British tank manufacturers in WW1

Tank manufacture was top secret at the beginning, and their parts and subassemblies were spread around to different companies for security purposes.  This is an incomplete list and probably always will be. If you know of any additions to this list, or have any pictures of or inside the factories, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

William Foster and Company
Built and designed first prototypes and manufactured tanks. Managing director William Tritton along with the Royal Navy's  Lt. Wilson designed the first tanks. The company started building agricultural equipment in 1856, and is now owned by W.H. Allen, Sons and company.

Foster's tank logo

Foster's used a tank logo on it's later agricultural machinery

Picture from Wikimedia contributor BulldozerD11

Mk IV tank built by William Foster and Company

This Mk. IV made by William Foster and Company is in the Museum of Lincolnshire Life


Perkins Engineers Ltd.

Westwood Works, Peterborough

The Company built industrial equipment for the food and printing industries but went into war production in 1914. They built field ovens, Cordite mixers, diesel engines for lorries, tractors, tanks and a 6" howitzer.  This company is often confused with Perkins Engines, a well known builder of diesel engines also  based in Peterborough.

The Perkins Company had many names over the years, during 1914 it was known as Werner Pfleiderer & Perkins Ltd.,  but due to anti-German sentiment the name was changed to Perkins.  Later it became known as Baker Perkins, as it is today.

Pictures courtesy of Dick Preston at WestwoodWorks.net

Tanks in the factory

Tank ready for delivery



Oldbury Carriage and Wagon Co. Ltd.

A railroad car manufacturing concern, built tanks during WW1. They closed down when bought up by:

Metropolitan Carriage Works

Oldbury's tank production was moved to Saltley.

Wm. Beardmore & Co.

William Beardmore built everything, ships, tanks, planes, cars, motorcycles, airships and more.  The company built about 100 Mark IV tanks for the war effort.

Beardmore built tanks

More to come...