Infrastructure was a key component of wartime logistics: aiding the movement of personnel, weaponry, post and supplies. This fed in not only to conflict aims and needs but to more personal needs; the postal service boosted morale by giving troops a vital link to their loved ones. Engineers were crucial to infrastructure, by creating the supply lines on which the armed forces depended on.

Gun Wagons
The railways were important during the War for supply line reasons including the redistribution of munitions and heavy arms, as well as of troops, medical staff and general supplies. Both the Great Western (GWR) and Midland Railways (MR) used specific gun wagons for the moving of guns.

The GWR used Pollen B wagon sets 48979-48982, 48999-48900 to carry 12-inch BL guns Marks 8-10 for the moving of heavy guns, 45-58 tons. The MR used wagon set 9696 carrying 12, 13.5, 14, and 15 inch guns, these were even heavier at 67-97 tons. Technical drawings for both companies include side elevations showing basic dimensions, weights, and axle loads. Guns were moved both within Britain and on the Continent to position them for battle or strategic defence. The largest artillery was actually held by the Royal Navy for their dreadnaughts, the 'monster' guns moved by MR were most likely for this purpose.

Of course, dreadnaughts were not an option on the Front, but their guns were deployed against the concrete fortified German positions near the Somme and along the Hindenburg line. At first they put the gun on a wheel mount and attempted to secure it in place; advanced recoil mechanisms allowed for some success but deployment was still slow and cumbersome. The guns were moved by a tractor, this was slow and carried the risk of enemy capture.

Rail presented the perfect transport and firing platform for land-based naval ordnance. The gun could be moved relatively quickly along the rail system and the recoil could be dispersed by allowing the carriage to hurtle down the tracks (sometimes up to 100 feet). In some cases, a piece of curved siding was actually used to aim the gun. These guns could fire up to thirty miles and were capable of reaching far into the enemy’s rear positions. The culmination of the rail gun was the massive French Schneider 520mm howitzer. The shells this gun fired were over 24 inches in diameter and weighed 3,100 pounds. They were fused in such a way as to allow the shell to penetrate its target before detonation. Luckily for all involved, the war ended before they could be brought into service.

As well as rail becoming a platform for the direct deployment of guns, it was also used to transport guns and weapons of all sizes to where they were required. Entrenched lines meant that routes and workflow methods could be honed. As the Engineers Office charts of the South East & Chatham Railway show, they had to plan which lines were suitable for the carrying of which rolling stock and weaponry- the sheer weight of the haul being a prime consideration because of the risk collapse to the lines.



