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Fan tan

From The Great War 1914-1918

Fan tan: The name officially given in the War to a tank provided for the British Army by a wealthy Chinese resident and public man in the Malay States, Mr. En Tong Sen, at a cost of £6,000. It was built at Lincoln by Messrs. Foster and then taken to France, where it served throughout the War. The donor, being Chinese, "Fan tan" had an eye painted on each side forward in accordance with the Chinese junk practice:– "No eye, no can see. No can see, no can go," as the Chinese sampan man explained.

Fan-Tan is the universal gambling game among the Chinese, played with a croupier and numbered counters.[1]

References / notes

  1. Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.91.

Glossary of words and phrases

The above term is listed in our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of Great Britain during the Great War. Included are trench slang, service terms, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. These words and phrases are contemporary to the war, which is reflected in the language used. They have been transcribed from three primary sources (see Contents). Feel free to expand upon and improve this content.
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