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The Royal Engineers at Chatham

The Royal Engineers at Chatham


Product Code: 51662

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"Tells the story of the Chatham Garrison in Kent, a site of major international military significance"

"Surviving physical evidence at Chatham is substantial and unique - relating directly to Britain's development as a nineteenth-century imperial power"

"Contains extensive use of previously unpublished Royal Engineer photographic archive material"

Chatham, on the River Medway in Kent, is a site of international military significance. It has been vitally important for the defence of the nation for more than four centuries, ever since the Royal Navy used the river here as a safe anchorage for mooring their warships and a dockyard was built.

In this superbly illustrated book, using previously unpublished archives, Peter Kendall tells for the first time the story of the defences that protected the dockyard and the key route to London, from substantial lines of earthen ramparts and ditches to major citadels and innovative forts. Part of his narrative focuses on how the Medway area developed a major role in the storage of explosives and artillery, how the first training school for the Royal Engineers was founded at Chatham in 1812 and how the soldiers were trained in siege exercises, which were huge spectacles attracting thousands of spectators.

The author gives the human side of the military training and conflicts, with his descriptions of the life endured by the new recruits and the terrible conditions in barracks that were gradually improved at Chatham and elsewhere, particularly following on from the Crimean War.

About the Author

Peter Kendall is a team leader in English Heritage's national planning department, whose responsibilities include the heritage aspects of the Chatham Dockyards.

Format: 276mm x 219mm

Extent: 192pp

Illustrations: 174 illustrations

Publish Date: October 2012



1. Early Days

2. On the Defensive

3. The First Chatham Lines

4. Barracks and Billeting, 1756-1801

5. Reinforcing the Chatham Lines

6. Napoleonic Wars and the Threat of Invasion

7. The New Fortifications

8. Firepower and Sieges

9. Barracks and Brompton

10. After the Napoleonic Wars

11. The Crimean War and Reform

12. The School of Military Engineering

13. Reforming Soldiers' Lives

14. New Fortifications and World War I

15. World War II to the present day

16. 21st-Century Royal Engineers and the Royal School of Military Engineer

Size: 276mm x 219mm
Author: Peter Kendall

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