The British Armour Enthusiast

Phil Loder chats to William Bannister, a military vehicle collector who focuses on armour that served with the British Army in World War Two

William in the commander’s seat of his A27L Centaur at Tankfest in 2023

If you have been to Tankfest or Tiger Day at The Tank Museum recently, then you will probably have seen one or more of the armoured vehicles owned by William Bannister. As well as giving his time as a hands-on volunteer in the museum workshop, William has helped fill gaps in the museum’s running fleet by buying and restoring specific vehicles used by the British Army in World War Two.

William grew up on the Isle of Man with a father who had an engineering background and loved motorcycles, having been an apprentice at Triumph in the 1930s. His father also enjoyed fast cars and raced them in the 1950s. When William was aged about nine or ten his parents bought him the book Tanks of the World 1915 to 1945 and a lifelong passion was forged.

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