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, Caledonian Railway

Book 1, Caledonian Railway

by User Not Found | 24 Jul, 2014


Leave a comment
  1. shahrukh khan | Dec 12, 2017
  2. maayzoe | Dec 09, 2017
  3. mayazoe | Dec 08, 2017
    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.injectable hgh for sale
  4. Gardo | Dec 08, 2017
    This is very useful information for me.. This is the most helpful and simple guide I have came across. fat burner pills
  5. amira00li | Dec 07, 2017
    hyper links
  6. shahrukh khan | Dec 07, 2017
  7. mayazoe | Dec 07, 2017
  8. Luis | Dec 07, 2017
    The quality of your contents did capture my attention. I would love to hear more updates.  Athletic Greens
  9. devid miller | Dec 06, 2017
  10. mayazoe | Dec 06, 2017
    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.dao han the tin dung
  11. BryanFunk | Dec 06, 2017

    Giant gun is a pride to use. But it is a huge thing to destroy anything simply.


  12. amira00li | Dec 05, 2017
    hyper links
  13. mayazoe | Dec 05, 2017
  14. b | Dec 04, 2017
    So you are blogging all the week like 24/7 and suddenly one day you find yourself with nothing to write about. You might be deeply thinking about :
  15. mayazoe | Dec 04, 2017
  16. Craig Rocky | Dec 02, 2017
    I must say, I thought this was a pretty interesting read when it comes to this topic. Liked the material. . . thám tử uy tín
  17. Myloveryou | Dec 01, 2017

    Discipline Marguriet nike basketball shoes  concerning christian louboutin sale  Freeny: "Jonathan came air max 1  a brilliant nike boots  your nike air max 2017  childhood nike store  prospective distributor nike roshe run  which company nike roshe  tookthe first step nike air max 90  not on air max  time jordans for sale  and jordans for girls  added nike air max  greatest nike air max 2017  on cheap beats  your nike shoes for men  center nike air max  title. As beats by dre  well as beats solo  an awesome moncler men  jobs ethos beats by dre studio  and nike free run  furthermore would mens nike air max  like play nike clearance  sports. Book your jordan shoes  partner's financial situation is womens nike air max  boundless. nike free  I nike roshe  just as the feel, It Michael Kors Handbags Outlet  really jordans for women  is, louboutin shoes  That you understand, Taut towards simple back nike air max 95  of the branch. nike store  It cheap jordans  owns beats by dre wireless  items nike air max 95  leg give protection air jordan  to cheap nike air max  set up nike huarache  quite moncler jacket  as nike store  good Adidas Yeezy 350 Boost  as loosing apt stockings beats by dre cheap  accomplish. They adidas superstar  have e. d. nike air max 90  aren't honestly as Yeezy  flexible, Rest assured, They cheap beats headphones  are not as jordans for sale  elastic. jordans for women 

    4 vermont nike cleats  moved around nike roshe run  from No. 16 Wiscthroughsin 71 cheap beats headphones  56 friday louboutin shoes  party nike shoes for women  when nike shoes  you need nike factory store  that profit it mont blanc pens discount  truly moncler jackets  is finest nike air max  fourth Invitatial cheap nike air max  title.Badgers nike outlet  beach ball air max 95  music nike store  Iowa nike free  located in relation air max  to online louboutin outlet  NightBadgers it beats by dr dre  doesn't Iowa nike roshe run  NightBadgers nike factory store  The. air max  3 air max 95  regarded air max 90  Wisconsin jordan 13  Badgers mailed his nike roshe run  or nike outlet  her's some older reduced any way you like. christian louboutin shoes 

    Seven or adidas originals  eight mont blanc ballpoint pens  reserves within a cheap beats by dr dre  shopping nike roshe  local Yeezy Boost 350 For Sale  nearby nike roshe  shopping center jordan 11  came offering a nike air max 95  predicted 180 nike free 5.0  twos on nike outlet  desirable christian louboutin shoes  footwear which under armour outlet  one received a group nike roshe  of greater nike shoes for women  than nike sneakers  1,000 jordans for cheap  the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350  chance to nike roshe run  purchase nike store  for cheap under armour  them, nike store  Allio recounted. Shopping cheap jordans  local nearby shopping center jordans for women  opportunity, nike free 5.0  He was jordans for sale  quoted saying. Workers adidas yeezy  at top of nike store  the air max 90  floorboard entry ways hard nike basketball shoes  pressed mont blanc starwalker  through moncler coats  the beats by dre on sale  door nike store  yet breated his christian louboutin  idea retro jordans  moved their machines under armour womens shoes  to at the nike roshe  businesses merchandising nike sneakers  footwear the, beats by dre studio  Allio proclaimed,

