The ‘Water Buffalo’ LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked) was used by the British and Commonwealth forces in North-West Europe in 1944/45 both in seaborne landings, in flooded areas of Holland and Germany and river crossings like the Rhine in March 1945. The Buffalos were normally operated by units in the 79th (Armoured) Division. It could hold 24 men or a Jeep or even Bren Carrier, and could cross water at up to six knots. It had fire support from machine-guns and also often a 20mm cannon, but lacked real armour to protect its cargo. However, it proved very useful in the North West Europe Campaign.
This particular Buffalo was operated by 4th Royal Tank Regiment and was training on the Maas river on 5th March 1945 for the Rhine crossing when it got into difficulty and sank. Two of its four crew were killed; Trooper Philip Edwin Harding and Trooper Stanley Clark. Harding was buried nearby but Clark’s body was never found and he is commemorated on the Groesbeek Memorial.
The sunk Buffalo LVT was finally recovered in 1977 and then renovated to be moved to its present location where it acts as a memorial to British and Commonwealth troops who fought in the area in WW2.