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World War 1 at Sea

 

TRIBUTE to BRITISH SHIPBUILDING and REPAIR INDUSTRIES 1914-18, including Royal Naval Dockyards and Research Establishments

Part 1 of 3

Advertisement from Jane's Fighting Ships, 1914 (click to enlarge)

on to Part 2, Private Shipyards in the British Isles

 

Researching warships and auxiliaries of the Royal Navy 1914 to 1918, I have been struck by the size of the shipbuilding industry of Britain and the number of naval dockyards. Following is some of the information unearthed, which perhaps deserves to be better known.

 

Without the ships and their continued repair and maintenance, there could not have been a Royal Navy.

 

by Gordon Smith

 


Contents

 

Part 1

 

THE BRITISH SHIPBUILDING INDUSTRY IN OUTLINE

Shipbuilding Skills
Material & Equipment suppliers

 

Part 2

 PRIVATE MERCANTILE & WARSHIP YARDS IN THE BRITISH ISLES, c 1914-18:

Scotland, Clydeside & Approaches
Scotland, East Coast
Ireland
England, North West
England, North East
Wales & England, South West
England, South East
England, South Coast

 

Part 3

ROYAL & NAVAL DOCKYARDS WORLDWIDE

 

Brief History of The Royal Dockyards of the British Isles

Notes on Admiralty Research Establishments

Royal and Naval Dockyards in 1914 – Home and Abroad

 

 


 

 

Part 1. THE BRITISH SHIPBUILDING INDUSTRY IN OUTLINE

 

 

 

SHIPBUILDING SKILLS

From "British Shipbuilding Yards", Volumes 1, 2, 3, by Norman L Middlemiss, 1995

 

Some of the many and often mysteriously-named crafts and skills needed to build and repair the ships:

"Anglesmiths, Blacksmiths, Boatbuilders, Boilermakers, Brass Finishers, Bumpers Up, Burners, Cabinet Makers, Caulkers, Chargehands, Countersinkers, Cranemen, Draughtsmen, Drillers, Electricians, Engineers, Estimators, Fettlers, Fitters, Foremen, Frame Turners, French Polishers, Furnacemen, Holders Up, Iron Saw Men, Joiners, Labourers, Loftsmen, Machinists, Managers, Millwrights, Painters, Pattern Makers, Planers, Platers, Plumbers, Redleaders, Riggers, Riveters, Sailmakers, Sawyers, Scarphers, Stagers, Sheet Metal Men, Shipwrights, Storemen, Toolsmiths, Turners, Welders, Winchmen"

 

 

 

MATERIAL and EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS

 

Information and images are taken from the advertising pages of the 1914 "Jane's Fighting Ships"

Copyright belonged to the individual companies, many of whom are no longer in existence.

 

The technical, commercial and strategic importance of such companies as shipbuilders John Brown, William Beardmore and Yarrows, all on the Clyde, Vickers of Barrow-in-Furness, Cammell Laird of Birkenhead, Armstrongs, Palmers and Swan-Hunters of Tyneside, Thornycroft of Southampton, White's of the Isle of Wight; boiler-makers Babcock & Wilcox and turbine manufacturers Parsons; ordnance companies such as Vickers (again), Coventry Ordnance; and, for example, steelmakers Thos Firth, Hadfield's, Rotherham Forge, all of Yorkshire, can be gauged from how often they appear in the lists that follow.

 

However, many more and often more specialised companies were needed to build the ships, only some of which are listed here. At advertising rates of 25.0s.0d for a whole page in the 1914 Jane's (perhaps 25,000 at current prices), many more commercial companies would not have chosen to advertise themselves in this otherwise prestigious, but warship-orientated annual.

 

The supporting raw material and fuel industries - coal, iron, copper, steel-making, and as World War 1 approached, petroleum drilling, transporting and refining - should also not be overlooked.

 

Until the advent of iron and steel shipbuilding, most of the major ships were built in the south of England, including many famous ones launched on the River Thames, such as Brunel's giant "Great Eastern". Once iron and the related need for coal predominated, most of the expansion in British shipbuilding took place in Scotland and the NE of England towards the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th.