Book 1, North Eastern Railway

Book 1, North Eastern Railway

by User Not Found | 24 Jul, 2014

535 comments

Leave a comment
  1. peter | Apr 26, 2018
    Exceptionally fascinating web journal. Alot of websites I see nowadays don't generally give anything that I'm occupied with, however I'm most definately keen on this one. Recently believed that I would post and let you know.  german rottweiler
  2. adarsh | Apr 25, 2018
    You have made some really good points there. I looked on the internet for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site. clever instagram captions Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always interesting to read through articles from other authors and practice something from other sites.  clever instagram captions for couples I blog often and I seriously appreciate your information. Your article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your Feed too clever instagram captions for selfies Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for supplying this info. clever photo captions Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that produce the largest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing! clever picture captions Howdy! This post couldn’t be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read. Thanks for sharing! clever selfie captions Hello, I do believe your site may be having web browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful blog! close caption a video Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile! closed caption meaning Hello! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after looking at a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly! closed caption on I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I have you book marked to check out new stuff you post… closed caption options Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it ;) I may come back yet again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people. closed caption television Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site. closed caption tv I used to be able to find good advice from your articles. closed caption video Great article! We will be linking to this great post on our website. Keep up the good writing. closed captioning This is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article! closed captioning companies I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally well written! closed captioning services bookmarked!!, I love your web site! contact pic
  3. peetr | Apr 25, 2018
    Extremely helpful post. This is my first time i visit here. I discovered such a variety of fascinating stuff in your online journal particularly its exchange. Truly its extraordinary article. Keep it up.  News Singapore Social Generation
  4. seo | Apr 25, 2018
    Much thanks to you a cluster for offering this to every one of us you really acknowledge what you are discussing! Bookmarked. If you don't mind likewise look for guidance from my site =). We could have a hyperlink change contract between us!  Roll container manufacturer
  5. peter | Apr 22, 2018
    Good composed article. It will be steady to any individual who uses it, including me. Continue doing what you are doing – can'r hold up to peruse more posts.  Indie
  6. peter | Apr 17, 2018
    Pleasant to be going by your web journal once more, it has been months for me. Well this article i've been sat tight for so long. I require this article to finish my task in the school, and it has same theme with your article. Much obliged, incredible offer.  Event Managemwent
  7. Farhan Malik | Apr 16, 2018
    This article is an appealing wealth of informative data that is interesting and well-written.  I commend your hard work on this and thank you for this information.  You’ve got what it takes to get attention. bihar board result 2018
  8. sad | Apr 16, 2018
    This is such an incredible asset, to the point that you are giving and you give it away for nothing. I cherish seeing blog that comprehend the benefit of giving a quality asset to free.  Grammarly Premium Free Trial
  9. PETER | Apr 14, 2018
    Your site is truly cool and this is an awesome rousing article. Much obliged to you to such an extent.  cystic fibrosis appetite stimulants
  10. escape room Hollywood fl | Apr 14, 2018
    A very interesting read. I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.escape room Hollywood fl
  11. Farhan Malik | Apr 12, 2018
    That is really nice to hear. thank you for the update and good luck.18bet
  12. seo | Apr 12, 2018
    Η Απολυμαντική Αττικής είναι μια επιχείρηση με αλματώδη ανάπτυξη, Η ιδιαιτερότητα και η δύναμη της βασίζεται στην υψηλή ποιότητα υπηρεσίας και στην υπεύθυνη εξυπηρέτηση των πελατών της σε συνδυασμό με τα προσιτά κοστολόγια. Η εταιρεία καλύπτει με οργανωμένο και φιλικό τρόπο κάθε ανάγκη μας για απολύμανση και απομάκρυνση ανεπιθύμητων εντόμων. Στηρίζεται στην προσωπική γνωριμία που αναπτύσσει με κάθε έναν της πελάτη ξεχωριστά όπως βεβαίως και στις σύγχρονες τεχνολογίες που χρησιμοποιεί. Η απεντόμωση και η μυοκτονία εντάσσονται στον τομέα της Υγιεινής κατά την οποία το συνεργείο της Απολυμαντικής Αττικής εφαρμόζει αποκλειστικά εγκεκριμένα παρασκευάσματα από το Υπουργείο Γεωργίας. Τα φάρμακα αυτά ανήκουν στην κατηγορία των συνθετικών πυρεθρινών με microcap και είναι άοσμα, άχρωμα, με ευρύ φάσμα δράσης για άμεσα αποτελέσματα κατάλληλα για χρήση σε ιδιωτικούς και δημόσιους χώρους. Η εφαρμογή γίνεται σε επιλεγμένα σημεία στο εσωτερικό της οικίας, στο WC και στην κουζίνα εκεί δηλαδή όπου κατοικούν οι ανεπιθύμητοι επισκέπτες και είναι σύμφωνο με τον υγειονομικό κώδικα Δημόσιας Υγείας απολυμανσεις τιμες
  13. seo | Apr 12, 2018
