WW2  Imperial Chemical Industries   

  Projector, Infantry, Anti Tank ( PIAT) Mk I   1943

On August 31, 1942, PIAT was officially adopted the ‘Projector Infantry Anti-Tank’ became known under the short name PIAT.  This light anti-tank weapon of the British infantry during the Second World War was the result of several years of trials and experiments by Lieutenant-Colonel Blacker.


 The best-known and documented  incident of this kind took place on 16 May 1944, during an attack on the Gustav LineMonte CassinoItaly.  The enemy counter-attacked opening fire at short range, and Fusilier Jefferson on his own initiative seized a PIAT gun and, running forward under a hail of bullets, fired on the leading Tiger tank.  It burst into flames and its crew were killed. The leading company of Fusilier Jefferson's battalion had to dig in without protection,  jumped outside his ditch and knocked-out two Tiger tanks from close range firing from the hip with a PIAT.  For this outstanding effort he was awarded the Victoria Cross.


The fusilier then reloaded and went towards the second tank which withdrew before he could get within range. By this time, British tanks had arrived and the enemy counter-attack was smashed









The Dowlais Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) plant at was originally a government 'shadow factory' which opened in 1938, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. Merthyr Tydfil was chosen as a location for key wartime industries as it was considered safe from air attack and also because of local availability of manpower, supplies of water and raw materials.


The ICI plant produced ammonia, mainly for explosives. In the late 1940s and early 1950s the factory continued to expand but it closed in 1963 and the site became Merthyr Tydfil Industrial Estate.