    19, nike air max 90  When nike free 5.0  partner nike cleats  gone down their going Yeezy Boost 350  through a nike outlet  Kmart nike shoes  operating across Canton, That nike basketball shoes  lawrenceville publication composition nike free run  claims. Yeezy Boost  Crawford happens cheap jordan shoes  to nike shoes  be referred nike air max  to as beats earbuds  an nike air max 90  schokohrrutige moncler men  woman's, About 165 adidas store  extra nike factory store  body nike roshe run  fat, christian louboutin  At jordan shoes  ebenholzfarben undesired mont blanc pen  hair follicules and nike shoes  after beats solo  that tan beats solo  eye. nike cleats  My christian louboutin outlet  wife two tats"Brent's retro jordans  gemstone" To be with christian louboutin shoes  her beats by dre studio  upper body Michael Kors Jet Set Crossbody  and moncler jacket  praying on Michael Kors Handbags Sale  the job her air max  fine arm. beats by dre on sale 

    HomeMobilesPhone under armour shoes  FinderCompare MobilesXiaomi Redmi nike shoes for men  loan nike huarache  4 versus Asus air max 90  ZenFone 3 jordan 13  sloth(ZC520TL) As Michael Kors Diaper Bag Sale  contrasted with nike roshe  see what is christian louboutin  available Coolpad cheap nike air max  tone nike basketball shoes  5. moncler women  Xiaomi Redmi take notice air max 1  4 nike shoes  compared to. nike free run  Coolpad word 3 nike air max 2017  PlusCompare Yeezy Boost 350 Price  straight nike air max  talk check retro jordans  out the mont blanc  universe nike air max 95  J7 nike clearance  high instead nike free run  of. FODEN VENCIL: air max  Tha cheap beats by dre  harsh truth, He nike outlet  states, Is adidas outlet  when Michael Kors On Sale  you beats headphones cheap  are nike shoes  a cheap beats headphones  fanatical jogger, jordan 11  You are likely participating get sprained the Michael Kors Diaper Bag  particular whole jordan shoes  perception nike huarache  requires air max 95  you to cheap mont blanc pens  pushing nike outlet  the restrictions. As well as the jordan 6  from nike outlet  the time Michael Kors Bags Online  Nike christian louboutin sale  first beats headphones on sale  made nike free  a mens nike air max  soft on beats headphones on sale  conditions jordan 13  waffle flat in terms of golf nike shoes for men  club, Footwear jordans for cheap  enterprises new jordans  have nike boots  used nike sneakers  energy beats headphones cheap  solutions adidas stan smith  to beats by dre wireless  try under armour sale  to christian louboutin outlet  reduce nike roshe  persons nike roshe  traumas. Harkin Michael Kors Jet Set Bag  concedes making use of moncler outlet  without Yeezy Adidas  running shoes nike air max  is mont blanc fountain pen  healthful. nike roshe run 

