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Building and Launch of the "Crepath" at Barnstaple

Barnstaple's experimental concrete-hulled ship gets a visit from a jolly Italian admiral.

Non-Fiction 1918 5 mins Silent


Surprising as it sounds, reinforced concrete was the British Admiralty's first choice of material for shipbuilding when steel stocks ran low during the First World War. The experimental method saved 60% of the steel. This attractive newsreel visits the impressive timber-and-steel frame (no concrete yet) of one such vessel in her Barnstaple shipyard, in the rather jolly company of the Italian Navy admiral Sir Giuseppe de Lorenzi.

The Ill-fated Cretepath (referred to here as the Crepath) was completed later in 1918, but was wrecked on a sandbank after her launch. A follow-up attempt, the Cretepond, was more successful, but was completed after the war was over.