News:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.  (Read 93381 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline classof68

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Appreciation 0
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #108 on: November 21, 2017, 21:24:48 »
Some great photos etc on here, thanks everyone for giving a fine history of the RNB. 

I thought I'd pay a return visit for the first time since passing out of part 2 training in early 1969....2-part video on Youtube.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af6k_-XHB5s&t=289s


Offline Bilgerat

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1028
  • Appreciation 238
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #107 on: October 11, 2017, 21:48:04 »
While I was in the Medway Towns Sea Cadets (back when wheels were square and Noah was a small boy), the unit was based in Hawke Block (now demolished). As part of the closure of HMS Pembroke, the Sea Cadet unit moved into the block facing Khyber Road (I don't remember what it was called). Along with some of the adult instructors, we had a look around the unit's proposed new home and I remember there was an indoor, 25 yard firing range in the basement.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline dbeard105

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Appreciation 0
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #106 on: October 11, 2017, 13:56:20 »
Which raises the question of what uses these buildings were put to in earlier years?

According to ‘The Story of HMS Fisgard by Lieutenant P J Payton “The old Detention Quarters outside the Naval Barracks had been converted for their (the boy Artificers) accommodation and, although a considerable distance from the Mechnical Training Establishment on St Mary’s Island, was considered part of the M.T.E. rather than an annex to the Barracks.” Words in italics are mine.

So the Fisgard Block was previously a detention quarters, but it would be fascinating to know for how long and what was its history before then.

And the building housing the M.T.E on St Mary’s Island was apparently originally called the Steam Reserve Factory.


Interesting side-note. The foundations of the blocks are the actual walls of the fortification ditches hence the unusual layout of the blocks. I have been through the cellars and the ditch walls are apparent as is the magazine under the parade ground.

Offline bromptonboy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 695
  • Appreciation 34
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #105 on: October 11, 2017, 11:34:50 »
Interesting side-note. The foundations of the blocks are the actual walls of the fortification ditches hence the unusual layout of the blocks. I have been through the cellars and the ditch walls are apparent as is the magazine under the parade ground.

Offline mikeb

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 522
  • Appreciation 27
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #104 on: October 10, 2017, 18:09:07 »
When I started as an apprentice engine fitter in 1960, Collingwood was our "home". One side of the quad, (what do you call a quad with three sides?) was the Dockyard School, and opposite was for "hands on" training. Upper floor for filing, sawing, scrapping, stripping down and rebuilding pumps etc, lower floor lathes, drilling machines etc. We apprentices ran a social club there for a while with a bar & dances etc. Lunch times we would explore the derelict St Mary`s Barracks.

Offline dbeard105

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Appreciation 0
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #103 on: October 10, 2017, 13:41:58 »
Many thanks smiffy

My Dad also started his training at Pembroke, but in 1933, a year later than yours.

You can get a good view of the Fisguard blocks as they are now via Bing maps:

Offline dbeard105

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Appreciation 0
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #102 on: October 10, 2017, 13:27:49 »
Many thanks bromptonboy for the very edifying post, which has made things very much clearer, particularly now that I know the parade ground was more or less triangular, not rectangular as I had assumed. I have since found one reference to a triangular ‘quad’ in some humorous prose from one of the ‘Boyarts’. And the route through the barracks and across the finger of land between the two basins is now much more obvious.

Now that I know the buildings still exist I have successfully used Google Earth to identify them - very appropriate that they are still be used by cadets.

One remaining challenge is to identify which building(s)  on St Mary’s Island was used as workshops. It could be one of the unidentified buildings on the referenced map. However on an adjoining map of similar vintage (1931) at http://maps.nls.uk/view/101428212 there is a building described as a machinery shop which is also one potential candidate.

Thanks again

Offline smiffy

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 931
  • Appreciation 60
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #101 on: October 10, 2017, 13:21:53 »
My Dad also started his training at Pembroke, but in 1933, a year later than yours.

You can get a good view of the Fisguard blocks as they are now via Bing maps:

Offline bromptonboy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 695
  • Appreciation 34
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #100 on: October 10, 2017, 09:56:22 »
The attached plan is perfect for your purposes. The accommodation blocks for HMS Fisgard can be seen about a third of the way down a vertical centre-line. They appear as a triangle of three blocks around a large parade ground. Just above them are the large accommodation blocks of HMS Pembroke. Between the two barracks ran Cumberland Road to which the Fisgard blocks had a gated access. At its east (right-hand) end there was a gate into the Pembroke Barracks. From the barracks there was a gate into the Dockyard which almost lined-up with the finger of land between the number two and three basins which are the centre and right hand ones of the three shown. This is where the bascule bridge was located that gave access across the basins to the workshops on St Mary's Island. This marching route meant that the columns would not have to march onto Dock Road and mix with the Dockyard traffic.

