A loud and restored M41 Walker Bulldog tank will lead the Huntly dawn parade for the first time.

The 1950s tank which once stood in pride of place along SH1 in Horotiu was purchased by the Armoured Museum Trust in Huntly two years ago and has been lovingly restored.

The 23T tank, named Annihilator, made its debut appearance at the Frankton Thunder Event in March and will now lead veterans as they walk from Huntly RSA on William St to the Huntly Domain on Wright St tomorrow morning for the Anzac day commemorations.

The M41s were used in the Army between 1960 and 1980 before they were replaced by the FV101 Scorpion, which were sold off in 2000.


Armoured Museum Trust committee member Andrew McAlley said since the trust acquired the tank two years ago the whole aim has been for it to be part of the Anzac service.

He said the tank had links with the Waikato as territorial units were the last to use them before they were sold.

"That vehicle was used by the local territory units and that vehicle sat for a long time immobile on the side of SH1 near Horotiu."

The restoration was privately funded and involved a lot of work from trust members.

As well as the tank, the trust also maintains a number of armoured vehicles and Jeeps stored in a specialist hangar.

Only 217 M4 Walker Bulldog tanks were made and the Huntly one was 213.

World War II Jeeps and a light tank weighing 8T have previously been part of the Anzac service, but this is the first time a tank has led it.

McAlley said while there were other M4 tanks in New Zealand - including one on display in Waiouru - this was the only one currently running and featuring in a parade tomorrow.

The tank is being driven by a former soldier and an Afghan veteran is the top crew man. The tank will be parked beside the cenotaph with its gun dipped as a show of respect during the service before returning to the Huntly RSA.