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Author Topic: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester  (Read 84410 times)

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Geoff B

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #80 on: April 20, 2012, 13:32:54 »
Sorry regarding the codebreaking work of Fort Bridgewoods I forgot to add the link to Bletchley Park where the codebreaking centre is. Here it is

  http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/content/museum1.rhtm .

It is well worth a visit. The codebreakers are still there and some act as guides. Their work was Top Secret, and only recently has been declassified, and some things can be spoken about. A stunning story.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #79 on: April 19, 2012, 16:38:42 »
I also understand Fort Bridgewood was bombed and an antenna destroyed which put the decodong behind for a few days until it could be repaired.
An army lorry visiting the site was hit and its ATS driver lost both her legs, but it was probably a chance hit rather than a deliberate attack. I heard about it at the time via my dad who worked at the RAOC Depot at Chatham Gun Wharf - I'm not sure whether she was one of the ATS girls who worked with him, but I remember he was quite upset. It happened on 17th October 1940 (OK, my memory is not that good - I looked the last bit up :))
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Geoff B

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #78 on: April 19, 2012, 15:56:19 »
Fort Bridgewoods was also a Y Station in the second world war. Fort Bridgewoods received German coded radio messages, which were sent to Bletchley Park for the codebreakers to work on. The other Y station in Kent was Fort Halstead near Sevenoaks . My understanding was Fort Bridgewoods intercepted the German teleprinter traffic of what became known as the German Tunny Machine. Whilst Fort Halstead picked up Enigma traffic. I got this information from a recent visit to Bletchley Park by one of the codebreakers of the time.

 I also understand Fort Bridgewoods was bombed and an antenna destroyed which put the decoding behind for a few days until it could be repaired. So Kent has this to be proud of as well in its war efforts. The Bridgewoods intercepts were put on a tape, which run on the first ever computer built in the country. This was designed by Tom Flowers from the Post office and Alan Turing. The computer was known as Colossus.

With this operation between Bletchley and Ft Bridgewood it was like having a man in Hitlers bunker so I am told. It was quicker for Hitler to ask Bletchley what was happening rather than his own secret service staff what was happening. Ironically no one had seen a Tunny machine until after the war yet Turing had worked it all out and built one. An amazing story. These 2 Y service stations had picked up and gave intelligence where the German units were prior to D Day. Even their service states. Including if the officers mess needed more wine when German operators got careless sending messages. Their location was also pinpointed. They even got to know the names of German Operators and their wives names by messages. Well done to all the Y station staff at Fort Bridgewood and Fort Halstead and of course the codebreakers at Bletchley Park in this chain. This has been a lovely thread to read and I hope this information has helped to round it off. Ironically the site is a Post Office lorry depot now. It still has a Post Office link to that of Tom Flowers who built the Colossus at Dollis Hill.

martinrogers

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #77 on: April 19, 2012, 10:26:09 »
1883 additions to the defence of the area commanded by Fort Bridgewoods

Swanney

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #76 on: March 13, 2011, 15:15:40 »
It was interesting to see mention of Mr Harry Gange in earlier posts.  He worked with my father as a plumber in the RN Barracks Chatham and I believe he had been in the Royal Engineers previously.   He lived in a bungalow at the fort and had the job of keeping it ready for use should the MOD need it.  Harry gave my father a full tour of the fort (in the 1960's) but I had chicken pox so didn't get to see it unfortunately.

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods, Rochester
« Reply #75 on: March 08, 2011, 16:12:19 »

Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods,Rochester
« Reply #74 on: March 07, 2011, 13:50:40 »
Siege Mining Operations 1907










Offline kyn

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods,Rochester
« Reply #73 on: February 28, 2011, 15:57:52 »
Thank you for adding your photos, it is so good to see more of the Fort before its demolition!

Graham French

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods,Rochester
« Reply #72 on: February 28, 2011, 13:16:42 »
I thought I would share my pictures of Fort Bridgewoods taken 1980 and 1982, In the last image showing the long [5 Arch] Counterscarp Gallery the 8 Rifle slits on the extreme left were back filled with chalk rubble, I summised at the time that this might be the site of one of the breaches into the Fort during the seige operations. This is now confirmed if you look at the image in an earlier post which shows the plan of the seige and the tunnels dug to breach the Counterscarp Gallery.

Graham














Offline peterchall

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods,Rochester
« Reply #71 on: December 01, 2010, 11:51:13 »
Services 145 & 146 were Maidstone and District services after they took over from Chatham and District in 1955. By that time the RN camp had closed.
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Offline AlanH

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods,Rochester
« Reply #70 on: December 01, 2010, 11:01:01 »
I don't remember those huts Peterchall as the woods only seemed to be used to graze sheep at one time. I'm sure the buses to Borstal and Cookham Wood were numbered 146 Cookham Wood and 145 Borstal.
Alan.







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Offline peterchall

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods,Rochester
« Reply #69 on: November 08, 2010, 21:38:52 »
I'm surprised there has been no mention (apologies if there has) of the hutted RN 'barracks' that was built in WW2 to the north of Fort Bridgewoods. It was in the woods opposite the end of The Tideway and the filling station. It was the reason for the diversion of alternate journeys of the 'Chatham & District' Service 5 (Strand to Borstal) to become Service 5A (Strand to Cookham Wood).
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Chatham_Girl85

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods,Rochester
« Reply #68 on: November 08, 2010, 21:17:28 »
if you all mean the plot of land from the road of the prison upto where fort bridgwoods was...there still has nothing built on it. rather overgrown and I have noticed a board mentioning HMS land I think

Offline prb

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods,Rochester
« Reply #67 on: November 08, 2010, 17:24:54 »
A Royal Navy camp part HMS Pembroke,they had the best chestnut trees in the area

MOK

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Re: Fort Bridgewoods,Rochester
« Reply #66 on: November 08, 2010, 14:05:29 »
I always thought as a lad, that the woods behind the fence closest to the Maidstone road (opposite side to the houses) was war dept and guarded, or the like and as such we were frightened to go in there. Probably just childish rumours to keep us Tideway kids off your manor :).
We used to get into the gardens of the Fry house by the bus turn around stop near the garage, that was more like a jungle.
Funny how the childhood fascination of the forts comes through into adult life, I am suprised that tunnels and the like are still so intriguing.
I went right through from the St Margaret street park tunnels into the GPO store room with a mat
e, funny arrangement as there are two tunnels but one just seemed to loop back into the other. I remember looking at all the GPO roadside work shelters stored, felt like the bravest thing I had ever done at the time.

 

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