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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Aircraft production in Chelsea?


westdav

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I have recently received the details of my grandfather's employment as a munitions worker under the scheme by which the Australian government sent skilled volunteer craftsmen back to Britain to assist in the war effort. My grandfather started as a joiner and boatbuilder at Wills and Packham on the Medway building wooden motor torpedo boats but is then recorded in 1918 as working for J Garlick Ltd, Upper Manor Street, Chelsea in aircraft construction. Does anyone know anything about this company as I have been unable to find any references to them on the internet. The middle of Chelsea seems a rather unlikely place to be building aircraft.

Wynne

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Probably not complete aircraft - there was a lot of sub contracting for components. Firms with woodworking experience were favoured and furniture and cabinet makers often used. Upper Manor Street was not, at this period, a particulary posh place being cottages, small firms etc. In the 1920s it was singled out in a parliamentry question as having delapidated and insanitary buildings.

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Hooper & Co Ltd of St James's Street, SW1 built Sopwith bombers (single seat 1 and a half Strutters and F1 Camels for the RFC and RAF. Possibly Garlik's supplied components.

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In WW2 small woodworking firms were able to build Mosquito bombers, so location and size of premices did not prevent aircraft construction. There were airship sheds in Wormwood Scrubs and aircraft production dotted all over Metropolitan London.

What is now Greater London had many aircraft factories: Handley Page started in Barking; Avro in Wandsworth for example.

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In WW2 small woodworking firms were able to build Mosquito bombers, so location and size of premices did not prevent aircraft construction. There were airship sheds in Wormwood Scrubs and aircraft production dotted all over Metropolitan London.

What is now Greater London had many aircraft factories: Handley Page started in Barking; Avro in Wandsworth for example.

Most of the small firms involved in Mosquito production were concerned with components (albeit sometimes quite large components). My wife's father (who had been involved with the prototype as a master carpenter) used to do quality control.

Garlick does not appear in any list of complete aircraft manufactures I can find (and search in flight fails to show them up) so one has to conlude that they were component manufacturers

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