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Author Topic: Chatham Dockyard workers in Scotland WW1  (Read 129 times)

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Offline Longpockets

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Re: Chatham Dockyard workers in Scotland WW1
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2018, 19:01:57 »
Most interesting, longpockets, thanks. When you consider the number of people involved with the shipping & defences, let alone ship personnel, the logistics for supply of food & other necessities must have been horrendous!

I wonder if we could achieve this today? It always seems that if something needed doing in the past it happened.


Offline CDP

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Re: Chatham Dockyard workers in Scotland WW1
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 13:57:15 »
When I served my apprenticeship in Sheerness Royal Dockyard in 1944 to1949 they were always asking for fitters/turners to go as Overseers to various parts of England /Scotland to inspect (oversee) the work carried out by small firms making metal parts under contract, with very stringent tests. The money  was good compared with the basic pay and added a tick to the box if you were after promotion.
The solution to every problem is a.) time , or  b.) another problem.

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Chatham Dockyard workers in Scotland WW1
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2018, 12:56:20 »
Most interesting, longpockets, thanks. When you consider the number of people involved with the shipping & defences, let alone ship personnel, the logistics for supply of food & other necessities must have been horrendous!

Offline filmer01

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Re: Chatham Dockyard workers in Scotland WW1
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2018, 08:23:07 »
Many thanks Longpockets, that looks like the explanation, and warrants a bit more research.
Illegitimus nil carborundum

Offline Longpockets

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Re: Chatham Dockyard workers in Scotland WW1
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 08:05:36 »
This may be a reason. I have not read the full web page so there may more information there.

The Forth, the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy

Queensferry at War

Warships of the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow ©

The British Grand Fleet, comprising some 200 ships, was based at Scapa Flow at the beginning of WW1. The battle-cruisers moved to Rosyth in December 1914, but it took until April 1918 to make the estuary safe enough for the rest of the Fleet to join them, by which time every significant harbour had been taken over for naval use. This illustrated article, by Andrew Kerr, describes the challenges of protecting and operating this immense armada of ships, and explains its part in the Great War.

Jellicoe fully understood the advantage of moving the whole of the Grand Fleet south from Scapa, but it would be several years before the defences in the Forth could be judged adequate.  It was agreed in 1916, as part of this work, to rebuild the anti-submarine defences completely.  The Dalgety Bay to Cramond Island line was replaced by a double line of anti-boat and anti-submarine nets, slightly to the east, while a line parallel to the shipping lanes between Inchmickery and Hound Point was added.  A completely new line was started, to run from Black Rock, west of Burntisland, and Granton Harbour, and a new outer defence line was also started, to run from Elie in Fife to the island of Fidra, north of Dirleton in East Lothian.  A gap of two miles – known as the Fidra Gap – would be left in the centre of this third line, heavily patrolled on the surface and partially closed with deep nets to stop submarines and, when the Fleet was exercising to the west, the gap would be closed by nets pulled into position by drifters from Granton Harbour.

Burntisland Harbour was taken over to serve as a base for the work.  Very fortunately, we have a photographic record of the construction of these lines, being the contractors’ private album of photographs, purchased by the Naval Historical Branch in Portsmouth in 2007.  It shows how the nets were attached to hawsers slung between wooden dolphins (bundles of piles driven into the sea bed) or, in deeper water, supported by floats and secured between anchored trawlers, requisitioned from the fishing fleet.  This seems to have been the general method of construction, and the line also appears in a wonderful painting by the war artist Charles Pears in 1918 and entitled “The Gate Ship at Granton Painted Scarlet to Indicate the Port Entrance through One of the Barriers across the Firth of Forth”.  We see the gate ship, a merchantman passing through the gate beyond, and the line of dolphins stretching away into the distance, towards the hills of Fife.

All from here

Offline filmer01

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Chatham Dockyard workers in Scotland WW1
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 17:40:01 »
During a bit of Ancestry I found that my great Aunt gave birth to her son in May 1917, and to my surprise it was in Burntisland, Fifeshire. His father was listed in Chatham on 1911 Census as an H.M. Dockyard Shipwright, and in 1939, although living in Balham, was a Carpenter (Shipbuilding).

My question is, does anyone know of a project that would take such skilled men up to the Firth of Forth, obviously not for a short posting if their pregnant wife was there. I discounted any form of minor family trip, a few hundred miles (by train?) in 1917 to a place with, as far as I can tell at the moment, no connection to his family, and certainly not mine seemed unlikely.

The son, a Navy Telegrapher, was unfortunate enough to be on SS Britannia when she was torpedoed on 25 March 1941, and was lost at sea.
Illegitimus nil carborundum

 

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