 

DOCKYARD EQUIPMENT & SERVICES - e.g. Cranes, Crane (Floating), Docks (Floating), Drawing Office Supplies, Dredgers, Engines (Fire), Engines (Railway), Fire & Salvage Boats, Ironwork (Constructional), Model Construction, Motor Cars, Tractors, etc, Photographers (Marine), Railway Wheels, Tyres, Rails, etc, Steel Rolling Shutters, Testing Machines

SCOTLAND:

 

ARROL, Sir William & Co, Anniesland, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
BROWN, John & Co, Sheffield, Yorkshire (steel), Clydebank, Dumbartonshire (shipbuilding)
ROBERTSON, David & Co (drawing office supplies), Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Northern (NW & NE) ENGLAND

 

ARMSTRONG, Whitworth & Co, Manchester, Lancashire (steel), Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland (Shipbuilding), Erith, Kent (ammunition)
CAMMELL Laird & Co, Sheffield, Yorkshire (steel), Birkenhead, Cheshire (shipbuilders)
GREENWOOD & Batley Ltd, Leeds, Yorkshire
VICKERS Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness, Sheffield, Yorkshire & Birmingham, Warwickshire (steel), Lancashire (shipbuilding), also Crayford, Dartford, Erith, all in Kent

WALES & MIDLANDS

 

BASSETT-Lowke Ltd (model makers), Northampton, Northamptonshire
EBBW Vale Steel, Iron & Coal Co, Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire
WOLSELEY Tool & Motor Car Co, Birmingham, Warwickshire (motor cars), East Cowes, Isle of Wight (marine engines)

Southern (E, SE & S) ENGLAND:

 

CRIBB, Stephen (marine photographers), Portsmouth, Hampshire
GIBSON, Arthur L, & Co, Twickenham, Surrey
HALL, J & E, London EC & Dartford, Kent
MERRYWEATHER & Sons, Greenwich, Kent
SYMONDS & Co (marine photographers), Portsmouth, Hampshire
THORNYCROFT, John I & Co, Basingstoke & Southampton, Hampshire

 

 

 

 

MACHINE, POWERED & HAND TOOLS - e.g. Drills, Grinding Machinery, Machine Tools, Pneumatic Tools, Stocks, Dies and Taps, Tool Steel and Files, Valve Re-seating Machines, Welding Outfits, Wire Cutters

 

 

Armstrong-Whitworth, John Brown, Cammell Laird, Greenwood & Batley, Vickers

plus: 

SCOTLAND

 

CRAIG & Donald Ltd, Johnstone, Renfrewshire

NW ENGLAND

 

HULSE & Co, Manchester, Lancashire
LUKE & Spencer, Manchester, Lancashire
MUIR, Wm & Co, Manchester, Lancashire
WIDDOWSON, John H, Salford, Manchester, Lancashire

MIDLANDS

 

COVENTRY Ordnance Works, Scotstoun, Glasgow; Cliffe in NE England; Boston, Lincolnshire; Coventry, Warwickshire; London
SIMPLEX Conduits Ltd, Birmingham, Warwickshire

SE ENGLAND

 

BULLIVANT & Co, Millwall, London
DIAMOND Blower Co, London EC
DRUMMOND Bros, Guildford, Surrey
GENERAL Engine Boiler & Co, New Cross, London SE
THORN & Hoddle Acetylene Co, London SW

 

 

 

     

 

ENGINEERING MATERIALS - e.g. Anti-Friction Metals, Armour Plate, Copper & Alloys, including brass, gun-metal, Glues (Marine), Steel Founders, Steel Plates, Sheets, Bars & Rods, etc, Waterproof and Fireproof Boards

 

 

Armstrong-Whitworth, John Brown, Cammell Laird, Ebbw Vale Steel, Vickers

plus: 

SCOTLAND

 

BEARDMORE, William & Co, Parkhead (steel), Dalmuir, Dumbartonshire (shipbuilding)
DENNYSTOWN Forge Co, Dumbarton, Dumbartonshire

Northern ENGLAND

 

DARLINGTON Forge Co, Darlington, Co Durham
FIRTH, Thos & Sons, Sheffield, Yorkshire
HADFIELD'S Steel Foundry Co, Sheffield, Yorkshire
PARK Gate Iron & Steel Co, Rotherham, Yorkshire
ROTHERHAM Forge & Rolling Mills Co, Rotherham, Yorkshire
YORKSHIRE Copper Works, Leeds, Yorkshire

MIDLANDS

 

