Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Leith Shipyards at the beginning of World War One

As Europe descended into death and destruction once more 100 years ago this month

We take a very quick snapshot back in time when there were three main shipyards all situated next to each other facing into what is now known as the western harbour at Leith Docks.

From West to East we had the smallest of the three shipyards namely the yard of

J. Cran & Co was engaged in the building primarily of Steam Fishing Trawlers and Tugs and they were about to launch the Steam Fishing Trawler ANWORTH while building was going on of a Tug called the VIGOREAUX

The next shipyard in line was the shipyard of Hawthorns & Co who had taken over the old shipyard of S &H Morton two years before.

Hawthorns had a couple of small Cargo Vessels on the stocks at the outbreak of WWI

The shipyard had an order book of Steam Fishing Trawlers to be built as well.

While last but by no means least the Leith Shipyard of Ramage & Ferguson Ltd Shipbuilders had just launched three large steam passenger/cargo ships with the last one launched in the December of 1914 was named as  CHAKDINA the second ship of an order by the BI Line and a ship that would survive WWI only to be involved in tragedy during the Second World War when sinking during an attack in the Mediterranean while full of wounded New Zealand and Allied Soldiers who had been fighting in the fearsome battle for Tobruk.

The shipyards would soon be involved in the repair of many battle scarred vessels from fighting around the British Isles and further a-field if the ship could be brought into Leith at all they could repair her.

Interestingly enough no warships were built at the Leith Shipyards during World War One although many Landing Craft were, unlike the part played by the Leith Shipyard of Henry Robb (the shipyard that over time took over the three shipyards mentioned)

during the Second World War.

The 4th of August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the day Britain entered one of the costliest conflicts in history – the First World War – with fighting continuing until the 11th of November 1918, Armistice Day.

The Royal British Legion was founded by British veterans in the aftermath of the First World War and is at the forefront of Centenary commemorations. As we come together in Remembrance of events a century ago, we are reminded of the important welfare work the Legion continues to provide today and will need to provide in the future.

For more on the commemorations of this terrible conflict please visit the British Legion website above.

The Centenary of the First World War

The 4th of August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the day Britain entered one of the costliest conflicts in its history, the First World War, which ended on Armistice Day, 11th November 1918.

Almost everyone in the UK has an ancestor directly affected by the First World War. The losses were felt across every UK town and village as the lives of nearly one million lives men and women were sacrificed in service of the British Empire.

The Royal British Legion will be joining in the commemoration of all those who served and sacrificed from British, Dominion and Imperial forces from countries including the UK, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa.

Remember to buy a Poppy.

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