    Η Απολυμαντική Αττικής είναι μια επιχείρηση με αλματώδη ανάπτυξη, Η ιδιαιτερότητα και η δύναμη της βασίζεται στην υψηλή ποιότητα υπηρεσίας και στην υπεύθυνη εξυπηρέτηση των πελατών της σε συνδυασμό με τα προσιτά κοστολόγια. Η εταιρεία καλύπτει με οργανωμένο και φιλικό τρόπο κάθε ανάγκη μας για απολύμανση και απομάκρυνση ανεπιθύμητων εντόμων. Στηρίζεται στην προσωπική γνωριμία που αναπτύσσει με κάθε έναν της πελάτη ξεχωριστά όπως βεβαίως και στις σύγχρονες τεχνολογίες που χρησιμοποιεί. Η απεντόμωση και η μυοκτονία εντάσσονται στον τομέα της Υγιεινής κατά την οποία το συνεργείο της Απολυμαντικής Αττικής εφαρμόζει αποκλειστικά εγκεκριμένα παρασκευάσματα από το Υπουργείο Γεωργίας. Τα φάρμακα αυτά ανήκουν στην κατηγορία των συνθετικών πυρεθρινών με microcap και είναι άοσμα, άχρωμα, με ευρύ φάσμα δράσης για άμεσα αποτελέσματα κατάλληλα για χρήση σε ιδιωτικούς και δημόσιους χώρους. Η εφαρμογή γίνεται σε επιλεγμένα σημεία στο εσωτερικό της οικίας, στο WC και στην κουζίνα εκεί δηλαδή όπου κατοικούν οι ανεπιθύμητοι επισκέπτες και είναι σύμφωνο με τον υγειονομικό κώδικα Δημόσιας Υγείας απολυμανσεις τιμες
  14. Vinita | Apr 10, 2018
    Aire can help your business grow by generating more sales and opportunities.Merchants in ncr can help you to buy the good collection with the less prices.Aire paye Our mission is to help merchants gain more sales.
  15. PETER | Apr 10, 2018
    Very useful post. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up.  Inventor 2018 software
  16. Farhan Malik | Apr 09, 2018
    I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well. modere
  17. coreanderson23 | Apr 09, 2018
    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me.ProMera Sports
  18. buy seo | Apr 08, 2018
    Dofollow Backlinks do you want to Skyrocket your website Rankings, Increase Traffic, Increase Google Index And Boost Page Rank  High Trust Flow Backlinks
  19. alex | Apr 08, 2018
    i like to buy children toys that are educational too, in this way, your kids can learn by playing” get backlinks
  20. pegasus | Apr 06, 2018
    Nice Post..!! It was so interesting to read your views on topic. I am amazed by the way you have explained things here. Moreover if anyone needs any technical Support for Acer they can contact me at Acer Tech Support. Also, if you have problem in your Asus Laptop then call our customer care at Asus Customer Support.
  21. alexc | Apr 02, 2018
    I  consider  something  truly  interesting about your  site  so I  saved to fav. paulwasickapokerfan
  22. peter | Mar 31, 2018
    Awesome article with incredible idea!Thank you for such an important article. I truly acknowledge for this awesome data..  singapore offices
  23. ankush gupta | Mar 28, 2018
    The insights on the Ankush Gupta blog range from the entire digital marketing spectrum, and even dive into more specific niche industries. The resources they offer provide practical advice for brands to market themselves online in a way that follows best practices but also integrates innovative trends.The Ankush Gupta blog primarily focuses on social media advice and research, while occasionally venturing into broader topics relevant to digital marketing, like design tips and useful marketing tools. They’re known for well-researched posts that tackle topics in-depth.
  24. Nitish | Mar 27, 2018
    This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it. Techavera providing the best  SAP MM trainingn course in noida Visit us For Quality Learning.
  25. peter | Mar 24, 2018
    This is extremely fascinating substance! I have completely appreciated perusing your focuses and have reach the conclusion that you are right about a significant number of them. You are extraordinary.  backlink building services
  26. coreanderson23 | Mar 24, 2018
  27. peter | Mar 22, 2018
    Much thanks to you for the redesign, extremely pleasant site..  Books
  28. coreanderson23 | Mar 22, 2018
  29. maya zoe | Mar 20, 2018
  30. coreanderson23 | Mar 19, 2018
    wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.MRR wheels review
  31. alex | Mar 19, 2018
    I like this  web site its a master peace ! Glad I  detected  this on google . aparelhos auditivos
  32. Major league baseball | Mar 18, 2018
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">todd frazier</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">darvish</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">fantasy baseball</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">carlos beltran</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">mlb rumors red sox</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">kevin maitan</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">mets trade rumors</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">paul pierce</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">zhou qi</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">dallas keuchel</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">yankees</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">chicago cubs</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">yankees rumors</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">mojo rawley</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">brooklyn decker</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">new york yankees rumors</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">huey lewis</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">clayton kershaw</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">st louis cardinals rumors</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">mousasi</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">si swimsuit</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">red sox news and rumors</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">genie bouchard</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">ricci rivero</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">red sox rumors</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">boston red sox roster</a>
