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Historic amphibious vehicle unearthed in Crowland

An ambitious project has successfully unearthed an 'amphibious vehicle' that has been buried under the ground in Crowland for more than 70 years.

The Buffalo was dispatched to the town to help assist with a serious flood in 1947 - but was carried away by waters and sunk into the ground, where it has stayed ever since.

A team of about 50 people - including Crowland Cranes, North Level Internal Drainage Board and Tear’s Recovery - were involved in peeling back the layers of history in a project that was the brainchild of farmer Daniel Abbott.

The amphibious vehicle being removed in Crowland. Photo by Chris Lowndes.
The amphibious vehicle being removed in Crowland. Photo by Chris Lowndes.

Mr Abbott (41) said: "I still can't really believe we have done it. It's a bit overwhelming really."

The vehicles - which were personnel carriers and not tanks - were thought to have been involved in operations to cross the Rhine in the Second World War before finding a new mission after the war.

In total, 30 such vehicles were sent to Crowland - and several are still buried and form part of the flood defences.

The 1947 floods came after a combination of heavy snow, a sudden thaw, high tides, rain and wind, causing the River Welland to break its banks.

According to reports in the Lincolnshire Free Press and our sister newspaper, the Spalding Guardian, from 1947, some Crowland residents were made homeless, others saw their homes flooded and farmers found thousands of acres of crops under water at a time when rationing was still in force.

See Tuesday's Lincolnshire Free Press for a full feature.

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