The buildings of the old Fisgard establishment are still standing although now they are within the security perimeter of Brompton barracks. Since the Dockyard closed they have been nominally under the control of the South East Reserve Forces Association and used for a variety of reserve and cadet forces activities including RNR, RMR, TA, Sea Cadets, Royal Marine Cadets and Army Cadets. For a short period a few years ago the south block was used as overflow accommodation for troops undergoing training in the Royal School of Military Engineering.

Now known as the "Collingwood Triangle" the blocks are gradually being vacated by the remaining units prior to a decision on the future of them.

Offline dbeard105

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Appreciation 0
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #99 on: October 10, 2017, 06:51:06 »
Apart from my introductory post, this is my first post on this Forum, so my apologies in advance if I don’t get it right or stray off topic.

An interesting post bromptonboy which directly relates to my current attempts to research my father’s time at the Fisgard Block in the 1932-36 period, and gain an understanding of the physical layout of Fisgard and associated buildings. I’m posting several pictures that I inherited from Dad. I’ve also found a map dated 1932-33 at the National Library of Scotland at http://maps.nls.uk/view/101428518 which looks as though it might help me, but because of my lack of knowledge of the area I am unable to interpret it.

Apart from some photos Dad never left any record of his time there, but from several  contemporary accounts it appears that the buildings were built of red brick and there were three or four of them enclosing a parade ground. The entrance to Fisgard was via a main gate and guard room, and across the road from the gate was the Naval barracks apparently at a lower level. Apprentices lived and paraded at Fisgard Block but worked and trained in workshops on St Mary’s Island and to get there they marched from the Fisgard Block, across the road, through the barracks into the dockyards and then crossed a bascule bridge onto the Island (Unknown artists impression below). Total marching time was about 20 minutes and they did the return trip twice a working day come rain or shine!

So, I have a number of questions which I’m hoping Forum members can help me with:
1. Can the Fisgard Block, and the route to the workshops, and the workshops themselves be identified from the map at the link, or are there other maps from the time that might help answer this question
2. Does anyone have a map of the Fisgard Block itself?
3. Are any of the original buildings still standing, and if so what are they used for?
Apart from these specifics any information which members might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated.


It would appear that Artificer training was a part of the new HMS Pembroke from the day it was built using workshops in the Dockyard for training. The idea for a specialised department to train engineers for an increasingly mechanised navy came from the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir John Fisher. By early 1903 he had become concerned that the Imperial German Navy represented a threat to the interests of the Royal Navy, which might be in danger of being overtaken in seagoing technical expertise. He initiated a programme whereby engineers and artificers could be trained for service in the navy, and within two years the navy had established training centres in the major naval bases of Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth. In 1930 all Artificer training was centralised at Chatham and located ashore in the former Naval Detention Barracks, renamed as Fisgard Block, on the hill just behind the main Pembroke Barracks. It remained there until 1939 when the threat of enemy bombing saw its relocation to Torpoint never to return.

Offline cliveh

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1235
  • Appreciation 154
    • Kent's Historical Sites
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #98 on: April 13, 2016, 15:53:12 »
I think the 'ER' in this case was King Edward VII who was on the Throne when the Barracks were built in 1901 :) (still should have put it on straight though!)

cliveh

Offline conan

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 994
  • Appreciation 74
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #97 on: April 13, 2016, 15:21:47 »
I would have thought that the Navy would have put the queens E on the crest above the fireplace on straight  :)
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline cliveh

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1235
  • Appreciation 154
    • Kent's Historical Sites
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #96 on: April 13, 2016, 08:41:44 »
Some recent shots of the Wardroom:

cliveh

merc

  • Guest
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #95 on: November 07, 2015, 14:36:32 »
I have seen recently that the HMS Pembroke swimming pool, which has been fenced off and unused for many years, is now undergoing building work. Not sure if will be still used as a swimming pool., Anyone know what the university are doing with it?

The old swimming pool and skittles alley building is being converted into a Student Union Hub, GP.

https://www.gkunions.co.uk/studenthub/

Offline GP

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 157
  • Appreciation 11
Re: HMS Pembroke, Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham.
« Reply #94 on: November 06, 2015, 20:56:14 »
I have seen recently that the HMS Pembroke swimming pool, which has been fenced off and unused for many years, is now undergoing building work. Not sure if will be still used as a swimming pool., Anyone know what the university are doing with it?

 

BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines