Very emotional'

Because of its terrain, flow and width, the nearby banks of the River Trent were found to be similar enough to that of the Rhine in Germany for testing the tanks.

Craig Allison, the chairman of Burton upon Stather Heritage Group, said: "It was great, very emotional. There's been a lot of hard work and fundraising to get the tank here and to finally see it here, it was fantastic."

About 500 people saw the 17-tonne tank arrive for one day - which cost the group £650 to transport on a low-loader lorry from Wolverhampton where it is currently based.

One of the visitors was David Gibb, who was a vehicle mechanic at Burton upon Stather during World War II.

He said: "It's unbelievable that to think this was stationed here at one time. I didn't do a lot of tank driving, I was a mechanic at that time but it was impossible to think that these could come back on the road."

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