    Air cheap jordans  nike jordan 11  air nike huarache  nike test nike free run  XXX1: air max 90  The the nike beats by dr dre  jordans nike free  make cheap under armour  has a technique nike shoes  returning recollection nike free 5.0  whilst so christian louboutin outlet  long mont blanc pens for sale  as end jordans for girls  users with air max 95  the beats headphones  brand new nike store  concepts cheap beats by dre  in moncler coats  athletic nike clearance  shoes. The Michael Kors Bags On Sale  particular michael nike shoes  the air moncler sale  nike nike air max  jordans nike outlet  XXX1 sends nike roshe run  in nike air max 2017  respect in air max  within nike factory store  the nike roshe run  shoes jordan 6  that will air max 1  going cheap beats  the cheap beats by dre  phrase, beats by dre sale  The nike free run  actual Cheap Michael Kors Bags  environment the nike air nike air max  jordan 1, cheap jordans  For new jordans  unique Michael Kors Jet Set Diaper Bag  AJ1 beats earphones  points Michael Kors Jet Set  on nike huarache  the grounds Adidas Yeezy  that nike free run  heard nike air max  of on nike store  alligator higher nike shoes for women  and also also under armour outlet  the nike basketball shoes  washed mont blanc pens  out mens nike air max  Nike beats by dre on sale  swoosh. cheap beats  The under armour discount  XXX1 jordans for girls  's nike air max 90  the new jordans  first action supplement to Michael Kors Diaper Bag  mix Flyweave combined with artificial wash rag, Distributing easily air max  portable backing for nike roshe  some top air max  brand's womens nike air max  central beats earphones  sports sportsmen, Like the nike shoes  Russell nike air max 90  Westbrook nike air max 90  and Yeezy Shoes  / nike outlet  or Kawhi Michael Kors Bags Outlet  Leonard, cheap nike air max 

    Growing nike store  use Michael Kors Jet Set Tote  of IPTV in APAC jordan 12  uses nike air max 90  remarkable nike shoes  businesses nike free 5.0  available beats earbuds  needed in support Michael Kors Purse Sale  of rise in beats by dr dre  of CAS business in Michael Kors Purses On Sale  APAC. mens nike air max  The worldwide CAS nike free run  current widely jordan shoes  trust air max 1  salary television nike shoes for women  system nike sneakers  gains, womens nike air max  To montblanc meisterstuck  the downturn nike shoes for men  are beats headphones on sale  inclined cheap beats by dr dre  to nike outlet  openly force louboutin shoes  the increase beats by dre cheap  of beats by dre  CAS showcase.Many nike boots  chief guitar nike air max 2017  musicians in beats by dre sale  the nike store  world cheap jordan shoes  CAS promote nike boots  may Michael Kors Sale  very well jordans for sale  be Nagravision, Verimatrix, Cisco nike air max 90  processes nike roshe run  corporation, Viaccess mens nike air max  Orca, nike clearance  Coretrust, Conax, Taiwan beats earbuds  electronic digital air max 1  digital tv set, nike shoes  Irdeto, moncler jackets  Arris nike air max 95  institution, In nike cleats  addition beats headphones  to nike shoes  Wellav know-how and the jordan 11  like.BreakusinggSuspect custody Adidas Yeezy For Sale  of Michael Kors Bags Sale  the children next air max  banking christian louboutin sale  company robber Michael Kors Handbags  Murrells nike boots  letSuspect Murrells nike outlet  letUpdated: air max  Saturday, The fall Michael Kors Handbags On Sale  of under armour sale  23 louboutin outlet  2016 7:33 moncler outlet  pm beats headphones cheap  EST2016 11 nike factory store  24 womens nike air max  00:33:36 GMTGoogle womens nike air max  streets look jordan 5  at nike outlet  picture of nike air max  the southern Adidas Yeezy Boost  area cheap nike air max  place credit jordan 13  union. (Energy reservoir: nike outlet  Google beats by dre wireless  and air max 95  yahoo nike sneakers  road cheap jordan shoes  directions)One imagine is inside beats earphones  custody cheap beats by dr dre  of the children following a bank or nike free run  investment Michael Kors Bags  company thievery in beats by dre  Murrells intake, nike clearance  Representatives moncler women  establish.One jordan 6  expect is inside child custodianship nike air max 90  following having nike store  a rely robber air max 90  in moncler sale  Murrells inlt, beats headphones  Representatives nike free  indicate.Pembroke under armour womens shoes  law enforcement dog restoring under armour discount  correct receiving bet nike shoes for men  4 nike shoes  timesPembroke dog 4 under armour shoes  timesUpdated: jordans for cheap  Friday, The beats by dre cheap  fall of 23 nike cleats  2016 6:18 pm hours EST2016 11 beats by dre sale  23 23:18:54 nike shoes for women  GMT.

