The Ordnance Society

Ordnance & Artillery of All Periods


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Naval Dockyards Society


Facebook: Naval Dockyards Society



Conference: Saturday 30 March 2019

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich


‘We stand on guard for thee.’*

Dockyards and Naval Bases in North America, the Atlantic and the Caribbean


This one-day conference will examine the role of naval bases in North America, the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Some suggested themes follow but applications are invited on new research or a new interpretation of any related topic.


Were bases built to defend colonies, to control colonies, or to act as springboards for attacking the enemy? How useful were bases in the 17th–20th centuries? Some bases expanded in the world wars. How much was this for local defence and how much to defend convoys?


Naval bases developed over time: Havana Cuba, Port Royal Jamaica, Bermuda, English Harbour Antigua, Anguilla Leeward Islands, Fort St Louis Martinique, Guadeloupe, Caracas Venezuela, Curaçao Lesser Antilles, Louisbourg, Quebec, Esquimalt, Annapolis, Halifax, Brooklyn, Newport Rhode Island, Washington, Philadelphia.


How did national bases differ? How developed were they? How were they organised? What was the financial burden to the home country? How dependent upon their hinterland were they? To what extent did they develop their own operating practices? How have their heritage opportunities been developed?


*Chorus of ‘O Canada’, Canadian national anthem, written 1880. Its sentiment could represent that of any naval base for its territory.


If your proposal is accepted, the NDS will pay standard UK travel expenses (not international flights), your conference fee and lunch, publish it in our Transactions and give you a complimentary copy. Your talk will be 20-40 minutes. The published paper will be 6–10K words long, required three months after the Conference for editing. Please send your title and 300-word synopsis (and any queries) by 30 October 2018 to: Dr Ann Coats,


As people may know, the FIREPOWER museum at Woolwich closed in 2016 and the contents of the museum have been stored in a number of military establishments in and around Larkhill, while the site and building of the new museum is decided.
The archives have also been moved to Larkhill itself and are available for limited research; see the ‘enquiries’ page on the web-site at: –
The library now needs some volunteers to help with some of these enquiries and the following request has been received: –
The Archive of the Royal Artillery Museum is looking for volunteers to help in answering the large number of enquiries we receive. We get quite a variety – a lot of family history enquiries of course, but also e-mails and letters from academics, current and former Gunners, re-enactors, historical gun enthusiasts and others.

You are not expected to know all the sources – full training is provided! However, you would need to be within easy reach of Larkhill.

If you would like more details, please get in touch with me and I will send you further information. Do also forward this to anyone who might be interested.

Best wishes,

Siân Mogridge


Royal Artillery Museum

Building 402

Wilson Road