SOMERS, Walter & Co, Halesowen, Worcestershire

SE & S ENGLAND

 

BRAINTREE Castings Co, Braintree, Essex
HOYT Metal Co of Gt Britain, London EC
JEFFERY'S Patent Marine Glue, Stratford, London E
LANGFORD, G & Son (marine glue), Portsmouth, Hampshire
TANDEM Smelting Co, Merton Abbey, London SW
VENESTA Ltd, London EC

 

 

 

 

ENGINEERING COMPONENTS - e.g. Axles, Tyres & Springs, Belting, Brake & Clutch Linings, Chain Drives, Gears, Hose Outfits, India-Rubber Goods, Packing and Jointing, Ropes (Wire), Shafting, Steel & Iron Castings & Forgings (including crank shafts, propeller shafts, stern & rudder frames), Tubes, Tubing (Flexible Metallic), Valves

 

 

Armstrong-Whitworth, Beardmores, Braintree Castings, John Brown, Bullivants, Cammell Laird, Darlington Forge, Dennystown Forge, Ebbw Vale Steel, Thomas Firth, Hadfields, Merryweathers, Rotherham Forge, Walter Somers, Vickers, Yorkshire Copper

plus: 

SCOTLAND

 

AULD, David & Sons, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
COCKBURNS Ltd, Cardonald, near Glasgow, Lanarkshire
NORTH British Rubber Co, Edinburgh, Midlothian

Northern ENGLAND

 

BENNETT Von der Heyde, J, Manchester, Lancashire
DOWNIE, T & Co, Liverpool, Lancashire
FROOD Herbert Co, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire
METALLIC Valve Co, Liverpool, Lancashire
NEWALL, R S & Son, Liverpool, Lancashire
REDDAWAY, F & Co, Manchester, Lancashire
RENOLD, Hans Ltd, Manchester, Lancashire
SMITH, Thos & Wm, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland
WALLWORK, Henry & Co, Manchester, Lancashire

SE ENGLAND

 

DERMATINE Co, London SE
DEXINE Patent Packing and Rubber Co, Stratford, London E
HULBURD Engineering Co, Fenchurch Street, London EC
INTERLOCK Metal Hose Co, Wood Green, London N
POWER Plant Co, West Drayton, Middlesex
TRIST, Ronald & Co, London EC
UNITED Flexible Metallic Tubing Co, Ponders End, Middlesex
WESTINGHOUSE Brake Co, King's Cross, London N
WILCOX, W H & Co, Southwark, London SE

 

 

 

     

 

BOILER & ENGINE ROOM - e.g. Ash Expellers, Boiler Coverings, Boiler Fittings, Boilers, Fire Clay, Flue Blower, Furnace Fittings, Superheaters, Turbine Gears, Turbines

 

 

Beardmores, John Brown, Cammell Laird, Cockburns, Diamond Blowers, T Downie, Greenwood & Batley, Metallic Valve, Power Plant Co, Thornycroft, Ronald Trist, Vickers

plus: 

SCOTLAND

 

BABCOCK & Wilcox, Renfrew, Renfrewshire
FAIRFIELD Shipbuilding & Engineering Co, Govan, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
GLENBOIG Union Fire Clay Co, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
YARROW & Co, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

NE ENGLAND

 

NEWALLS Insulation Co, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland
PARSONS Marine Steam Turbine Co, Wallsend-on-Tyne, Northumberland
WALLSEND Slipway & Engineering Co, Wallsend-on-Tyne, Northumberland

SE & S ENGLAND

 

EVERSHED & Vignolles Ltd, Chiswick, London W
STONE, J & Co, Deptford, London SE
WHITE, J Samuel & Co, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, Hampshire

 

 

 

 

ENGINES/PRIME MOVERS - e.g. Engines (Gas), Engines (Marine), Engines (Oil), Engines (Pumping)

 

 

Armstrong-Whitworth, Beardmores, Cammell Laird, Fairfield Shipbuilding, Greenwood & Batley, Thornycroft, Vickers, Wallsend Slipway, Westinghouse, Wolseley

plus: 

SCOTLAND

 

BROWN Bros & Co, Edinburgh, Midlothian
CARRUTHERS, J H & Co, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

NE ENGLAND

 

MIRRLEES, Bickerton & Day, Stockport, Cheshire

SW ENGLAND

 

BRAZIL, Straker & Co, Bristol, Gloucestershire

 

