Middlesbrough and the industries along the River Tees played an important role in the First World War as the town and the numerous local works mobilised to support the country’s efforts.

Above: An advert for T. Roddam Dent & Son Limited from 1914 on the eve of the First World War (Source: Middlesbrough Libraries)

The iron, steel, chemical and shipping industries were key in providing a range of supplies for the war effort including shell steel, structural steel used for building new munitions factories and shipbuilding material for the Admiralty’s requirements.

In 1917, the King made a surprise visit to Teesside including a tour of the River Tees. During the journey on the river the vessel carrying the monarch was greeted mid-river by the Transporter Bridge’s gondola.

At the time, Dent’s Wharf was shipping war material around the world including explosives in the form of Benzole and Naphtha, large quantities of pig iron and shell steels that made their way to France to support the war effort. The company also dealt with the storage of foodstuffs.


Did you know?

During the First World War, T. Roddam Dent & Son Limited shipped an incredible 211,344 tons of pig iron, shell steel, sundries, Benzole and other chemicals from their Dent's Wharf site, now known as Port of Middlesbrough.

Above: The Royal Visit on the Tees in 1917 (Source: Middlesbrough Libraries)
Above: The gondola meets the Royal tug on the Tees during a wartime Royal Visit in 1917 (Source: Teesside Archives)

Did you know?

By 1919, Middlesbrough was producing one-third of the nation’s steel. (Source: PD Tees Dock 50th Anniversary publication)