Pembroke Dock

A collection of stories about Pembroke Dock and its history.

Pembroke Dock in Focus

Pembroke Dock (Doc Penfro) and adjacent Milford Haven (Aberdaugleddau) both developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries from small village settlements, Paterstown and Hubberstown, on the banks of the Cleddau river. The vast natural harbour…

A Very New Port

'Pembroke Dock' is an abbreviation of 'Pembroke Dockyard', the new name given to the location in 1817. The Royal Navy had built the dockyard and adjacent town three years earlier in 1814, initially calling it 'Pater Yard'. The sole purpose of the…

The Cursing of the HMS Caesar

A local story in Pembroke Dock concerns the launch of HMS Caesar, planned for July 21, 1853. The ship was a wooden two decker, screw propelled ship of ninety-one guns. As was the custom on launch days all the residents of Pembroke Dock would flock…

The Haunting of the HMS Asp | Ysbryd yn cerdded HMS Asp

In 1857, Pembroke Dock was the setting for the remarkable climax of the haunting of the HMS Asp which, at the time, was used as a surveying vessel in the Royal Navy under the command of one Captain George Manley Alldridge (1815–1905). Over the…

U-Boats in the Irish Sea, 1917-18

Throughout the First World War, the UK imported significant amounts of food from the United States, Canada and through Gibraltar. The German naval command calculated that they could starve Britain into surrender and win the war with a five-month…

Island of the Gannets | Ynys yr Huganod

We may associate seabirds with islands – puffins standing sentinel on ledges, guillemots in serried ranks on slim ledges – but this is only a temporary habitat. On land they are edgy, vulnerable to predation. These are, after all, sea birds and the…

The Smalls Lighthouse Tragedy | Trasiedi Goleudy’r Smalls

The cluster of rocks known as The Smalls, 20 miles off the coast of south west Wales, was a major shipping hazard, notorious for ferocious rip tides, until 1777 when an unorthodox timber lighthouse structure was erected consisting of nine stout oak…