The final book of the trilogy on army supply

The final  book of the trilogy on army supply
The third of my books on army supply

Friday 17 June 2022

Who made the kit supplied to our army?

In each of War on Wheels, Ordnance and Dunkirk to D Day, names of businesses appear which for me are laden with associations. They are names from childhood, from an earlier age. I knew the names, but so little about them. 

This sent me on a quest. I traced the origin of companies to their birth and young life. 

My great grandfather had exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and I found a copy of the catalogue. It was an astonishing event held through the summer in a vast glass building in London’s Hyde Park. In the catalogue I found many of the same business names but many more. 

I explored endless avenues and the result is a book How Britain Shaped the Manufacturing World. It has just been published by Pen & Sword. I hope you will find it as interesting to read as I did to write. Here are links to other blog pieces on the subject: Motor Industry, Clothing

I am now on a quest to discover what happened to those companies, for so many have faded from view: Vickers, ICI, Ferranti, Marconi, Plessey, GEC, John Brown, Hadley Page, AVRoe, Supermarine, Alvis… 
Some though have prospered: Rolls-Royce, Johnson Matthey, Glaxo, Unilever, Jaguar, Dennis, Babcock…
So, added to my quest for what happened, is the question: why did it happen?
For the defence industry, much of the ‘What’ is to be found in BAE Systems but also Babcock. Yet nothing is that simple. 

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