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Who Was Major Glasfurd Fighting?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedrail_wheel#World_War_I ". . . in June 1914, Major Glasfurd, who was fighting in France, proposed an idea for such a pedrail machine." The War didn't start until August. Or was he just always fighting? Hengistmate (talk) 14:46, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
The Glasfurd Reference - Removed.
The reference to Glasfurd is a) mistaken and b) historically insignificant.
The reference links to Duncan John Glasfurd. Swinton is referring to Duncan's brother, Alexander Inglis Robertson Glasfurd. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/glasfurd-duncan-john-6396
"I discovered later that the author of this scheme, which had been suggested in June, was Major now Colonel, retd.) A.I.R. Glasfurd, of the Indian Army." Footnote, p.152. Eyewitness
The events to which Swinton refers took place in 1915, after he became involved with the Landships Committee, not 1914. That is clearly stated in pages 48-52 of Eyewitness. The passage therefore means that Swinton became aware of the proposal in October 1915 and later learned that it had been "submitted" (although he does not say to whom) in June of that year. That being the case, it is reasonable to assume that it was not thought of sufficient merit to be pursued. Swinton himself points out that Glasfurd's proposal, like Wells's "Land Ironclads", involved the use of Pedrail wheels, a technology that had already been rendered obsolete by the caterpillar track.
I am surprised that closer scrutiny of this passage has not been prompted by the assertion that a Glasfurd, whichever one it might have been, was "fighting in France" in June, 1914. It would be interesting to investigate whom he might have been fighting, since the War didn't start until August.
D.J. Glasfurd (1873-1916) was in the Middle East with the Australian Imperial Force until transferring to France in June 1916, and was KIA in November of that year.
A.I.R. Glasfurd (1870-1928) was an Indian Army officer who was sent to study the battlefields of the Russo-Japanese War in southern Manchuria soon after the war ended. Many countries sent observers to study this war, and the high casualties caused by barbed wire, machine guns, and earthworks were widely reported. It is entirely likely that Glasfurd's thoughts would have returned to this when the scale of casualties in 1914 and 15 became apparent. However, he was by no means alone in this; the War Office received many hundreds of proposals for mechanical means of overcoming the conditions of trench warfare. S also says that the machine was intended to squirt poisonous liquids and carry machine guns, but that "no technical details of the vehicle were given."
I propose to remove the reference altogether, lest we create another Joseph Hawker (who, thanks to Wikipedia, is ubiquitously described as the inventor of the tank but was no such thing). Hengistmate (talk) 14:41, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Not Pedrails . . .
The wheels fitted to the Obice da 305/17 and Big Bertha weren't Pedrails, just footed wheels without the complex system of springs incorporated in the Pedrail system.Hengistmate (talk) 22:09, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
There is a conflation here of the Pedrail Wheel and the Pedrail endless track. They're not the same thing. The endless track was a later development. A small version of it was demonstrated to Winston Churchill, who then authorised experiments under the auspices of the Landships Committee. These led to the Pedrail Machine described in the article. There was no connection with the Pedrail Wheel. Hengistmate (talk) 08:54, 17 December 2012 (UTC)