Churchill AVRE

The subject vehicles for the following photo study are:

  • MkIII AVRE - photographed at the Bovington Tank Museum where it has recently been placed on display following a long period of restoration (to running condition) by Bob Grundy.
  • MkIV AVRE photographed by Hanno Spoelstra and Bob Grimster, located at Graye-sur-Mer.
  • MkIV AVRE photographed by Hanno Spoelstra, located at Lion-sur-Mer.

The above vehicle is Bovington's MkIII AVRE. The slab sided, welded turret makes this vehicle easilly identifiable as being based on a Churchill MkIII.

Note the applique armour panals welded to the hull sides and turret.

In contrast to the previous vehicle here is an example of the more rounded, cast turet, of the MkIV AVRE. Also not the earlier pattern tracks.

Some AVREs were fitted with mountings permitting a variety of specialist engineering attachments to be fitted such as the Canadian Indestructable Roller Device (CIRD) and Farmer plough.

The tow cable should be held above the side escape hatch (for obvious reasons!).

Note that bogies number 2 and 3 are welded together as per the MkVII, this seems to have been a typical modification for AVREs. This photograph also illustrates well the more common form of hull nut incorporated as part ofthe re-work scheme. Compare these with the cone shaped bolt covers of the MkIII AVRE above.

Many D-Day photographs show AVREs with spare suspension bogies mounted on the track guards.