 

 

     

 

OTHER MARINE ENGINE BUILDERS - not advertising, but listed in Jane's 1914

SCOTLAND

 

ABERNETHY, J & Co, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
AITCHISON, Blair & Co, Clydebank, Dumbartonshire
CAMPBELL & Calderwood, Paisley, Renfrewshire
COOPER & Greig, Dundee, Angus
DUNSMUIR & Jackson Ltd, Govan, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
FISHERS Ltd, Paisley, Renfrewshire
GAUDLIE, Gillespie & Co, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
KINCAID, T G & Co, Greenock, Renfrewshire
LIDGERWOOD, W V V, Speedwell Ironworks, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire
McKIE & Baxter, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
MILLER & Macfie Ltd, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
MUIR & Houston Ltd, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
RANKIN & Blackmore, Greenock, Renfrewshire
RITCHIE, J, Partick, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
ROSS & Duncan, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
ROWAN, D & Co, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

NE ENGLAND

 

AMOS & Smith Ltd, Hull, Yorkshire
BLAIR & Co, Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham
CENTRAL Marine Engine Works, West Hartlepool, Co Durham
CLARK, G, Ltd, Sunderland, Co Durham
DICKINSON, J & Sons, Sunderland, Co Durham
GREY, G T, South Shields, Co Durham
HOLMES, C D & Co, Hull, Yorkshire
McCOLL & Pollock, Ltd, Sunderland, Co Durham
NORTH-EASTERN Marine Engineering Co, Wallsend-on-Tyne, Northumberland & Sunderland, Co Durham
RICHARDSONS, WESTGARTH & Co, Hartlepool, Co Durham
SHIELDS Engineering and Dry Dock Co, North Shields, Northumberland
WALLSEND Slipway and Engineering Co, Wallsend, Northumberland

Southern ENGLAND

 

ELLIOTT & Garrood, Ltd, Beccles, Suffolk
HOSKING, T, J, Ltd, London
PLENTY & Son, Newbury, Berkshire
SISSON, W & Co, Gloucester, Gloucestershire
VAUXHALL and West Hydraulic Engineering Co, Luton, Bedford, Bedfordshire

 

 

 

 

PETROLEUM PRODUCTS, HANDLING & FIRING - e.g. Lubricants, Motor Spirit, Oil Cans, Oil Fuel Systems, Oils (Fuel), Oils (Lubricating)

 

 

Babcock & Wilcox, Thornycroft, Wallsend Slipway

plus: 

N ENGLAND

 

KAYE, Joseph & Sons, Leeds, Yorkshire
KERMODE Oil Firing Systems, Liverpool, Lancashire

S E ENGLAND

 

ANGLO-American Oil Co, Westminster, London SW
ASIATIC Petroleum Co, London EC
DICK, W B & Co, London EC
PRATT'S Perfection Motor Spirit, Westminster, London SW
VACUUM Oil Co, Westminster, London SW

 

 

 

     

 

ENGINEERING PLANT & AUXILIARIES - e.g. Air Compressors, Condensing & Distilling Plants, Fans & Blowers, Hoisting Machinery, Hydraulic Plant, Pumps, Pumps (Air), Ships' Auxiliary Machinery, Steering Gear

 

 

Armstrong-Whitworth, Sir William Arrol , Brazil-Straker, Brown Bros, J H Carruthers, General Engine Boilers, Greenwood & Batley, Merryweathers, J Stones, Westinghouse, W H Wilcox

plus: 

SCOTLAND

 

HASTIE, John & Co, Greenock, Renfrewshire
MIRRLEES Watson & Co, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

NE ENGLAND

 

MATTHEWS & Yates Ltd, Swinton, Manchester, Lancashire

MIDLANDS & E ENGLAND

 

BROTHERHOOD, Peter Ltd, Peterborough, Northamptonshire
REAVELL, W & Co, Ipswich, Suffolk

E & SE ENGLAND

 

KEITH, James, & Blackman Co, London EC
SIEBE, Gorman & Co, London SW
WARNER, Robert & Co (Engineers), Westminster, London SW & Walton-on-The-Naze, Essex

 

 

 

 

ELECTRICAL PLANT & FITTINGS - e.g. Dynamos, Electrical Plant, Generators (Electric), Lamps (Electric), Lamps (Marine), Motors (Electric), Ship Lighting Plant and Accessories

