Military => Military Personnel => Topic started by: cliveh on October 01, 2012, 16:50:57

Title: Royal Engineers bridging the Medway
Post by: cliveh on October 01, 2012, 16:50:57
A couple of old postcards c1918 showing the R.E bridging the Medway across to St. Mary's Island.

The first is a pontoon bridge with No.5 Dock pumping station in the background and the second a trestle bridge with No.9 Dock pumping station in the background.

cliveh
Title: Re: Royal Engineers bridging the Medway
Post by: smiffy on December 29, 2017, 12:48:50
I'm wondering where the location of this RE pontoon bridge is. It looks to me as though the view is toward Upnor, but I might well be wrong. I have no date, although I would suggest pre 1900.
Title: Re: Royal Engineers bridging the Medway
Post by: mikeb on December 29, 2017, 17:52:42
Excellent photo smiffy. Brave lads to stay on the bridge whilst the paddle tug passed through the "gate"!

I agree with you that the photo was taken from the Dockyard towards Upnor.

I think the tug is one of the Dromedary class of the Navy (sometimes they flew the Blue, sometimes the White Ensign). They were built 1897/1899 so you estimate of date is not far out. I have found at least three that served on the Medway, Diligent at Chatham, Advice & Cracker at Sheerness.
Title: Re: Royal Engineers bridging the Medway
Post by: bromptonboy on January 03, 2018, 16:33:11
The pontoon bridge goes ashore at the Upnor side onto the RE Bridging Hard which is still there and now used by the RE Boat Operations School. On the Dockyard side they used the area roughly where the MHS homes building is now. A bridge at this point goes right back to the Napoleonic period when the 'Communication Bridge' was built to allow fast transfer of troops across the Medway. A similar bridge existed across the Thames at Gravesend to allow fast transfer of troops from Essex into Kent.
Title: Re: Royal Engineers bridging the Medway
Post by: smiffy on January 03, 2018, 18:55:20
An extract from the 1820 map which shows the communication bridge.
Title: Re: Royal Engineers bridging the Medway
Post by: conan on January 03, 2018, 19:41:32
Looks like it was replaced by a ferry,marked private ferry here.

(https://i.imgur.com/QiQSPbkl.png)