Royal Arsenal Woolwich
The information accessed via the first three of four buttons below was provided by Mr Phillip Clarke who was the Membership Secretary to the Royal Arsenal Woolwich Historical Society and Mr Ray Fordham one of their members that recovered tons of records that were being destroyed. The Royal Arsenal Woolwich Historic Society was unfortunately disbanded in the autumn of 2016.
Mr Phillip Clarke and Mr Ray Fordham have kindly provided the data to the North West Kent Family History Society which is published here. However, the copyright remains with Mr Phillip Clarke and Mr Ray Fordham. For additional information about copying, reproduction, acknowledgements and notes, please see the 'Copyright Notes...' below.
Copyright, Description, Notes & Acknowledgements
Woolwich Arsenal Material
The copyright of the data contained in this publication is owned by Mr Phillip Clarke who has
passed the information to North West Kent Family History Society (NWKFHS), a Registered
Charity No. 282627. Mr Clarke was the Membership Secretary to The Royal Arsenal
Woolwich Historical Society which was, unfortunately, disbanded in the autumn of 2016. Any
User wishing to reproduce, print-off, download or publish data from this database may
require the permission of the owner of the Copyright. Publication of this database does not
imply a right on the part of the user to reproduce, print-off, download or publish the data or
absolve the user from the need to obtain permission to reproduce items subject to Copyright.
Strictly no commercial or organisational reproduction, printing-off, downloading or publication
of the data in this database may be undertaken without the prior consent. No separate or
independent databases derived from this database may be created for organisational or
profitable purposes without the express permission. Where downloading of the data is
permissible it may only be done for reasons of private study. Private study is defined by the
Patent Office and the definition is incorporated into the relevant legislation.
The data on the original CD is in Adobe PDF format. In order to view the data on the web
site with a search facility it is presented in a spread sheet table. To locate a particular word
enter it in the search box and the table will revise itself to show the appropriate entries.
Some files already have an alphabetical list by Surname.
Chief Inspector of Armaments (CIA), Royal Arsenal Woolwich: The database contains
surnames, forenames and dates of birth for 794 former industrial employees of the
inspection staff at Royal Arsenal Woolwich. There are no further details relating to the
periods of service for these personnel.
All this data has been transcribed by Mr Phillip Clarke. The run of records is possibly
incomplete in some areas; this is due either to the copy not being legible or to no copy being
available to transcribe. The Society has not been able to check the transcriptions since no
access was possible to copies of the original documents. The NWKFHS cannot accept any
responsibility for the accuracy of the data.
The Society Executive Committee wishes to thank Phillip Clarke for his donation of the data
which represents a considerable amount of effort.
NWKFHS Projects Co-ordinator
Royal Arsenal Woolwich Main Gate – Historic note (our opening picture)
This extract summary is from W. T. Vincent’s ‘The Records of Woolwich District’ published c1890 in two volumes, p 296-380.
The dockyard was first established in 1512. It is after this time the Arsenal’ was established but a precise date is unknown but its foundation is before 1716 the commonly held date. G. E. Grover R E in a paper to the Royal artillery Institution in 1874 suggests its existence dates back to 1667. This date was an order from the King to Prince Rupert to raise works and batteries at Woolwich in the Warren. The Warren was an unclosed site inhabited chiefly by rabbits.
The rope yard at Woolwich was erected in 1573-6 on the edge of the Warren. One of its appurtenances was a storehouse by the water solidly built in brick. The early ordnance departments in 1572 were part of the ropery and consisted of the armoury, storehouse and workshops and were extended over the following 50 years.
At first there was only a wooden fence about the Arsenal. The earliest reference to a brick wall is by General Belford the governor in an order of 1758, but it was not complete. In 1777 convict labour was constructing the wall on the land side with a brick wall.
The wall was not more than eight foot high before 1804 then it was raised along the Plumstead Road to twenty foot high. Other parts were fifteen foot high and some to a twelve foot height.
The old gate at Plumstead; opposite Maxey Road; was ten foot wide with a high archway to allow loaded wagons to enter.
The Middle Gate on Plumstead Road was built in 1830 and was previously known as the ‘Lower gate’.
The Main gate facing Beresford Square was constructed in 1829. Previously the main gate had been at Rope Yard Rails west of the police offices.
Until 1844 the Arsenal was entirely in charge of the military then the police and sentries had joint custody. In 1861 all but a small guard of the military were withdrawn, but not until 1880 were the police in absolute charge.
Disabled Workers 1935-1945
Woolwich Arsenal Disabled Persons 8/1/1946. 14% of Total men employed.
Registered disabled persons under new act
Compensation for factory injuries
The Society Library & Resource Centre is located at;
80 Summerhouse Drive, Joydens Wood Estate, Bexley, DA5 2EE.