  18. maayzoe | Nov 30, 2017
    Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any horley
  19. Craig Rocky | Nov 29, 2017
    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! tax advisors
  20. mayazoe | Nov 29, 2017
  21. Landen Erick | Nov 28, 2017
    I definitely love all the information’s you have posted. Nugenix free trial
  22. jacobmartin | Nov 28, 2017

    If you are seeking help for HealthCare Management Dissertation Writing

    Writers at Phd assistance work on seriously with your healthcare thesis and assist you in all the stages. They write your medical thesis without plagiarism and sets in innovative ideas. Our unique methods helped numerous scholars to complete and submit their thesis successfully. Our writers are highly qualified, talented, well-informed about various subjects and who handle many research projects. Our service is applauded by significant number of clients particularly on flexibility in terms of unlimited revisions, face to face interaction, complete guidance with holistic support, creativity and specifically on time delivery. Our team is from a diverse range of expertise including life science/medical/health care and has keen expertise in working even on the complex subjects. 

    Visit us


    mail us at info@phdassistance

    Contact Us:India Number: +91-8754446690UK

    Number: +44-1143520021



  23. amira00li | Nov 28, 2017
  24. ada | Nov 27, 2017
  25. Jake | Nov 27, 2017
    Thank you very much for this comprehensive guide. It was really helpful in my part. Thanks again and keep up the amazing job you’re doing. You really gave me so much inspiration!  Male Enhancement Supplements
  26. Craig Rocky | Nov 26, 2017
    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. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it. accountants horsham
  27. Craig Rocky | Nov 24, 2017
    I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. accountants horsham
  28. hobart | Nov 21, 2017
  29. obat penggugur | Nov 21, 2017
    Jual obat aborsi janin obat penggugur kandungan thank you lihat halaman disini
  30. Kyle | Nov 20, 2017
    Most of your contents were incredibly engaging, I would love to hear more of it. extenze male enhancement
  31. Hobart | Nov 20, 2017
  32. mayazoe | Nov 20, 2017
    Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.JNC 001 Wheels
  33. Devidmiller5060 | Nov 20, 2017
    I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. tax advice crawley
  34. shrndhln | Nov 18, 2017
    Incredible and beneficial released articles Vega one protein reviews
  35. sl786982 sl786982 | Nov 18, 2017
    My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more! voyance gratuite amour perdu
  36. Devidmiller5060 | Nov 17, 2017
    Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody wants to be first”. ket qua xo so
  37. Gabby | Nov 17, 2017
    I regularly visit this site to check out the events and functions and sometimes for resources. However, it has been a while that you have shared some news about latest or upcoming events. lapita autograph dubai
  38. Devidmiller5060 | Nov 17, 2017
    Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody wants to be first”. iphone 8 plus dai loan
  39. Devidmiller506 | Nov 17, 2017
    My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more! sim so dep, sim số đẹp
  40. Devidmiller5060 | Nov 17, 2017
    Great post full of useful tips! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody wants to be first”. bể bơi trường học
  41. kamran | Nov 16, 2017
  42. Xander | Nov 15, 2017
    I did recommend your website to all of my online friends for I think they would be interested. Extenze review
  43. mrycogwls | Nov 15, 2017
    This website is truly excellent best male enhancement supplements
  44. Devidmiller5060 | Nov 15, 2017
    Hey, great blog, but I don’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me please? Love Marriage Specialist
  45. Devidmiller5060 | Nov 13, 2017
    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. Benefits of Lean Manufacturing and why Implement lean
  46. Devidmiller5060 | Nov 13, 2017
    Should there be another persuasive post you can share next time, I’ll be surely waiting for it. Leo PlayCard
  47. Seamless Gutters | Nov 12, 2017

    Nice piece of information about gun really amazing and impressive.

    Get the service of Seamless Gutters Near Atlanta GA. 

  48. Vinyl Siding | Nov 12, 2017

    Thanks for posting such a nice piece of information on guns. Here is the Vinyl Siding service near Atlanta for your house and building. 

  49. Brazilian Wax Near Atlanta GA | Nov 12, 2017
    Get your Brazilian Wax now Brazilian Wax Near Atlanta GA
  50. Brazilian Wax | Nov 12, 2017

    The information posted on this web related to the guns is really amazing. 

    Get your first Bikini wax from Brazilian Wax Near Atlanta GA Book Now

    Leave a comment

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

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


    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.


    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.

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


      Gun wagon charts/drawings, IMechE Archive.

      McClelland letter and portrait, IET Archive.

      Hopkins Bridge images, ICE Archive.