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Author Topic: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester  (Read 69248 times)

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Offline Steve H

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #95 on: April 06, 2013, 22:39:54 »
I would like to know as well. :)

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #94 on: February 28, 2013, 09:03:54 »
Is there anything left of the fort or has it been completely removed now?
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Offline david

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #93 on: September 26, 2012, 09:50:39 »
Thanks for explaining that STEVEG4HJE. There are many Fort Record Books held within the National Archive in which the commanding officer of a Fort, tasked with producing a history of the establishment which now fell under his command, compiled a history with many inaccuracies of fact. I would respectfully suggest that this may be one such example.

Quote
refers to the Fort as being locally referred to as a Gladstone Folly at the time of its construction

Bridgewoods was commenced in 1879. At this time Gladstone was not with the Treasury or the Office of Works so his connection to the Chatham forts is rather tenuous. He became Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Works in 1885.
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STEVEG4HJE

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #92 on: September 19, 2012, 13:20:02 »
I note the comments made by David in his post 28 August and acknowledge his learned opinion.

There are a couple of things I wish to make clear, however. Firstly the document of mine that has been discovered from an internet search should not be available to public view. It was placed within a private web site belonging to the Medway Amateur Receiving and Transmitting Society, of which I am a member. When this site was removed from use the ISP removed all of the protective features which has allowed it to be seen in the public domain. This was a very early draft of what is now a far larger and more detailed research project into wireless interception work at Fort Bridgewoods, which is my primary interest in the site. Secondly, the waffles on referred to by David and which receives short shrift from him, has as it's primary source document a recently declassified war office document which was written for GCHQ in 1948 as an un-official history of the War Office Y Group by Lt Cdr Ellingworth DSM OBE RN Rtd, who commanded at Bridgewoods from 1935 until 1941. He identifies in his document Palmerson, The Royal Commission and Gladstone, and indeed refers to the Fort as being locally referred to as a Gladstone Folly at the time of its construction. One would suspect that this refers to the political fiscal policy which applied at the time rather than to the nature of the building which is more traditionally referred to as a folly.

Clearly there are differing authorities in any serious research, but one would suspect that Ellingworth perhaps had access to War Office documents and records at the time of his writing, having been in actual command of the site and indeed closely linked to RSME Brompton who had locus for the fabric of the site a long number of years.

My primary interest is in the wireless work that the site became a vehicle for. The short opening page of the draft document just sets the scene of where it took place.

I am very pleased to say that the forum has now allowed me contact with the family of Lionel Atwell Beal, the first commanding officer of intercept work from 1926 to 1934, and for that I am most grateful.
Steve G4HJE

Offline cliveh

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #91 on: September 18, 2012, 16:10:41 »

Does anyone else here know how to trace why an MBE recipient received the award, or maybe even know why Lionel Attwell Beale got his in particular please?

Try the 'London Gazette' search:

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/search

You'll need some idea of the date it was awarded. Not sure if it gives individual detailed citations or just 'for services to ...'


cliveh

Here he is in the 'Edinburgh Gazette' Jan 6 1933:


cliveh

Offline cliveh

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #90 on: September 18, 2012, 15:42:57 »

Does anyone else here know how to trace why an MBE recipient received the award, or maybe even know why Lionel Attwell Beale got his in particular please?

Try the 'London Gazette' search:

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/search

You'll need some idea of the date it was awarded. Not sure if it gives individual detailed citations or just 'for services to ...'


cliveh

Heather Beale

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #89 on: September 18, 2012, 10:24:58 »
I will see what the photos etc. scan like, but I have yet to work out how to upload pdf's on this forum, so give me a few days and I will see what I can do.

I came across this website by accident since I am trying to find out what my Grandfather got his MBE for. The citation does not say and strangely no one in the family seemed to know but I am certain it was for work he was doing at Fort Bridgewood.

Does anyone else here know how to trace why an MBE recipient received the award, or maybe even know why Lionel Attwell Beale got his in particular please?

