THE FAMILY of a decorated First World War serviceman visited The Tank Museum to pay their respects.

Elliot Hotblack, who served during the First World War and received four gallantry awards, is one of those celebrated in The Tank Museum's Tank Men exhibition.

This display traces the stories of eight men during the First World War.

Hotblack's family came to visit the museum and this exhibition, which included a life-size model of the man himself. While on the visit, they also presented the museum's curator David Willey with a bottle of wine from the commune of Cambrai in France.

Cambrai is significant as the site of a famous First World War battle involving a large scale tank advance.

David Willey, said: “Hotblack, who went on to become a Major-General, was one of the most extraordinary early Tank Corps officers.

"He was a boys’ own hero of outstanding bravery but also intelligent, very human and caring.

"We have an exhibition in which his story is told and he is depicted with a life-size model, and this Christmas card adds another angle to his and the other servicemen’s lives."

Hotblack joined the army as an officer in 1914.

He suffered several injuries during the war, firstly in May of 1915 when his left hand was shot be a sniper in the Battle of Festubert.

Later in the war, he received head injuries during the first day of the Battle of Arras in 1917 whereupon he was taken to the safety of a Red Cross Hospital.

In spite of his wounds, he escaped from the hospital and set out to rejoin his fellow servicemen. After struggling through the snow for five miles to get back to HQ.

He was then wounded twice more, in the leg and the head again.

He would go on to receive the Military Cross for gallantry in 1918 - his tank was knocked out during an attack, and although he was injured again, he ensured that all the wounded were taken to safety and organised an infantry defence against the German counter-attack.