 

 

Armstrong-Whitworth, Brazil-Straker, Brotherhoods, Greenwood & Batley, Simplex Conduit, Thornycroft, Vickers, Westinghouse

plus: 

SCOTLAND

 

McGEOCH, William & Co, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

NE ENGLAND

 

ELECTROMOTORS Ltd, Manchester, Lancashire

E ENGLAND

 

BROOKE, J W & Co, Lowestoft, Suffolk

 

 

 

     

 

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL - e.g. Heating & Ventilating, Ice Making Machinery, Refrigerating Machinery

 

 

Greenwood & Batley, J & E Hall, Keith & Blackman, Matthew & Yates, Simplex Conduit, Westinghouse

plus: 

SCOTLAND

 

SMITH & Wellstood, Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire

SE ENGLAND

 

SEAGERS, Dartford, Kent

 

 

 

 

HULL & DECK EQUIPMENT - e.g. Anchors, Boat-Releasing Gear, Capstans, Diving Apparatus, Lifeboats, Motor Boats, Propellers, Searchlights, Sounding Machines, Torpedo Nets and Defences, Yachts & Launches, etc

 

 

Armstrong-Whitworth, Brazil-Straker, J W Brooke, Bullivants, General Engine Boilers, Siebe-Gorman, Thornycroft, Vickers, Whites, Yarrow

plus: 

SCOTLAND

 

BERGIUS Launch & Engine Co, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
KELVIN, Bottomley & Baird Ltfd, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

NE ENGLAND

 

CHARLTON, H & Co, Gateshead-on-Tyne, Co Durham
SEAMLESS Steel Boat Co, Wakefield, Yorkshire

SE & S ENGLAND

 

HALL'S Patent Anchor Co, Westminster, London SW
HAMBLE River, Luke & Co, near Southampton, Hampshire
HEATH & Co, Crayford, Kent
ROBINSON, H E C, & Co, Chiswick, London W

 

 

 

 

 

CORROSION PROTECTION - e.g. Anti-Fouling & Anti-Corrosive Compositions, Paints, Varnishes, etc

SE ENGLAND

 

BURRELL & Co, Millwall, London EC
INDESTRUCTIBLE Paint Co, London EC

 

 

 

 

SHIP'S BRIDGE EQUIPMENT - e.g. Compasses, Indicators (Helm), Indicators (Revolution), Indicators (Speed), Nautical instruments, Opticians, Ship-Logs, Signalling Systems and Apparatus, Sound Signals, Telegraphs (Ship), Telephones (Loud Speaking)

 

 

Diamond Blowers, T Downie, Evershed & Vignolle, Hamble River, Heath & Co, Kelvins, Wm McGeoch

plus: 

NE ENGLAND

 

CHADBURN'S (Ship) Telegraph Co, Bootle, Lancashire

MIDLANDS & E ENGLAND

 

CAMBRIDGE Scientific Instrument Co, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
WALKER, Thomas & Son, Birmingham, Warwickshire

SE ENGLAND

 

GRAHAM, Alfred & Co, London SE
ROSS Ltd, Clapham, London SW

 

 

 

     

 

WEAPONS & ORDNANCE - e.g. Ammunition (War), Explosives (including cordite, guncotton, blasting explosives), Fire Control & Gunnery Fitting, Fuzes & Primers, Guns and Mountings, Projectiles/shells, Rifles and Revolvers, Torpedoes, Torpedo Tubes

 

 

Armstrong-Whitworth, Beardmores, Cammell Laird, Coventry Ordnance, Darlington Forge, Evershed & Vignolles, Thomas Firth, Greenwood & Batley, Hadfields, Ross, Vickers

plus: 

SCOTLAND

 

BARR & Stroud, Glasgow, Lanarkshire

MIDLANDS

 

WEBLEY & Scott, Birmingham, Warwickshire

SE ENGLAND

 

CURTIS'S & Harvey Ltd, London EC

 

 

 

 

AVIATION - e.g. Aeroplanes, Seaplanes, and Airships, Engines (Aerial)

 

 

Armstrong-Whitworth, Coventry Ordnance, Hamble River, Vickers, Whites, Wolseley

 

 

on to Part 2, Private Shipyards in the British Isles

or back to Naval-History.Net

 

revised 2/8/11