    <a href="https://www.major-league-baseball.org/">grigor dimitrov</a>
  33. Robinjack | Mar 18, 2018
    Just added your blog to my list of value reading blogs browse around this site
  34. Devidmiller5060 | Mar 06, 2018
    I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job! maps-drivingdirections.com
  35. Devidmiller5060 | Mar 04, 2018
    Hey, great blog, but I don’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me please? situs taruhan bola online terpercaya
  36. a | Feb 28, 2018
    Now we know who the ssebnile one is here. Great post! stamped concrete sc
  37. prince U.S | Feb 25, 2018
    Very nice article. I enjoyed reading your post. very nice share. I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!.  bahis
  38. prince U.S | Feb 24, 2018
    Thank you again for all the knowledge you distribute.Good post. I was very interested in the article. it's quite inspiring I should admit. I like visiting you site since I always come across interesting articles like this one.Great Job. I greatly appreciate that.Do Keep sharing! Regards. removals swansea
  39. prince U.S | Feb 22, 2018
    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks... online casinolar
  40. yvguavewyfegf | Feb 22, 2018
    http://www.fagro.edu.uy/agrociencia/index.php/directorio/comment/view/1042/0/1624 http://publicaciones.urbe.edu/index.php/cicag/comment/view/2750 / 0/1409 https://foodsystemsjournal.org/index.php/fsj/comment/view/452/0/4403 https://periodicos.ufersa.edu.br/index.php/caatinga/comment/view/2076 / 0/1619 http://journal.uinsgd.ac.id/index.php/ahjop/comment/view/308/0/2655 http://periodicos.est.edu.br/index.php/nepp/comment / view / 2112/0/26886 https://journals.edizioniseed.it/index.php/rhc/comment/view/41/0/4809 http://ejournal.uin-suska.ac.id/index.php / psikologi / comment / view / 147/0/2403 http://pjms.com.pk/index.php/pjms/comment/view/4525/0/10332 http://periodicos.unicesumar.edu.br/index .php / saudpesq / comment / view / 711/0/9047http://publications.lnu.edu.ua/bulletins/index.php/law/comment/view/230/0/68513 http://revistas2.uepg.br/index.php/ahu/comment/view/6504 / 0/5943 http://journals.ku.lt/index.php/CST/comment/view/10/0/320 http://revistas.usfq.edu.ec/index.php/avances/comment/view / 171/0/6134 https://ottawa.scholarsportal.info/uo-esis/index.php/isi6314-1-14/comment/view/15/0/4722 http://www.revistas.una.ac .cr / index.php / EDUCARE / comment / view / 7502/0/4474 http://journals.upd.edu.ph/index.php/muhon/comment/view/1315/0/10360 http: // www .periodicos.ufpa.br / index.php / ncn / comment / view / 14/0/8638 https://ojs.hh.se/index.php/JISIB/comment/view/19/0/8297 http: / /www.journal.uad.ac.id/index.php/Psychology/comment/view/3726/0/407https://ojs.bib.hb.se/mastern/comment/view/29/0/759 http://dthh.journal.ipb.ac.id/index.php/jurnalilkom/comment/view/3217/0 / 106610 http://journal.uia.no/index.php/NJMLM/comment/view/375/0/8649#.WouHQ1rFLIU https://revistas.ufg.br/bgg/comment/view/50765/0/ 21696 https://revistas.ufg.br/bgg/comment/view/50765/0/21695 http://journals.gonzaga.edu/index.php/gulawreview/comment/view/45/0/26187 https: / /aprendeenlinea.udea.edu.co/revistas/index.php/Psyconex/comment/view/20303/0/43080 https://portalseer.ufba.br/index.php/gesta/comment/view/8299/0/ 1335 http://revistas.ufpr.br/revistax/comment/view/43778/0/1042 http://www.tria.unina.it/index.php/rm/comment/view/4835/0/1745http://est.tempsite.ws/periodicos/index.php/nepp/comment/view/2112/0/26042 https://sites.uclouvain.be/latosensu/index.php/latosensu/comment/view/23 / 0/5573 https://channel9.msdn.com/Niners/rumahtradisional https://pendidikan.id/main/forum/berbagi-yang-kita-tahu/chit-chat/jual-beli/9284-obat-penghancur -batu-ginjal https://codeine.research.uts.edu.au/nefe https://oss.iol.unh.edu/nefe http://heisenberg.csic.edu.uy/xegavoxaza http: // microfluidics .utoronto.ca / gitlab / xegavoxaza http://opendata.soccerlab.polymtl.ca/git/xegavoxaza http://joken.ce.nihon-u.ac.jp/gitlab/xegavoxaza https: //xgitlab.cels. anl.gov/xegavoxaza http://fusion.cs.uni-jena.de/git/yufuhttps://agrisk.umn.edu/Account/Profile/obat_penghancur_batu_ginjal https://gitlab.eecs.umich.edu/yufu https://arsagsoftware.ars.usda.gov/yufu https: //alf.physik.uni -wuerzburg.de/yufu
  41. alex | Feb 21, 2018
    What is your most noted accomplishment. They may want good listeners rather than good talkers. مسلسلات اجنبية
  42. aswadwrites | Feb 20, 2018
  43. prince U.S | Feb 20, 2018
    Thanks for taking the time to discuss this. I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. dui lawyers near me
  44. prince U.S | Feb 20, 2018
    this is really nice to read..informative post is very good to read..thanks a lot! real estate property management
  45. prince U.S | Feb 20, 2018
    I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work. its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You. stop foreclosure
  46. shahrukh khan | Feb 19, 2018
    Should there be another persuasive post you can share next time, I’ll be surely waiting for it.JNC JNC010 Wheels
  47. Robinjack | Feb 17, 2018
    much obliged for the tips and information..i truly value it..  buy Autodesk Fabrication software
  48. Richard K. Edwards | Feb 17, 2018
    office space for rent in gurgaon  n">commercial office space in gurgaon find space for your commercial office in gurgaon very easily.  
  49. alex | Feb 17, 2018
    F*ckin’ awesome issues here. I’m very satisfied to peer your post. Thanks a lot and i am having a look forward to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail? Moving Company San Jose
  50. Richard K. Edwards | Feb 17, 2018
    office space in gurgaon You will find the Cowork space for your business

