With the coming of the naval arms race with Germany, in 1903 the Admiralty decided to establish a naval base and dockyard at Rosyth, taking advantage of deep tidal water there. Construction work started in 1909 and the dockyard was finished in 1916, when the pre-Dreadnought HMS Zealandia entered dry dock there. The yard closed in 1925, reopening in 1938 when relations with Germany began to deteriorate again and serving throughout the Second World War.
During the Cold War, Rosyth was used to refit conventional and Polaris nuclear-armed submarines as well as other warships. In 1997 Rosyth was acquired by Babcock International, becoming the first privatised naval dockyard in Britain, and is now the site where the Royal Navy's two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers are being assembled. In this book, published in the dockyard's centennial year, Walter Burt takes us through the history of Rosyth dockyard and naval base.
Walter was born in Dunfermline on April 1962. He is a Fitter/Turner to trade having spent 14 years in Rosyth Dockyard. He also worked in the signalling centre at Waverley Station in Edinburgh as a Train Performance Clerk and within the main station as a Station Officer. He has been driving buses with Stagecoach Fife for 16 years working from Dunfermline depot. He is the owner of Fife's last Y-type Leyland Leopard FPE189, which is undergoing restoration. He is married and has two children.