He had married Rose Loewe two months earlier in July and presented her with the ring after he recovered.Lt Henriques went on to serve with distinction at the Battle of Cambrai and on other fronts.After being demobbed in 1919 he dedicated his life to social work, and particularly the social welfare of children.He set up boys clubs for deprived Jewish children and from 1923 until 1950 the philanthropist sent youngsters to his country home in Buckinghamshire for rest and recuperation.He was also a magistrate and the former Berner Street in Whitechapel, East London, was renamed Henriques Street in his honour.Mr Willey said: “Basil Henriques joined the new tank unit with his old school friend George Macpherson who was killed on the day of the first attack. Lieutenant Sir Basil Henriques had the ring mounted in a gold ring which he then gave to his new bride, RoseCredit:TheTankMuseum/BNPS This is one of our smallest objects on display but certainly one of the most moving and is proving to be one of the most popular.David Willey, curator Lt Henriques, who was knighted in 1955 for his dedicated work for the social welfare of children, died in 1961 aged 71.His widow later donated the treasured ring to the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset, where it has been held in their archives ever since.This year marks the centenary of the first use of the tank in action at the Somme and archivists stumbled upon the delicate item while trawling through their collection to research early tank pioneers.The unique ring has now been given a polish and put on display at the museum and will also be on show at Trafalgar Square in London on September 15 when a fully working Mk IV tank will be driven to mark the 100th anniversary.David Willey, the curator at the museum, said: “Our tanks are always going to have a presence and draw but objects like this ring help tell the personal stories of the men and their experiences. “He later wrote movingly about how lonely he was without George who was a ‘marvellous companion’ and he felt ‘blank’ and ’empty’ without him.”Tanks were developed in great secrecy and the first volunteer crews – including Henriques and Macpherson – didn’t know what they were actually volunteering for.”Conditions were awful inside with eight men to operate them in temperatures of 50 degrees C (122F) with a deafening noise, a top speed of three mph at the very best – and drawing German fire.”Carrier pigeons were taken on board to relay messages but often the carbon monoxide in the fumes left them too debilitated to fly.”Two out of every ten tank crew were killed and many others were wounded and it’s important we remember their contribution.”The first tank attack was not a great success, many tanks broke down and others lost their way, but a few made a real difference.”We have researched the lives of these eight early tank pioneers for our exhibition that marks the centenary, and their personal stories can’t help but powerfully bring home the nature of this new type of war.” The Mark I female C6 ‘Cordon Rouge’ at Albert, 15 September 1916Credit:TheTankMuseum/BNPS A poignant ring made from a shard of glass that struck a First World War tank commander when his periscope took a direct hit has been unearthed 100 years later.Lieutenant Sir Basil Henriques was peering into the viewpoint during the first outing of the Mk I tank on the battlefield when artillery fire struck a glass prism that shattered, sending splinters into his face.Medics later removed the pieces and the officer kept the largest part and had it mounted in a gold ring which he then gave to his new bride, Rose. “For us now it seems amazing that after a day of such terror, confusion and loss Henriques was able to think of his new wife and make a present to her out of something that had nearly blinded him.”This is one of our smallest objects on display but certainly one of the most moving and is proving to be one of the most popular.”Lt Henriques came from a prominent Jewish family and was educated at Harrow and Oxford University.He served in the Tank Corps in the First World War and took part in the Battle of Flers on September 15, 1916. The action was part of the greater Battle of the Somme but was known for the first time tanks were used.The British invented the ‘land ships’ a year before as a solution for getting troops across shell holes, trenches and quagmire of No Man’s Land.Military top brass pretended the hulking vehicles were large water carriers and called them tanks as a result to hoodwink German spies as they thought the name land ship was too obvious.When the huge machines first appeared in the battlefield a terrified German soldier is said to have shouted ‘the devil is coming’ upon seeing them for the very first time.One of the men inside the first tanks was Lt Henriques who suffered severe facial wounds when it took a direct hit. Despite his injuries he managed to get the tank back to base. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.