    Leave a comment

    Drawings and charts for the movement of guns on British railways.


    British Pathe film, Giant Gun on the Railway 1914-1918.

    Admiralty

    Electrical Engineering Departments were first created by the Admiralty in 1903; Charles Henry Wordingham was made Superintending Electrical Engineer with two Assistants of whom William McClelland was one, the quotes are his. Electrical Engineers were appointed at each Dockyard. The war brought with it challenges for the fitting and maintenance of the fleet:

    “Early in the 1914-18 War, Admiral Sir Percy Scott, a well-known gunnery expert, walked into my room one morning, and, with his pencil drew on my blotting pad, an outline of a ship saying, “that’s the hull, that’s the tower; that’s the control room below; we want to control all turret guns from the top; if that is shot away, we then control from the room below; if that becomes flooded or damaged, we then control from a certain turret; any damaged parts must be capable of being isolated quickly with switch-over arrangements. Now McClelland, how long will it take to wire 30 first line ships at sea, the ships to remain at an hour’s notice for action?"

    McClelland's response was ignored, he was given 6 months and told to make arrangements to get the dockyard workmen to the Fleet. When the Fleet went to sea, the workmen often went with them; some were in action and were specially commended by the Commander in Chief.

    HMS Invincible, the fast Battle-Cruiser was urgently needed. She was under refit, her guns removed, and electrically she was nearly stripped. The extent of the electrical work involved was such that the Electrical Engineering Department could not complete the ship concurrently with other departments. Labour was not available in the dockyards. "The First Sea Lord said that, if it were a question of men, we should get them where we liked and how we liked, paying what was necessary, and if anyone say ‘nay’, that person should be referred to him, but without any doubt whatsoever, the ship must leave on the date given"He attached heavy penalties for any individual or Department failing to meet targets. Adverts were placed and over 200 men were found in a few days. Invincible left the dockyard on time; in the Falklands, she arrived just in time to catch and sink the German ships, the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. "Thus the Electrical Engineering Departments got through the 1914-1918 War, by sheer hard work and determination".

