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War Department (WD) Census Numbers

 

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RAM (CRUISER) TANK NUMBERING

Ram tanks were numbered in three ways; a shop number; a TKC number; and, a War Department census number.

The shop number identified the consecutive number assigned to the chassis through the built process. This number is stamped, in one-inch high numbers, on the cylindrical mudflap support that spans the front of the chassis. Unfortunately, these marks were not stamped very deeply and are often obscured by repeated coats of paint or by oxidation. In many cases the support is missing completely. In these cases a specific WD number cannot be determined although the features of the tank (pistol ports, etc...) will permit identification within a range of numbers. The shop number should not be confused with the casting numbers. With the exception of the first 31 tanks Rams left the factory in rough numerical order according to their shop number.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
The meaning of the TKC number has not been positively identified. It is the author's belief that it refers to a shipping control number. The TKC may represent TanK Control number. The author bases this on a similar number noted on a Skink Anti-aircraft tank which displays an SKC number which may represent SkinK Control number. Recognizing that this is pure conjecture I welcome any other theories. The TKC number is often seen painted on recently delivered Rams either with or without a War Department census number. The TKC number was limited to the UK and was not used in North West Europe on Command / Observation Post tanks or on Kangaroos, 17-pdr towers or armoured ammunition carriers.
(Received from Roger Lucy, 10 December 2009: I have found confirmation of this (RG24 vol 2599 file 3352-11 vol.4) that it was indeed a shipping number. It was allocated by Longue Pointe Ordnance Depot (near Montreal) before the tanks were shipped from Canada, and the numbers were allotted sequentially so, for example the first 38 Rams Is shipped from Canada received TKC numbers 1-38. The number was painted on the tank (which was consigned to CANMEC) and inscribed on its packing sheet. Is it possible that TKC stood for TanK Cruiser?  The first Ram I's to be shipped overseas left Canada on 20 January and arrived 5 March, the rest had been sent by 9 February.)

The War Department (WD) approved blocks of numbers for all vehicles in their employ. Early in the war Canada agreed to a similar numbering scheme but insisted on the use of the letter "C" as a prefix. In the WD numbering scheme tanks of all types were allotted a "T" prefix. In Canadian useage this became a "CT" number and most Ram tanks will display this number on one or both sides and on the rear. In order to identify factory modifications it was important that the "CT" number be consecutive. This would allow CMHQ to identify ranges of tanks that used the same parts, etc...

With the exception of the first 31 tanks which left the shop in no particular order, all subsequent tanks have a direct corelation between the shop number and the "CT" number. According to the 1943 Ram II Instruction and Maintenance Manual* for shop numbers between 32 and 1157 this corelation can be determined by adding 39780 to the shop number. For Ram IIs with shop numbers between 1158 and 1949 you must add 158244 in order to determine the "CT" number. To determine the "CT" numbers for Ram Command and OP tanks with shop numbers between 1 and 24 add 202112 and for shop numbers between 25 and 84 add 205097

* Thanks to Bill Miller of CanadianKangaroos.ca for brininging this manual, and the information on WD numbering, to my attention.

 

Allocation of WD Census numbers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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