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Author Topic: Fort Clarence  (Read 95920 times)

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Offline cmapley

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #141 on: October 01, 2018, 16:11:13 »
I'm doing some research into Fort Clarence for the heritage preservation module of my archaeology degree, okay I'm at the University of the Highlands in Elgin but being Medway born and bred I couldn't resist a Medway fort!

Conventional wisdom including the English Heritage archaeological report states that the "lunatic asylum" at Fort Clarence in 1845, this morning I came across an article in the British Medical Journal for 1901, an obituary in fact regarding an assistant surgeon one William Sedgwick Saunders being gazetted to the military hospital at Fort Clarence in 1849. Does this mean that the lunatic asylum existed for a while concurrently with the new prison? Perhaps rather than just closing the asylum on a given date the patients were moved over a period of several years?

I am minded that Chatham and Gillingham of the time housed a large military population many of whom would have manifested mental health conditions leading to Clarence being at least temporarily retained as a mental hospital for a short period.

the article mentioned may be viewed on Page.248 of the 26th January 1901 edition of the British Medical Journal.


My research also turned up many other articles concerning Fort Clarence military prison including one of deliberate self-wounding reported in "Good Words" (Sept 1st 1870, page 600) a Methodist magazine aimed at the Victorian soldier:

Major Edwards, the Governor of the Military Prison, Fort Clarence. "We had here recently a soldier who had in his youth been in a reformatory. On leaving this he began a career of crime, which was followed with the usual consequences; he spent his time in and out of gaol till, becoming tired of tramping, begging, and thieving, he entered the army, where he nominally served three years. During this period he was tried nine times by court-martial. At length, weary of the frequent imprisonments, he destroyed one of his eyes in a manner too gross and shocking for description. He was again confined in Fort Clarence for six months, and then discharged from the service."

I should also have attached two other screen cuts from "The Examiner" of 20th August 1858 (Page.744) in the military intelligence section. The articles mention a flogging but also another punishment I was not aware of still being carried out at this time - branding. In this instance, a deserter Davis attempted to desert and join another unit and was branded on the chest with the letter D.





Offline Leofwine

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #140 on: September 09, 2017, 17:55:04 »
Maidstone Telegraph - Saturday 15 April 1871

The authorities have decided to abolish the military prison at Fort Clarence, Borstal-road, Rochester, the building will be handed over to the Royal Engineer authorities, and a small detachment will be stationed at the Fort, which will be used as a store for camp equipage. This will prove a convenience when the summer camp is formed at Wouldham, higher up on the Medway, for the Royal Engineers to go through the annual course of training in pontooning, as, instead of the camp equipage being conveyed from Chatham and returned thither on the breaking up of the camp, all that is required can be supplied from Fort Clarence, which is not far from the site of the camp.

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Offline AlanH

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #139 on: March 07, 2017, 08:32:56 »
It appears I'm wrong about what others have called Medway Tower. I assumed they were talking about the still existing building on Borstal Road.
AlanH.

Offline smiffy

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #138 on: March 06, 2017, 23:48:11 »
It's on the 1938 OS but not on a photo dated 1946. I assumed it was demolished some time during the war, but was not sure when during the war. Your information indicates it was earlier rather than later.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #137 on: March 06, 2017, 22:37:57 »
I don't know when Medway Tower was demolished, but this photo is dated 1920's.

Medway Tower was demolished at some point between 1936, it appears in the background of a photo of Short S23 Empire Flying Boat 'Canopus' which can be dated to that year, and 1939, by which time the Shorts factory had expanded.
Hometown Blues Syd Arthur

Offline AlanH

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #136 on: March 06, 2017, 08:21:22 »
No I'm not confusing it with anything. That whole area was a playground for myself and others. The old part opposite the grammar school (long gone by the looks of it) and Longley Road was also right next to the home of a friend of mine, an Anglo Indian boy whose dad was in the army. They had quarters up from Maidstone Road behind that old part.
The pathway I'm referring to was to the left of the bit (Medway Tower?) now turned into apartments, up on Borstal Road. We used that path constantly especially later in life as an apprentice at BK if I used the bus (rarely) to/or from Cookham Wood.   
There seems to be far more allotments on what were playing fields and the TA training place where I also went to a shooting club..... all moons ago but the memory of that area is still sharp.
AlanH.

Offline smiffy

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #135 on: March 06, 2017, 03:08:41 »
AlanH,

I looks like you may be referring to reply #130 regarding new brickwork?

Offline smiffy

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #134 on: March 05, 2017, 16:04:28 »
AlanH,
I think you might be confusing this with the guard house on Maidstone Road. Medway Tower was situated on the riverside at the far western end.

Offline AlanH

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #133 on: March 05, 2017, 09:08:11 »
I'm sure that new brickwork is on the pathway which lead up Ethelbert Road past the fort and out to Borstal Road. Looks like it covered a staircase... which didn't bother us as boys as we just climbed up the bricks and followed it around to look down over the road and further round to the playing fields and a training area.
AlanH.



Offline smiffy

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #132 on: March 04, 2017, 15:52:40 »
I don't know when Medway Tower was demolished, but this photo is dated 1920's.

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #131 on: June 01, 2016, 23:15:20 »
Close ups of a plan posted earlier in the thread.










merc

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #130 on: February 09, 2016, 14:39:15 »
Chatham News - Saturday 31 December 1870

Fort Clarence:- The work going on at Fort Clarence for improving the roadway will make a great improvement at a very awkward bend of the road. A new footway under the arches of the fort is being made, and an arch is being thrown over the ditch to carry the new road. The work is being carried out by Messrs. Foord and Sons.

merc

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #129 on: February 09, 2016, 14:30:10 »
War Department Contract.
Notice to builders.

Tenders are required for the following services, Near Fort Clarence, Rochester:-

Altering the archway and roadway, and constructing a new bridge.

Royal Engineer Office,
Chatham, 23rd August, 1870.

merc

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #128 on: September 29, 2015, 11:25:39 »
Some photo's and plans of Fort Clarence and the old military prison:

http://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/archive/archive-collections/englands-places/gallery/6391

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Fort Clarence
« Reply #127 on: August 14, 2014, 10:37:11 »
Nice photos cliveh!I Expect the answer is in this long thread somewhere but what is behind the newer brickwork in the arch and porch-like structure. I take it they're in a ditch. I can just about recall the area in the 1960s and it was very overgrown.

 

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