Military => Military Personnel => Topic started by: HERB COLLECTOR on November 15, 2011, 21:25:00

Title: Royal Dockyard Corps
Post by: HERB COLLECTOR on November 15, 2011, 21:25:00
In early 1847 several dockyards throughout England formed battalions (also called brigades) of volunteers ready to defend their yards in time of war.
These were first known as 'Dockyard Corps' with the title 'Royal' being added a little later. Also known as the Dockyard volunteers.
Units were formed from adult employees of the dockyards, the officers recruited from senior members and Royal Marine offices appointed as adjutants.
Drills were held in the evening under the direction of retired RM instructors. Pay to the rank and file was one shilling per evening.
In Kent brigades were formed at Chatham, Deptford, Sheerness and Woolwich. The officers bearing commissions dated 1st June 1848.
At some point the Deptford brigade became a battalion of artillery.
On formation the Sheerness brigade had 890 men under the command of Colonel Read, master shipwright.
Title: Re: Royal Dockyard Corps
Post by: peterchall on November 15, 2011, 21:39:56
A fascinating piece of news. Do you know how long they lasted and what became of them?
Title: Re: Royal Dockyard Corps
Post by: HERB COLLECTOR on November 15, 2011, 22:45:20
A fascinating piece of news. Do you know how long they lasted and what became of them?
It seems they were allowed to run down, and they disappear from the Army list in 1857.
The unit on Malta however, continued until 1872.
I will post some uniform details later, I am just searching the internet looking for a drawing, no luck.
Title: Re: Royal Dockyard Corps
Post by: mikeb on November 19, 2011, 11:58:43
From Presnail - The Story of Chatham:-

"In 1847, a Dockyard Battalion was formed and the corps supplied with arms. Those serving were to be paid 6d. an hour"

I presume this refers to the Royal Dockyard Corps? It also sounds like good money, for the day, to me!
Title: Re: Royal Dockyard Corps
Post by: peterchall on November 19, 2011, 12:33:55
6d then is about 19 today - it seems excellent pay!
Title: Re: Royal Dockyard Corps
Post by: HERB COLLECTOR on February 01, 2012, 22:57:57
Royal dockyard Corps, uniform.

Dark blue double-breasted tunic with red collar, cuffs and epaulettes, sixteen gilt buttons down the front, four buttons on the rear skirt of the tunic and two smaller buttons on each cuff.
Belt of black leather with gilt snake clasp. Trousers dark blue with red stripe on outside of legs.
The original headdress was a dark blue shako with black peak, gilt chin chain and brass shako plate topped by white over red tuff ball. The plate showing a crowned wreath with scroll below inscribed "Royal Dockyard Battn", inside the wreath was a fouled anchor.
Shortly after formation the shako was replaced with a spiked home service style helmet.

Officers uniform was similar, but with gold lace epaulettes and gold embroidered grenades on the collar.
Belt clasp rectangular gilt plate with fouled anchor surrounded by crowned wreath superimposed on crossed flags.
Officers swords were of naval pattern with slightly curved blades 31 ins long.

The men were armed with carbines and sword bayonets.

A list of officers of the Sheerness, Chatham, Woolwich and Deptford Brigades (Dockyard Volunteers) can be found @
http://www.edinburgh-gazette.co.uk/issues/5766/pages/338/page.pdf (http://www.edinburgh-gazette.co.uk/issues/5766/pages/338/page.pdf)
As issued by the War Office July 1848.
Title: Re: Royal Dockyard Corps
Post by: Leofwine on February 02, 2012, 01:45:13
The regiment referred to in these two articles would apppear to be the forerunners to the Dockyard Corps:

Newcastle Courant 28 July 1759
The intrenchments at Chatham are now planted with a large number of cannon, two regiments are encamped within the lines and the regiment belonging to the dockyard are become perfect in their exercise.

Derby Mercury 28 Sept 1759
The Dock regiment of shipwright and artificers are now become very expert in the use and exercise of the musket and as they are equally dextrous with the axe and adze should the French land hereabouts they may expect to be chopped into mincemeat.