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #88 on: September 18, 2012, 07:32:04 »
Hi Heather Beale, I for one would love to see the documents you have.  Thank you so much for your kind offer of sharing them!

Heather Beale

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #87 on: September 17, 2012, 17:19:49 »
Geoff B a very interesting series of posts about Knockholt. The Post Officer engineer who built the Collusus was Tommy Flowers and he did so with much of his own money. There was a documentary on the subject on TV recently which covered his part in the development and building of the machine, included a rare interview with Tommy just prior to his death.

I have been researching Fort Bridgewoods and the WOYG intercept station for a number of years now and have recently established the identity of the first officer commanding, a Lieutenant Lionel Atwell Beal MBE who died suddenly in 1934 and is buried in Fort Pitt Military cemetery on City Way Rochester.  His home family home was on Chatham Maidstone Road opposite Fort Horsted.  His wife was the daughter of a Royal Navy Captain and they lived just off Watts Avenue in Rochester.  Beal was a Regular Army Reserve Officer with the Royal Signals and his occupation is described as Radio Engineer.  Indeed upon his taking over as OC at Fort Bridgewoods in 1926 he provided the first interception receiver which he had built himself and it was housed in a tea chest! Beal's father was a well respected consultant surgeon at one of the London hospitals and was still alive in the 1950's.

I am seeking further information about Lionel Atwell Beal MBE so if anyone can help I would be most obliged.
Hello,
I am Heather Beale, Lionel Attwell Beale's grand daughter. Last weekend my father, Lionel John Beale, brought me all his records of his father's work at Bridgewoods, including photographs of the first duplex radio responder (forgive me if I have described that wrong).

If I can help you with information using the documents my father has given me, I am happy to do so. I could ask Dad if he has other knowledge of Lionel Attwell Beale's work, but he was very young when his father died at 39.


Offline david

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #86 on: August 28, 2012, 10:06:02 »
Why would it be "Palmerston's Enigma Wireless Interception"? After all, when Palmerston (Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston) died in 1865, wireless communcation hadn't even been dreamt of...
Good point. I agree.

Quote
Yes, I know somebody is going to say "Oh its because it was located in a "Palmerston Fort",
But they would be wrong. The Chatham forts are not 'Palmerston' Forts.

Quote
"Palmerston Fort" stems from the derogatory term "Palmerston's Follies" coined by those who opposed the construction of fixed fortifcations.
Only partially correct. The term 'Palmerston's Follies' was first given to the forts on Portsdown Hill. I have yet to find the very first use of the phrase in the press. It may even be post Victorian.
Now everyone uses the term 'Palmerston's Follies' in connection with all Victorian forts, which is blatantly incorrect. Even the Maltese call their forts Palmerton's Follies, when they are not Palmerston and not a folly. The Palmerston Forts were those proposed by Lord Palmerston and can be confused with the term 'Royal Commission' forts, which added to them and incorporated pre-Palmerston Defences. Those at Chatham were neither Palmerson Forts, nor Royal Commission Forts. I note that the author has lifted a section from my old Palmerston Forts Society website, in an attempt to explain the connection but this is not applicable to the Chatham forts, which are all 'Post Royal Commission' forts.

It waffles on about the Chatham forts... "in Chatham they became known as
Gladstone’s Folly.." Eh? What's that all about?
None of the forts were follies! I could explain why but it will take a lot of space.

I will get down from my soap box now.  :)

The report is interesting, and probably accurate, where it describes the Enigma Wireless Interception. The Title is misleading and would be better as ''Fort Bridgewood's Enigma Wireless Interception'.
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Offline Andrew401968

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #85 on: August 27, 2012, 17:00:19 »
Why would it be "Palmerston's Enigma Wireless Interception"? After all, when Palmerston (Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston) died in 1865, wireless communcation hadn't even been dreamt of, let alone radio interception and the enigma machine. The title sort implies that he was somehow involved with Enigma Wirless Interception in the 1940's. It's a very sloppy title really. So, what connection does Palmerston have with 1940's radio interception?

