HMS... Malt Shovel Perhaps?

The WRNS at Thornley’s Brewery.
Photo courtesy of Richard Neale.

As the Second World War progressed and the established military bases came under enemy fire, small bases were set up in areas of the country considered to be safe from enemy action. A lot of these bases were staffed by administration personnel rather than combatants so as to keep the ever growing military machine running smoothly.

One of these bases was set up in part of Thornley’s brewery at Radford Semele. It was staffed by a contingent of WRNS, the Woman’s Royal Naval Service, who were assisted by a small number of local civilian staff.

Shore based ships!

Interestingly, even shore based naval establishments are classed as ships and given the title HMS. So the question is, did the base at Radford have a name and if so what would you call a base located at a brewery?  HMS Malt Shovel perhaps!

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