    New designs of ships, new construction and maintenance seemed unending; senior staff were engaged with all sorts of new electrical problems almost daily, they were much worried by the constant pressure and over-work. As an indication of the magnitude of the tasks, the number of electrical refits of ships was 48,630; the organisation for that one item, with its enormous supplies of materials, electrical machinery, and equipment from all over the country, had to be created without any previous experience of prolonged war in a comparatively new industry. The smooth and rapid expansion was made possible by the recruitment of suitable junior officers from the dockyards, who worked very efficiently.

    Sir Oswyn Murray Letter P1
    Letter to McClelland from Sir Oswyn Murray, Permanent Secretary of the Admiralty (the head of the Admiralty Civil Service in 1917) regarding his war work.


    Bridges

    Engineers played a vital role in moving troops, supplies and equipment. At the beginning of the War, the British Army did not have specialist material for building heavy bridges, nor the technical intelligence to be able to work out what might be required. The earliest forms of equipment bridging were based on pontoons which continued to be useful carrying guns and light equipment across rivers but the introduction of mechanical transport resulted in a large increase of axle load and the need to develop bridges to take heavier loads.

    The first need for heavy bridges was over the River Aisne on 13 September 1914, when the retreating German army destroyed the Pont Saint Waast leaving the allies unable to follow. The Royal Engineers built several pontoon bridges over the next few weeks followed by a heavy wooden girder bridge, the Pont des Anglais, at Sousson. The bridge was built under enemy fire and using any available materials including floorboards from local houses; it took too long to build resulting in a demand for steel spans to be sent.

      The first British equipment bridge was called the Inglis Portable Military Bridge (Light Type) invented by Sir Charles Inglis. Although the spans were invented in 1909 whilst Inglis was involved with the Cambridge University Officer Training Corps, they were first used as a self-contained portable bridge during WWI. Inglis was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1914; in1916 he was put in charge of bridge design and supply at the War Office. The first Inglis bridge consisted of pyramidal bays 8ft square created by 8ft long steel tubes connected by specially designed fittings, not unlike modern scaffolding.  It was designed to carry infantry in single file over a 120ft span and was easily transported  requiring little specialist training to construct.  At the first demonstration in France, a 108ft span was thrown across a canal in 13 minutes by an untrained party of Army Service Corps. On 28 September 1918 200 sappers from the Royal Engineers built a 108 ft span bridge over the Canal du Nord at Marquion in twelve and a half construction hours over several days whilst under fire.

      Although the Inglis Bridge was the best military bridge of the time, being fast to construct and carrying heavy loads, its tubular steel construction made it expensive and slow to manufacture. The Hopkins Bridge designed by Captain Hopkins, Royal Engineers, was a cheaper alternative. This bridge used conventional steel girders bolted together but the bolts meant construction was much slower than the Inglis. This meant that when speed was an issue, an Inglis bridge was often built which was then later replaced by a Hopkins bridge allowing the Inglis bridge to be re-used. The Hopkins bridge was designed to carry tanks. It consisted of steel Warren trusses and could be made in spans of multiples of 15ft. It was successful and a lorry bridge was designed, it was still at the experimental stage in 1918.

      The main disadvantage of girder bridges such as the Inglis and Hopkins was that they were not very adaptable; resulting in them often being stronger and heavier than required.  This problem led to the design of the Martel box girder bridge in 1925 which was used in the Second World War. These latter developments were as a direct result of engineers work from 1914 onwards.




      WWI Hopkins road bridge213
      Line drawing with technical details, Hopkins.


      Hopkins road bridge
      Hopkins road bridge being placed during the war.


      120ft Hopkins Bridge at Arques
      120ft Hopkins Bridge in use during the war at Arques.
      Credits/footnotes:

      ​'Giant Gun on Railway' film, British Pathe Archive.

      Images:

      Gun wagon charts/drawings, IMechE Archive.

      McClelland letter and portrait, IET Archive.

      Hopkins Bridge images, ICE Archive.