Yes, I know somebody is going to say "Oh its because it was located in a "Palmerston Fort", but the title  implies the person rather than the location. However, even if it was the place, it would be inaccurate really, because "Palmerston Fort" stems from the derogatory term "Palmerston's Follies" coined by those who opposed the construction of fixed fortifcations, rather than his direct involvement with the forts. This is especially the case with the Chatham land defences, because they were removed from the orginal construction programme to cut cost. Still, it wouldn't make it "Palmerston's Enigma Wireless Interception".

Plano

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #84 on: August 27, 2012, 14:03:21 »
You might like to read something on Fort Bridgewoods. I found this on google: Palmerston's Enigma Wireless Interception at Fort Bridgewoods. I was able to open the pdf file and it is very comprehensive and interesting. Fort Bridgewoods under Lt. Commander Marshall Ellingworth, a remarkable man! This was a highly regarded WOYG intercept station by Bletchley Park because of their accuracy. Hope that's of interest.

Geoff B

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #83 on: June 12, 2012, 16:47:39 »
Geoff B a very interesting series of posts about Knockholt. The Post Officer engineer who built the Collusus was Tommy Flowers and he did so with much of his own money. There was a documentary on the subject on TV recently which covered his part in the development and building of the machine, included a rare interview with Tommy just prior to his death.

I have been researching Fort Bridgewoods and the WOYG intercept station for a number of years now and have recently established the identity of the first officer commanding, a Lieutenant Lionel Atwell Beal MBE who died suddenly in 1934 and is buried in Fort Pitt Military cemetery on City Way Rochester.  His home family home was on Chatham Maidstone Road opposite Fort Horsted.  His wife was the daughter of a Royal Navy Captain and they lived just off Watts Avenue in Rochester.  Beal was a Regular Army Reserve Officer with the Royal Signals and his occupation is described as Radio Engineer.  Indeed upon his taking over as OC at Fort Bridgewoods in 1926 he provided the first interception receiver which he had built himself and it was housed in a tea chest! Beal's father was a well respected consultant surgeon at one of the London hospitals and was still alive in the 1950's.

I am seeking further information about Lionel Atwell Beal MBE so if anyone can help I would be most obliged.

Thanks for that Steveg4hje. I was in the Fort Pitt cemetery recently  :)

STEVEG4HJE

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #82 on: June 11, 2012, 17:35:54 »
Geoff B a very interesting series of posts about Knockholt. The Post Officer engineer who built the Collusus was Tommy Flowers and he did so with much of his own money. There was a documentary on the subject on TV recently which covered his part in the development and building of the machine, included a rare interview with Tommy just prior to his death.

I have been researching Fort Bridgewoods and the WOYG intercept station for a number of years now and have recently established the identity of the first officer commanding, a Lieutenant Lionel Atwell Beal MBE who died suddenly in 1934 and is buried in Fort Pitt Military cemetery on City Way Rochester.  His home family home was on Chatham Maidstone Road opposite Fort Horsted.  His wife was the daughter of a Royal Navy Captain and they lived just off Watts Avenue in Rochester.  Beal was a Regular Army Reserve Officer with the Royal Signals and his occupation is described as Radio Engineer.  Indeed upon his taking over as OC at Fort Bridgewoods in 1926 he provided the first interception receiver which he had built himself and it was housed in a tea chest! Beal's father was a well respected consultant surgeon at one of the London hospitals and was still alive in the 1950's.

I am seeking further information about Lionel Atwell Beal MBE so if anyone can help I would be most obliged.

Geoff B

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #81 on: April 23, 2012, 13:46:17 »
A correction to message 81. The Fort Halsted Y station should read Knockholt  not Fort Halstead. It would appear from the letter on that site Knockholt handled teleprinter traffic and Fort Bridgewoods handled Enigma morse code traffic. I am sorry for getting the location wrong and the enigma and telerpinter traffic the wrong way
around.


please see this thread on Knockholt.



http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=10466.0

 

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