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The War Office commissioned the manufacture of three train ferrys (imaginatively named train ferry 1, train ferry 2 and train ferry 3) to speed up the supply of materials to France which travelled from Richborough to Dunkirk. Vehicles were usually embarked at Avonmouth docks but as you can see from these photos the TF’s were ideal for carrying trucks.

 

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1997-7059_HOR_F_25291_zps5b9bed22.jpg

 

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TF 1 was taken over by the Royal Navy during WW2 and was renamed HMS Princess Iris. It was broken up in 1951. TF2 was sunk off Dunkirk. TF3 was renamed HMS Daffodil and was lost to a Mine in 1945 off Dieppe. Both TF1 and TF3 had been converted into landing craft carriers which were launched from a ramp at the back of the vessel.

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These ferries operated from the Military Port of Richbourough at Sandwich during the Great War, I've a photo I'll try to find of TF1 in 1940 being used to evacuate forces from Jersey.

 

The Royal Engineers built Richborough Military Port for the train ferries. I'd heard about motor vehicles being carried on them, but this is the first evidence I've seen of that happening. Great pics.

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Very interesting in 1919 a sale of surplus equipment took place at RICHBOROUGH MILITARY PORT most of it had been

destined for france amongst which was a ARMOURED SIMPLEX NARROW GAUGE LOCO which later on in its life was the

subject of a SALVAGE SQUAD programe

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The Royal Engineers built Richborough Military Port for the train ferries. I'd heard about motor vehicles being carried on them, but this is the first evidence I've seen of that happening. Great pics.

 

Also used to move heavy ordnance such as rail guns. Two biggest things shipped , ammunition and animal fodder!

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Here is a link to the wreck dive on HMS Daffodil

 

http://www.divernet.com/Wrecks/wreck_tours/1034869/wrecktour153_hms_daffodil.html

 

Quite interesting I thought.

 

More photos on the Kent history forum. The map shows it to be a massive complex.

 

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=8154.0

Edited by Great War truck
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Than you for posting. These train ferry's have filled a gap in my understanding of materiel movement. I have an interest in the siege brigades and movement of the big howitzers. I don't suppose you have come across any such photos?

 

Robert

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Than you for posting. These train ferry's have filled a gap in my understanding of materiel movement. I have an interest in the siege brigades and movement of the big howitzers. I don't suppose you have come across any such photos?

Robert

Just picking up on this - being slightly commercial (fund-raising our Trust for the Centenary event next year), I'd like to mention the new book that we have just released - Railway Gazette - Special War Transportation Number. This is a re-print of a special edition written in 1920, covering First World War Railway & the Inland waterways and Ports operations. There is a whole section on the special train ferries, Richborough Harbour and Tank transport on the railways..... more details are available here: http://www.wdlr.org.uk/tracks2trenches/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Railway-Gazette-flyer-advert-version.pdf

Cheers, Gareth

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I found some more pictures on the IWM website. The first one does describe it as tanks on the train ferry. A bit hard to say but could be. The rest are of the landing stage.

 

These photographs are copyright of the Imperial War Museum and are published here with their permission under their non-commercial licence.

 

q20619_zps99813fd8.jpg

 

© IWM (Q 20619)

 

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© IWM (Q 10011)

 

Q10011_zpse3a7e49e.jpg

 

© IWM (Q 10012)

 

Q10016_zps47f1dd49.jpg

 

© IWM (Q 10016)

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  • 1 month later...
Just picking up on this - being slightly commercial (fund-raising our Trust for the Centenary event next year), I'd like to mention the new book that we have just released - Railway Gazette - Special War Transportation Number. This is a re-print of a special edition written in 1920, covering First World War Railway & the Inland waterways and Ports operations. There is a whole section on the special train ferries, Richborough Harbour and Tank transport on the railways..... more details are available here: http://www.wdlr.org.uk/tracks2trenches/site/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Railway-Gazette-flyer-advert-version.pdf

Cheers, Gareth

Following a chance conversation with a happy customer of our book, I've been told that part of the train ferry link-span from Richborough still survives - but at Harwich (& listed)! Apparently in the 1920's (following decommissioning of Richborough) the full link-span assembly was being transferred by barge between the harbours, but bad weather was encountered. The whole thing sank - but the link-span gantry (I think) was later salvaged, leaving the span on the sea bed..... More photos here: http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=8154.0

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